Paramount cleans up ‘Godfather’

ArcLight to screen digitally remastered prints

“The Godfather” is the trilogy that keeps on giving.

Paramount is again bringing the films back to the bigscreen, following a major restoration. But this time is different, insists Marty Cohen, exec VP of post-production, who spearheaded the most recent rehab efforts.

“Every single frame of the films — 24 frames per second — were fixed by hand. It was the most dust I’ve ever seen removed on a film,” says Cohen of 1972’s “The Godfather.”

After unspooling earlier this month in San Francisco and New York, digitally remastered prints of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II” will make their L.A. debut Sept. 19 for a one-week run at the ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome. DVD and Blu-ray releases arrive Sept 23.

The last time Paramount brought a rehabbed version of the trilogy’s first two films to the bigscreen was in the late 1990s.

Over the years, the Francis Ford Coppola-helmed films became a victim of their own popularity and were overprinted. It wasn’t until recently that digital technology advanced to the point that restoration experts could take a real crack at fixing the extensive wear and tear.

After several million dollars, Cohen says the films are finally back to their original luster.

“This couldn’t have been done 10 years ago because the technology wasn’t there,” Cohen says. “It was something we just had to wait for.”