'The Godfather' returning to movie theaters worldwide this Friday, Feb. 25

The Godfather Al Pacino
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in 'The Godfather' (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

This is an offer too good to refuse: Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is coming back to movie theaters. A restored version of the classic movie starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall and more will play in select theaters all over the world for a limited time starting this Friday, Feb. 25. The entire trilogy (all restored) will then be made available on 4K UHD and digital on March 22.

Based on Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather is an epic crime saga of the Corleone family, led by Don Vito Corleone, who hopes to pass on his mantle to his children. Marlon Brando is iconic as Vito Corleone, with James Caan as his hothead son Sonny, Al Pacino as the unwilling Michael, Diane Keaton as Michael’s wife Kay, Robert Duvall as the family’s lawyer Tom Hagen and more, including John Cazale, Talia Shire, Sterling Hayden and Abe Vigoda. The Corleone saga would of course continue with The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III.

Originally released on March 24, 1972, The Godfather would go on to win three Oscars — Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Marlon Brando (though he famously refused the award) — and is widely considered one of the greatest movies of all time.

The trailer for The Godfather restoration coming to theaters does not hide this fact, describing it as "cinema's most beloved masterpiece" and citing organizations and publications that rank it as one of the best movies ever, like AFI, Time, Rolling Stone and more. Watch the trailer here:

The Godfather 50th anniversary restoration will play exclusively in AMC Theaters’ Dolby Cinemas for U.S. audiences. The official announcement did say that the movie will also play in many international territories, including in select Cineworld movie theaters in the U.K. Check your local movie theaters to see where and when it is playing near you.

As for the 4K UHD DVD and digital offerings coming in March, it will include all three movies of the trilogy, though the version of The Godfather Part III will be the 2020 reworking, The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, which Coppola says is his original vision and definitive end to the trilogy. 

This also isn't the only Godfather-related offering on the horizon to celebrate the classic's 50th anniversary. Paramount Plus is set to premiere the limited series The Offer that is about the making of The Godfather and starring Miles Teller, Matthew Goode, Juno Temple, Giovanni Ribisi and Dan Folger. The first three episodes of The Offer are will debut on April 28.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.