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‘The Godfather’ returning to movie theaters worldwide for 50th anniversary

The Godfather Marlon Brando
(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 Feb. 25, before the entire trilogy (all restored) is 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 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, but it did not specify where at this time.

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. 

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and assistant managing editor for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.