Mark Harris
January 25, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Godfather Companion

Current Status
In Season
Peter Biskind
HarperPerennial Library
Pop Culture, Movies

We gave it a B-

With 193 pages of numbing facts and anecdotes about Francis Ford Coppola’s three Godfather films, Peter Biskind’s Corleonocopia, The Godfather Companion, may be the longest movie program in history; it’s unmistakably meant to reside in one’s lap while the films unspool. Since the turmoil on the set of the saga’s newest chapter is already the year’s most over-told Hollywood story, some of the book’s Godfather III material is inevitably stale. What’s fresh and apparently exhaustive is Biskind’s attention to the ins and outs of Godfather casting, reflected in a wish list from Paramount and Coppola that at one time or another included Madonna, Frankie Avalon, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Julia Roberts. Considerably less compelling is the book’s question-and-answer filler, a trudge through a swamp of numerical trivia (how long is The Godfather? ”15,758 feet, 6 frames”) that only a mob accountant could love. B-

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