For just under 24 hours, the Internet provided us with an offer we simply couldn’t refuse. An account claiming to be Sony Pictures UK uploaded The Godfather in its glorious entirety on YouTube yesterday, garnering significant press coverage until the video unceremoniously disappeared Wednesday afternoon. Mere minutes ago we had free access to 2 hours and 57 minutes of cinematic history, and now we have this: “This account has been suspended due to a violation of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to impersonate another person or user.” Ouch.
A rep for Sony Pictures issued the following statement to EW: “On Wednesday, August 24 reports surfaced alleging that Sony Pictures UK had posted a copy of The Godfather movie to a YouTube account ‘SonyPicturesUK.’ The YouTube handle in question is, in fact, not a Sony Pictures account and is in violation of Sony Pictures’ rights. Upon discovering the existence of this fraudulent account, Sony Pictures Entertainment worked with YouTube and the account was deactivated. Sony Pictures is investigating the violation.”
While it was definitely suspicious to see a Paramount production uploaded by a purported Sony account, it was entirely possible that Paramount had sold off their streaming rights, and the pop-up ads gave the whole experience an added flavor of seeming legality. So the Internet world rejoiced!
But alas, it was simply not meant to be. Those who haven’t seen the film should probably make the effort to watch it on an actual television, but there’s still something to be said for easy, widespread availability of the Corleone family antics, even if the decapitated horse head doesn’t look quite as shocking on a smaller screen. I once watched The Departed on a plane, and while my visceral reactions to some of the violent sequences were subdued, I still truly enjoyed the crazy mob drama and the phenomenal performances. And what does crazy mob drama and phenomenal performances better than The Godfather? Oh yeah, The Godfather: Part II. But you should still watch the first one, and since it isn’t available for streaming on Netflix or Hulu either, you’re going to have to suck it up and rent the DVD. The Internet can be a cruel place, PopWatchers.