Tag Archives: Talia Shire

The Set of 400: #24 – My Favorite Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Today! Because I believe in America –

The Godfather (1972)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (x3)

Starring Marlon Brando (x2), Al Pacino (x5), James Caan (x4), Robert Duvall (x3), Diane Keaton (x5), Talia Shire (x5), John Cazale (x3), Richard Castellano, Abe Vigoda (x3), Sterling Hayden (x2), John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Gianni Russo (x2), Al Martino, Morgana King (x2), Lenny Montana, John Martino, Alex Rocco (x2), Julie Gregg, Simonetta Stefanelli, Franco Citti

As mentioned at some length back in #82, The Godfather was my dad’s favorite movie. While I often saw it growing up bookended by the past and future sequences from II, the original movie would run intact and in order, and so didn’t require any mental gymnastics to track. And no, this is not a kid’s movie any way you look at it, but that didn’t stop me from seeing this film from as far back as I can remember. I don’t have the slightest guess the first time I watched The Godfather, which seems weird in retrospect.

What did child Joe make of Sonny’s excessive demise?

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The Set of 400: #82 – My Favorite Fishing Strategy

Today! Because when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen –

The Godfather: Part II (1974) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola (x2) Starring Al Pacino (x4), Robert De Niro (x5), John Cazale (x2), Robert Duvall (x2), Diane Keaton (x4), Michael V. Gazzo (x2), Talia Shire (x4), Lee Strasberg, G.D. Spradlin, Bruno Kirby (x3), Gastone Moschin, Richard Bright, Morgana King, Troy Donahue, Dominic Chianese (x2), Joe Spinell (x2), Abe Vigoda (x2), Gianni Russo, James Caan (x3), Harry Dean Stanton (x4), Danny Aiello (x3), John Aprea (x2)

The Godfather was my dad’s favorite movie. To be more specific, what he really loved was the collection he referred to as The Complete Novel for Television – which came to be known in a variety of different ways on home video and re-airings over the years. This compilation, first aired on network TV in 1977, pulls apart The Godfather: Part II and rearranges the whole thing chronologically, while removing some of the violence and nudity. And this was the most frequent way Rosco (not his real name, or the customary spelling) would watch it. You know how I’ve mentioned before about series of films in my early life blending together into one mass? I think it can all be attributed to seeing The Godfather movies meshed together like this almost exclusively for years. He preferred this huge, six-hour version of the story to the separate films, so that’s what he’d watch. I’m not sure I actually saw The Godfather: Part II the way it was originally intended until I was in my twenties. And, yeah, it probably works better in the original format – with young Vito’s rise set opposite Michael’s epic struggles. As iconic and basically perfect as the first film is, my favorite part of the whole series is early 1900’s Vito arriving at Ellis Island and clawing his way up through New York organized crime.

It’s everyone’s favorite, isn’t it?

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The Set of 400: #133 – My Favorite Ice Skating Date (Humans)

Today! Because he doesn’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!

Rocky (1976)

Directed by John G. Avildsen

Starring Sylvester Stallone (x3), Talia Shire (x3), Carl Weathers (x3), Burt Young (x3), Burgess Meredith (x4), Tony Burton (x3), Joe Spinell, Stan Shaw, Al Silvani (x2), Thayer David, Jimmy Gambina, Bill Baldwin

Back where it all began! Last February, this grand list of flickers I enjoy kicked off with that USA v. USSR classic Rocky IV, followed two months later by that deluge of Wrestlemania stars knocking Sly around in #356 Rocky III on April 24th. If your worries at that point were along the lines of how many Rocky movies can this guy cram onto this list, that was justified. But here were are, nearly a year later and we finally reach the end of the Italian Stallion’s run. All things considered, three Rocky movies isn’t that bad, right? II didn’t make the cut (even though it’s not my least favorite Balboa adventure) and neither did (ah, there’s the bottom of the heap) or Rocky Balboa (which is ridiculous nonsense, but come on, still kinda fun).

My man was old as fuck, but his opponent was named Mason Dixon. Hokey!

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The Set of 400: #356 – My Favorite Pinball Machine Destruction

Today! Because there is no tomorrow! There is no tomorrow!

Rocky III (1982)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone (x2)

Starring Sylvester Stallone (x2), Mr. T, Talia Shire (x2), Carl Weathers (x2), Burgess Meredith, Burt Young (x2), Tony Burton (x2), Hulk Hogan, Al Silvani

That’s right, we’re back where it all started – Rocky Balboa! Cast your mind to nearly two months back when this long journey began, as Rocky IV was the first movie announced on the Set of 400. Seems like yesterday, right? And yet here we are, with another Rocky movie! How fun for you!

has it over in many respects, in my opinion. First, it has Burgess Meredith, at least for a little while. Second, it’s the rare Rocky film where the fights don’t go to the scorecards. Third, awesome beach running montages featuring a completely jacked Carl Weathers, and later his completely improbable footrace defeat by the much shorter Stallone. Fourth, Mr. T’s terrific bad guy turn as Clubber Lang. And lastly, Thunderlips, in the flesh, baby!

Amazingly, Hulk Hogan’s first of three appearances on this list – feel free to submit guesses on the other two and win respect!

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The Set of 400: #400 – My Favorite Cold War Resolution

Today! Because whatever he hits, he destroys:

Rocky I(1985)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Tony Burton, Brigitte Nielsen, James Brown

Welcome to the Set of 400! Glad you could make it! And what better way to kick off this epic countdown than with the most unrealistic rock-’em-sock-’em boxing picture ever made! Rocky Balboa at this point was more superhero than Philly meat puncher, and the Russians were still our sworn enemies, unlike today, where they get to vote in our elections! It’s a ridiculously over-the-top movie, but does feature by far the best boxing ring attire/entrance ever caught on film:

This was the first Rocky movie I remember as being new – even though I would’ve only been about six when it came out. Like a few different film franchises existing in my very early life, I didn’t differentiate between the movies for a number of years, thinking of them interchangeably, and thus probably giving more credit to some than they deserve. Rocky IV almost certainly fits this bill, as again, it’s a completely ludicrous movie, but it’s also the most fun film in the series. Robot butlers! Rocky’s dogsled pulling/log sawing training montage! The Russian crowd somehow supporting Italian Stallion by the end! The Cold War basically ends by the final bell! It’s crazy. Continue reading

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