Al Ruddy had once said to his ex-wife, Francoise, that when he saw 300 people reacting in real-time and getting emotionally moved while sitting in a theater, he knew he belonged to the movies. Everybody who was a part of the film business had at some point waged a rebellion against the society, ran away from their homes, fought with the people closest to them, and sacrificed a lot of things, in order to just create this make-believe world. Everything about “The Godfather,” from getting the concept approved to making sure that Coppola got his choice of actors, seemed an uphill task, but Ruddy had been relentless. He believed in his vision and trusted the creative instincts of his team. Bob Evans had bet on a newcomer and gave him unwavering support, not because he had Hogan’s Heroes under his belt, but because he had a kind of persistence that reminded Evans of himself. Even Evans was facing a huge turmoil in his personal life, as his wife, Ali MacGraw, had left him, and it affected the unabashed charmer more than he would have imagined. Ruddy was almost kidnapped by Joseph Colombo at one point in time, and had to deal with the mafia, even if being around such dangerous people sent shivers down his spine. It didn’t matter what they were all going through in their personal lives; they knew that the show had to go on.
The last episode of “The Offer,” titled “Brains and Balls,” shows us what ensued after the release of “The Godfather” in theaters, and how it ushered in a new era and paved the way for future generations to come.
Episode 10: Recap Summary – Barry Lapidus’ Masterstroke
Because of the length of “The Godfather,” it was not possible to run five shows in a day, and Barry had been skeptical about it from the very beginning. In the last episode of “The Offer,” we see Evans and Lapidus mulling over the issue of finding the best time to release their film. They knew they wouldn’t be able to release the film on Christmas, and with Bob Fosse’s “Cabaret,” releasing on Valentine’s week, they had to further postpone the release date of “The Godfather” to the month of March. Bob Evans completely understood that the odds weren’t favoring them, and that is why he needed Barry Lapidus to bring his A-game, and think outside the box to pull off a miracle for the Paramount team. Barry had an outlandish idea, but even before speaking it out, he rejected it in his mind. Evans convinced him to at least entertain the thought once and share it with him. Generally, studios used to block book a small number of theaters, but Barry wanted to cause a disruption and wanted to do things a bit differently from how they had been done till now. He tells Charlie Bluhdorn that he wanted Paramount to block huge numbers of theaters, so that everybody could see it, which in turn would also create a buzz and get front-load sales like never before. Lapidus and Evans wanted to take the buzz created by the film beyond Variety. They wanted the Financial Times and Forbes to take notice of it. They wanted to stir the market with their audacious strategy, though they very well knew that it could also turn into a catastrophe for the studio. But when the two most valued employees of Paramount were vouching for the same thing, Charlie couldn’t say no to it. Believing their instincts, they tread on a path that they knew would do one out of two things: either nobody would turn up, and it would result in a huge loss for Paramount, or they would together redefine and reinvent the distribution business, and set a precedent for the generations to follow.
Charlie Bluhdorn wanted Henry Kissenger, the United States Secretary of State, to attend the premiere, and he was relying on Evans to deliver. Bob Evans knew that it wouldn’t be an easy task to do so, but somehow he was able to convince the celebrated diplomat to grace everybody with his presence. “The Godfather” was a huge commercial hit. It was the highest-grossing film of the year 1972, and moreover, the film got 11 Oscar nominations. Though the 45th Oscar night belonged to Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, Barry and the others knew that they had pulled off a highly improbable business strategy and created a great piece of art.
‘The Offer’ Ending Explained: What Was Al Ruddy’s Plan After ‘The Godfather’?
In the last episode of “The Offer,” we witness that Rudy has made up his mind and knew exactly what he wanted to do next. Evans wanted Ruddy to not only be a part of “The Godfather Part 2,” but to once again wave his magic wand and create history together with Coppola and Puzo. But Ruddy had other plans. He had written a story that was about an underdog who regains his lost respect and dignity while being in prison and playing the game of football. Ruddy wanted to narrate the concept to Bob Evans, but the latter was so soaked in “The Godfather” fervor that he didn’t want to entertain any idea apart from the sequel of the celebrated crime drama. He tells Evans to first complete the sequel, and then he could make whatever he wants. But Ruddy was already in talks with Burt Reynolds, and the actor had agreed to come on board. Ruddy knew that he couldn’t wait for the completion of “The Godfather Part 2,” so he had to take a call without wasting any more time. On Oscar night itself, AL Ruddy told Bob Evans that he wanted a green signal from his end, as he desperately wanted to tell the story to the world. Evans asks him how he could walk away from all the glory when he had already put in all the hard work. But Ruddy was adamant. He was trusting his gut instinct. He knew that it would be the biggest disappointment of his life if his film didn’t do well but still he was ready to take the leap of faith. It was not an easy decision to not be a part of “The Godfather Part 2,” which was destined to create history. Ruddy was never a person who was deterred by precariousness, and it was an attribute that had brought him to where he was. Ruddy got an affirmation from Evans and started his film with Burt Reynolds, which was titled, “The Longest Yard.” The film went on to win many awards, and Al Ruddy had an illustrious career as a producer, never shying away from taking chances.
Al Ruddy knew what dreams were made of, and he believed that Bettye had the determination to convert her dream to reality if she got a push. Ruddy gifted her an office space and paid the rent for two years in advance. Bettye McCartt went on to become an agent, as she had always wanted, and worked with some notable performers for almost four decades. Bob Evans was able to convince Charlie Bluhdorn to keep him as the head of Paramount while letting him be the producer, too, and Francis Ford Coppola finally won the best director for “The Godfather Part 2.” The series benefits greatly from the captivating performances of Miles Teller, Matthew Goode, Juno Temple, Colin Hanks, Burn Gorman, Dan Fogler, Giovanni Ribisi, and others. Though the timelines of many sequences were altered and creative liberty was taken by the makers, “The Offer” was able to keep the essence of the events intact and bring forth a story of persistence, of passion, of determination, and a handful of individuals who gave us a cinematic gem that would keep radiating till the time visual arts exist in this world.