After 4 episodes of “The Offer,” if there was one emotion with which you could relate to the character of Albert Ruddy, then it would be persistence. The man was just not ready to give up. No matter what obstacles came his way, he kept on moving forward. In episode 4 of “The Offer,” we saw that Bob Evans was against the decision to cast Al Pacino for the role of Michael Corleone. Francis Coppola, on the other hand, was not ready to cast anybody other than Pacino. Ruddy knew that one could not expect an artist to paint with all their heart if they were not provided a desired canvas. He had to take a call for the greater good. He went to Charlie Bluhdorn directly without telling Bob Evans and pleaded with him to take Al Pacino for the role. Bob lost his cool when he heard that Ruddy had gone behind his back, but then he couldn’t do much since Bluhdorn had given it a green signal. Joe Gallo was causing unnecessary trouble and had become a headache even for the Colombo family. Al Pacino tells Ruddy in the end that he had signed a contract with the Warner Brothers for a film and that he couldn’t be a part of “The Godfather.” Ruddy felt distraught, and that’s when Andrea Eastman made him privy to certain truths of the trade. She assures him that they will get past it.
Was Bob Evans Able To Bring Pacino On Board? Whom Did Evans Meet To Bring Pacino On Board?
Barry Lapidus had made a proposition to sell Paramount as he didn’t see it as a business that would make them profits in the future. Barry was of the opinion that the underlying motive of making a movie was to earn profits, and apart from the success of “Love Story,” Paramount didn’t have many hits under their belt in the recent past.
Ruddy had gone to convince Bob Evans to get Pacino for their film because he knew that only Evans could strike a deal with MGM and make it happen. Evans finally watched the showreel of Al Pacino. The actor was beyond mesmerizing. His eyes spoke even before he uttered a word. Bob hated being wrong, but what he hated, even more, was investing in a wrong creative decision. He knew he could bet his money on Pacino.
In the 5th episode of “The Offer,” Evans scheduled a meeting with James T. Aubrey from MGM, as the production house had taken Pacino on board for their film, The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Harold Robbins was one of the best-selling authors of all time in America, and Paramount owned the copyright to many of his manuscripts. James wanted the copyright of his choice in exchange for Pacino. Maybe that day, Bob Evans made the toughest barter of his life, but he did bring Al Pacino on board to play Michael Corleone in “The Godfather.”
Joe Gallo wanted to send a message that he meant business. He brutally shot one of Joseph Colombo’s men. Mario Biaggi, the Congressman, was also causing unnecessary trouble. All the permits that Ruddy had gotten were being revoked. He went to meet Colombo and asked for a favor: to somehow stop Congressman Biaggi, who had also orchestrated an FBI raid in Colombo’s club. Joseph Colombo met Biaggi and threatened to turn the people of his Italian American Civil Rights League against him. Biaggi flips almost instantly and confesses that he had no role to play in the scheme of things. He agrees to let Ruddy make “The Godfather.”
‘The Offer’ Episode 5: Ending Explained – Was Charlie Bluhdorn Going To Sell Paramount?
Francis Coppola reveals in the 5th episode of “The Offer” that he wanted to create a working kitchen that cost around 75000 dollars. Ruddy was not able to understand the atrocious and illogical choices that Coppola was making. The project had already gone way beyond budget, and still, they were finding it hard to make ends meet. On the one hand, the finance team was pestering Ruddy to cut down on the budget, whereas on the other hand, the creative team was not ready to compromise too. Ruddy was being massacred in the middle, negotiating and dealing with some or other issue every day. Even after all the pain that he was taking to smoothen the process, the creative team was fighting over frivolous issues, and their callow behavior was causing a lot of annoyance to him. He was already dealing with a lot on the personal front. His wife, Francoise, had left him, and he had lost the trust of the only ally he had, Bob Evans. Finally, Ruddy decided to go to Charlie Bluhdorn once again and ask him to increase the budget. Charlie gave them a final offer of 6 million with the condition that if it exceeded more than the decided amount, they would have to pay it from their pockets. They agreed to it, as Coppola felt confident that he would be able to make a film with that amount of money.
Francis Coppola wanted to meet the actors, who were playing different characters of the Corleone family, for an Italian dinner before they actually started shooting. He wanted them to interact and get to know each other. Time and again, during the pre-production of “The Godfather,” the crew realized why they were taking so much pain to make the film. The actors sat and enacted the famous dinner scene from the film, where Coppola, for the first time, saw the characters on paper come to life. It was like magic. He saw the Don and his grandeur. He saw the extravagance of Sonny and the aloofness of Michael. It gave Francis Ford Coppola, and Albert Ruddy renewed strength to keep fighting. They knew that they were on their way to creating something that had never been seen in the history of cinema.
Bettye tells Ruddy that the union had hired mobsters who were on their payroll, and three of them had the same social security number. One of them was Caesar, who worked with Joseph Colombo. Ruddy’s office was visited by FBI agents who warned him that taking favors and building relationships with the mafia had serious implications. But Rudy didn’t have much of a choice. He had taken a lot of favors from Joseph Colombo, and even if he wanted, he couldn’t retrace his steps back.
Charlie Bluhdorn offered Bettye McCart a job, and she knew that something was dubious about the whole proposition. Charlie had almost made up his mind to sell Paramount. With the success of Love Story, there were a lot of bidders who were offering a good price, and he didn’t know if they would be on such a high yet again. So he wanted to seize the moment and make a profitable business deal.
Joseph Colombo joined hands with Mario Biaggi. He called Ruddy to meet him, but instead fraudulently used his presence to his benefit. He had called for a general meeting of the Italian American Civil Rights League, and in front of the press and the members, he declared that Ruddy was going to donate the proceeds from the premier towards the league’s hospital fund.
Al Ruddy was warned time, and again that mingling with the mafia would cost him a lot. He knew that, but he was desperate to do anything to make the film. With Charlie Bulhdorn giving hints about his intentions of selling paramount and a public announcement made by Joseph Colombo, things were getting far worse than Ruddy had expected them to be. He knew that his difficulties were going to increase manifold. The upcoming episodes of “The Offer” will shed light on how Ruddy overcomes these barriers and the cost that he has to pay for chasing his dreams and trying to turn them into reality.
See More: ‘The Offer’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending, Explained – Was Al Ruddy hired back by Charlie Bluhdorn?