With every new episode of “The Offer”, we come to know about the excruciating pain and hard work that goes into bringing a 120-minute long or so film to the silver screen, that has the potential to transport you to a different place and time altogether. In the previous episode of “The Offer,” we thought Al Ruddy’s problems were finally coming to an end. We thought that Coppola would finally be able to focus on the creative aspects rather than fighting for the logistics day in and out. Jack Ballard and Aram Avakian, the on-set spies of Barry Lapidus, who were planning a coup against Ruddy and Coppola, were removed from the helm of affairs. Bob Evans, Ruddy, and Coppola got the full charge, and together they were all set to create history. An uncanny friendship was developing between the mafia king, Joseph Colombo, and Ruddy. Colombo had called “The Godfather” producer to his home for dinner. It had made things a little personal. Colombo was not only helping Al Ruddy out on a professional front but also admired and respected his honesty, and the earnest efforts he had made just to please the leader of the Italian American Civil Rights League. The mafia community, especially the heads of Five Families, were not very happy with Joe Colombo. Carlo Gambino didn’t approve of Joe Colombo’s involvement in the league. He had sided with Joe Gallo. At one of the political rallies which was attended by Al Ruddy, Colombo was shot by an African American named Jerome A. Johnson, and it is shown that Gallo had orchestrated the catastrophe (though, in reality, it was never proved). Colombo was Ruddy’s biggest strength, and with him gone, he had to face the wrath of the unpredictable and dangerous “Crazy Joe,” who had made it his mission to extract money from the producers. Every day, Ruddy was getting deeper into a swamp, and no matter how much he tried to cut all ties with the mafia, he had to deal with them if he wanted his film to be made.
A Scattered Barry And An Unhinged Ruddy
In episode 8th of the Paramount mini-series, “The Offer,” titled “Crossing the line,” we see that though Ruddy was shocked after his friend Joseph Colombo was shot in his rally, he somewhere took it as a blessing in disguise. He thought that he no longer would have to deal with the mafia. Though Colombo never showed his menacing side, and was always endowed with geniality, whenever he met Ruddy, he still was a dangerous man at the end of the day. Ruddy felt that pressure, that coerciveness, even when all Colombo wanted to do was to call him for a friendly dinner. Colombo wanted to legitimize his image, and his efforts with the Italian league was a step towards it. He cherished that he got to converse with somebody outside the mafia world. Ruddy didn’t know that the absence of Colombo from the scene would create greater problems for him. Gallo had joined hands with Carlo Gambino and other mafia families and had told them that the proceeds from “The Godfather” would be divided equally among them. He had promised Gambino to be transparent in his functioning and listen to the organization and follow their commands. Ruddy came back to his home one day, to find out that Gallo and his men were waiting for him there. They asked him to give them the amount he used to give to Colombo, and Ruddy honestly told them that Colombo never took a single penny. It was an unbelievable fact for the insane Gallo, and he threatened the producer to do the needful if he wanted to stay alive. Ruddy went to visit Colombo and had a conversation with Caesar. He told him about the demands of Joe Gallo and his men. Caesar gave him advice that any prudent man would give. He told him to give Gallo whatever he wanted. In the absence of Joseph Colombo, and the support of Carlo Gambino, Caesar couldn’t do much. He had to play it safe for himself too, tilt the power dynamics in his favor and then find an opportune moment to strike. But as of now, he had to lay low.
Amidst all the chaos, Bob Evans was in an awful state and dealing with his own personal issues. After his breakup with Ali MacGraw, he had been drinking more and was mostly under the influence of hard drugs. He didn’t want to face the reality that Ruddy was having a hard time dealing with everything without the assistance and expert guidance of Evans. On the face of it, Evans was just about fine, but on the inside, he was splintered all over the place. His absence and inability to wave his magic wand had now become noticeable, and Charlie Bluhdorn had started asking questions. Ruddy warned the ace producer, but he was in no state to comprehend the gravity of the matter.
‘The Offer’ Episode 8: Ending Explained- Is Ruddy Able To Get More Money? What Happened To Joe Gallo?
Once again, the team was falling short of funds. Even after Charlie Bluhdorn had sanctioned them more funds, they didn’t have enough resources to go to Sicily, as Coppola wanted to shoot some scenes there. Ruddy asks him to shoot it in the United States itself, but Coppola feels that the essence, the authenticity, and the flavor will be lost forever if they didn’t shoot in the original location. He didn’t want to do a substandard job. So Ruddy came up with a plan. He thought of developing a kind of scheme where he would guarantee the vendors that the studio would work with them in future ventures and, in return, get a discount on their services. He was somewhat able to procure the sum he needed to shoot in Italy, but Joe Gallo poured water on all his efforts. Ruddy was trying to mitigate the situation, and find a middle ground where he is able to shoot in Sicily and Gallo is also kept happy, but it seemed that he had run out of options. He told Coppola in one of the production parties that he wouldn’t be able to shoot in Sicily. The director was shattered. But fate had something else already planned out, which neither Rudy nor Coppola saw coming. In “The Offer,” Episode 8, we see Francis Coppola shooting the famous scene where Don Vito Corleone was shot while buying fruits. Little did he know that there were actual rounds being fired in Umberto’s Clam House in Manhattan’s Little Italy (creative liberty has been taken with regards to the timeline of events in the series). A few masked men interrupted the birthday celebration of Joe Gallo and started firing at him and his people. Joe Gallo didn’t survive the shootout. It was Caesar who had killed him (as shown in the series), and in furtherance of taking revenge for his boss, he also removed the biggest obstacle from Ruddy’s path. Caesar later came to the production party and informed Ruddy about the same. An elated Al Ruddy rushed towards Francis Coppola to break the news to him. Coppola after hearing the news couldn’t control his happiness and made an announcement in front of everybody that they were taking their film, The Godfather, to Sicily.
More than the main conflict, it is the subsidiary conversations that make “The Offer” even more intriguing. From Bob Evans pitching the film “Chinatown” to Charlie and Barry Lapidus in an inebriated state, to witnessing the table talks that Marlon Brando has with Charlie Bluhdorn, it is a delight for any film enthusiast. It would be interesting to see how Bob Evans pulls himself together and if there will be any more surprises for Ruddy and his team or will they finally get a license to go about their business without any unnecessary hassle.