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Brokaw: Series about mobster movie makes viewers an ‘Offer’ they can’t refuse

By Francine Brokaw - Special to the Daily Herald | Apr 27, 2022


'The Offer' begins streaming Thursday, April 28, 2022, on Paramount+.

It has been 50 years since the release of “The Godfather,” which became the highest grossing film to that date. Now Paramount+ has a 10-episode dramatic version of how the film came to be. “The Offer” includes plenty of Hollywood glamour of the day, references to Old Hollywood, and depictions of famous people, places and the cutthroat business that is entertainment.

Recently, some of the cast and executive producers gathered for a virtual meeting with members of the media. They included Miles Teller who plays Albert S. Ruddy, Matthew Goode who portrays Paramount chief Robert Evans, Juno Temple who plays Bettye McCartt, and Giovanni Ribisi who portrays Joe Columbo. Also included were EPs Nikki Toscano, Michael Tolkin and Dexter Fletcher.

“I grew up on ‘The Godfather,'” Toscano said. “The first time I saw it, not even a teenager, I was enthralled with the masterful and subtle storytelling, and it became the high-water mark in my mind of what was possible. And it continues to inform me. To this day, I discover new things every time I watch it. And I can always watch it, I think because ‘The Godfather’ examines the most universal theme of all: family. ‘The Offer’ is the incredible story of producer Al Ruddy going to the mattresses to get his film made. It’s told from Ruddy’s POV, and it examines the many challenges he faced.”

Bob Evans is an icon in the entertainment industry. Portraying him was not really a challenge for Goode because there are plenty of videos out there from which he gathered his information. “His manner of speaking and his cadence and all of that was funny,” Goode acknowledged. “I didn’t think I looked anything like him. I didn’t understand why they wanted me to be in it, if I’m honest. I wanted to be in it, but I was quite surprised. And I spent a long time studying him, what I knew about him on the page and from what I found out about by stories, and just looking, listening to some many entities of the younger Bob Evans rather than the ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture,'” the autobiography by Evans.

Teller’s part of Al Ruddy was the instrumental element in getting the film to the screens, along with help from some other execs. He acknowledged the impact Al Ruddy had on the business and was happy to bring him to the screen.

“He gets stuff done. You know, he just did ‘Cry Macho’ with Clint (Eastwood in 2021]). He said Clint called him up and he said, ‘You still got that ‘Cry Macho’ script, kid?” And that was a script that Al had for 30-something years, I think, maybe even longer. So it’s just who he is. He just gets stuff done. And that was really one of the big pleasures of playing him,” Teller said. Ruddy is still hard at work in his 90s. “So it was really a pleasure and an honor to play him in this.”

Viewers will be enthralled to see the portrayals of Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Ali MacGraw, Jilly Rizzo, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Vic Damone, Burt Reynolds, Ann-Margaret, Raquel Welch, Henry Kissinger, Arthur Hiller and others. There’s no doubt this series takes viewers right into the heart of Hollywood in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

Evans went on to produce “Chinatown,” “Marathon Man,” “The Cotton Club,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Urban Cowboy” and more. Ruddy wrote “Hogan’s Heroes” and “The Longest Yard,” and produced “Cry Macho,” “Million Dollar Baby” and plenty more.

“The Offer” is a dramatization into what it took to make “The Godfather.” From start to finish, this was an epic undertaking.

As Tolkin stated, “Television has become the great delivery system for storytelling now. I think we’re happier watching 10 hours of a television series than 90 minutes of a movie most of the time.”

The series streams on Paramount+ beginning Thursday.


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