Sunday, January 05, 2003

Most Obscure Godfather Political Reference Ever Seen
"New York Daily News"
On US Politics via News Is Free

Zev Chafets of the NY Daily News dismisses John Edwards by likening him to Merle Johnson, Connie's pretty boy golddigger in Godfather 2.

Now I'll leave Edwards aside for the moment. I haven't met him yet. Now that might sound like the old New Hampshire primary joke but in Iowa it's the truth. So far this cycle I've met Dean, Gephardt and Kerry without leaving town, and skipped out on Edwards at least twice and Daschle once. No big deal. In Iowa there's always another chance.

Now, back to important stuff: The Godfather. An ongoing discussion at the Godfather bulletin board is whether Merle married Connie. I think he took Michael's disapproval as An Offer He Couldn't Refuse, since after the communion party that opens the Pacino part of the film we never see Merle again.

Another movie-politics note is the forthcoming Civil War flick "Gods and Generals". Senator Robert Byrd, who got to be the GOP's favorite whipping boy in the Lott debacle due to his ancient Klan membership, makes the spectacular poor timing gaffe of appearing in a cameo in this film as a Confederate officer! However, most stories on this don't mention that fellow Senator George Allen (R-VA) and recent retiree Phil Gramm (R-TX) also appear as Southern officers, making the gaffe bipartisan. However, near as I know neither Gramm or Allen is on tape saying "nigger" in the last year... also seems odd that Byrd would play a Confederate since West Virginia's very existence is due to the region's loyalty to the Union. Anyway, no traction on this bipartisan oops.

So the Godfather connection: Robert Duvall plays Robert E. Lee, adding to his portrayal of illustrious and/or infamous historic figures including Adolf Eichmann, Josef Stalin, Eisenhower, and Jesse James - not to mention the original (movie) Frank Burns, Boo Radley in "To Kill a Mockingbird," the absolutely unforgettable Col. Kilgore ("I love the smell of napalm in the morning") in Apocalypse Now, and of course Tom Hagen in Godfather 1 and 2 but most unfortunately not 3.

I also should mention that Troy Donahue's real name was Merle Johnson.

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