The Godfather, Part I and II are - rightfully - considered to be the two greatest films ever made.
Francis Ford Copolla's sweeping epic of an Italian gangster family who rises to power in '50s America has been a landmark cultural phenomenon since its release in 1974. It's inspired countless directors, writers and actors, imitated and parodied dozens of times and consistently topped polls on the greatest films ever made.
However, there was another version of the two films made that was never before seen in public. In 1977, Francis Ford Copolla was scraping money together to fund his next big project; a Vietnam War epic based on a novel by Joseph Conrad. He'd been having trouble securing enough funding to get it together and, attempting to get him over the line, he accepted a deal with American TV studio NBC.
His job was to create a four-hour version of The Godfather, Part I and II that could be screened on television. That version had to be screened over three nights to accommodate its massive running length - a whopping four hours in total. It became a huge television event and was later released on VHS in the '80s.
However, it was never put out on DVD or Blu-Ray and became something of a legend. Until now, that is.
Later tonight, HBO will screen an unseen version of the amalgamated four-hour Godfather I and II, with previously unseen footage that was restored by Francis Ford Coppola himself. This marks the first time this version of The Godfather will be seen anywhere in public and, for film nerds, it's a big deal.
This version, combining both the first and second Godfather, runs for a whopping 434 minutes - that's seven hours and fourteen minutes - and will be shown in chronological order. The event kicks off at 5.00PM EST - that's 10PM, our time - and will run for the full length, uninterrupted.
Already, people have been tweeting about their excitement.
Now to watch the new edition of the Godfather on HBO...It's only seven hours long...
— Tom Cross (@TCrozzy) January 17, 2016
HBO showing a 7 hour marathon of The Godfather tonight ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥
— Louis Geneux (@louisgeneux) January 17, 2016
The godfather is playing uncut with additional scenes on HBO today. There goes 7 hours.
— Michael (@mkotzum) January 17, 2016
Sadly, there's no word - as of yet - that this version will see the light of day (legally, anyway) on this side of the Atlantic.