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Why Ruddy Was Fired From The Godfather (& What The Offer Changes)

Albert S. Ruddy was briefly fired as The Godfather’s producer but The Offer takes the real-life incident and makes it much more complex and dramatic.

As The Offer episode 6 depicts, Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller) was fired as the producer of The Godfather but the Paramount+ series makes the circumstances even more dramatic than they were in real life. At this point in The Offer, cameras are rolling on director Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. The Offer episode 6 shows the first day of shooting; specifically, the scene where Michael Corleone (Anthony Ippolito) learns his father, Don Vito Corleone (Justin Chambers), has been shot. But as Coppola begins filming his masterpiece, the production begins to fall apart around him.

The Offer doesn’t flinch from the sordid details of how The Godfather’s production wasn’t possible without the cooperation of the Mafia. Intent on shutting down the film, partially at the insistence of Frank Sinatra (Frank John Hughes), mobster Joe Columbo (Giovanni Ribisi) mobilized his Italian American Civil Rights League against Mario Puzo’s (Patrick Gallo) novel and its big-screen adaptation. However, after meeting with Columbo, Ruddy was able to satiate the gangsters by promising to omit the word “Mafia” from the script.

In a remarkable turnaround, Columbo became a “godfather” to The Godfather and made sure the mob-controlled unions and teamsters supported the production. Although, Ruddy also promised Paramount would donate proceeds from the film to Columbo’s League, which never happened. Nevertheless, The Godfather couldn’t have been made without the Mafia’s support, thanks to the alliance Ruddy forged with Columbo. But it was this friendship that got Ruddy fired (briefly).

As The Offer depicts, Ruddy was invited by Columbo to attend a rally, but the producer was unaware the organized crime kingpin planned to publicly announce his partnership with The Godfather. When Ruddy made front-page headlines by being photographed with the Mafia, Paramount’s parent company, Gulf + Western, was mortified. The corporation’s CEO, Charles Bludhorn (Burn Gorman), promptly fired Ruddy. But in the real-life events, when Bludhorn went to The Godfather set to tell Francis Ford Coppola that he had to find a new producer, the director stood up to his boss and told him that no one but Ruddy could produce The Godfather. Remarkably, the eccentric Austrian CEO caved and quickly hired Ruddy back.

The Offer makes the firing and re-hiring of Albert Ruddy even more dramatic. In the show, the embarrassment of The Godfather’s producer being close pals with the Mafia was compounded by the pressure Bludhorn was under to sell Paramount. At the insistence of Barry Lapidus (Colin Hanks), who looks after Gulf + Western’s bottom line above all else, Bludhorn entertains a lowball over to unload the troubled movie studio.

But Paramount’s head, Robert Evans (Matthew Goode), got wind of the plan to sell the studio and he flew to New York to save Paramount (and his job) by delivering an impassioned speech to Charlie and the board of directors. Meanwhile, Ruddy’s secretary Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple) meets with Columbo to tell him that Ruddy has been fired. Columbo promises to “do something about it” and has the unions obstruct the production. All of this led to Ruddy being rehired by Bludhorn.

There are instances where the truth of The Godfather is stranger than The Offer’s fiction, like the circumstances of how Al Pacino ended up getting cast as Michael Corleone. However, Ruddy getting canned and reinstalled as The Godfather’s producer was more cut and dry in real life. The Offer definitely kicks up the drama and interlocks multiple storylines in episode 6 to create a greater and more entertaining tapestry centering on Ruddy’s firing and rehiring, but it’s all in the service of making compelling television.

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