Former Home Improvement” child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas appeared at a recent cast reunion after staying mostly out of the spotlight since the show’s 1999 finale. We also meet various members of the Don’s inner circle; his lieutenant, Clemenza (Richard S. Castellano), hitman, Luca Brazi (Lenny Montana); devoted thug muscle come to pay his respects, and the Corleone’s driver, Paulie Gatto (John Martino in a part originally intended for Robert DeNiro, who actually screen tested for the role).
Seasonal Nielsen Rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Home Improvement on ABC 62 The series finale became the fifth highest-rated series finale television program of the 1990s and the ninth overall series finale ever presented on a single network in television history, watched by 35.5 percent of the households sampled in America, and 21.6 percent of television viewers.
Considering Evans’ recollections on how Coppola came to be cast as ‘his second’, it is interesting to note Paramount continued to shop around the directorial duties on The Godfather to practically every headlining director of his generation, including Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Yates, Richard Brooks, Arthur Penn, Costa-Gavras, and Otto Preminger.
Meanwhile Roth, who realizes he is a dead man, is refused political asylum in Israel, soon to be publicly executed at the airport by Michael’s other caporegime, Rocco Lampone as stunned members of the press look on. This sequence has always reminded me of the brutal public execution of Lee Harvey Oswald, although I could find no reference in Coppola’s records to suggest he shared as much in his inspiration.
March, whom I personally believe came into his own late in his career, playing an impressive array of important roles spanning the gamut from men of stature (like Lyman) to outright charlatans (disreputable CEO, Loren Shaw in Executive Suite, 1954, and, Bible-thumping attorney, Matthew Brady in Inherit the Wind, 1960), achieves a level of verisimilitude only rivaled in fits and sparks by the rest of this distinguished cast.