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Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone
Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone
James Caan as Santino 'Sonny' Corleone
Richard S. Castellano as Young Peter Clemenza
Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen
Sterling Hayden as Capt. McCluskey
John Marley as Jack Woltz
Richard Conte as Don Emilio Barzini
Al Lettieri as Virgil 'The Turk' Sollozzo
Diane Keaton as Kay Adams Michelson
Abe Vigoda as Sal Tessio
Talia Shire as Connie Corleone Rizzi
Gianni Russo as Carlo Rizzi
John Cazale as Fredo Corleone
Storyline: When the aging head of a famous crime family decides to transfer his position to one of his subalterns, a series of unfortunate events start happening to the family, and a war begins between all the well-known families leading to insolence, deportation, murder and revenge, and ends with the favorable successor being finally chosen.
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No one can deny this movie being one of the (if not THE) greatest movies ever made. It is brilliant. Great performances by an amazing cast (that was controversial among the studio), beautiful music, brilliant directing of course, cinematography to die for and a storyline that fascinated me from the very first to the very last minute. The movie goes deep into the family and lets you be part of a dramatic journey. I would definitely recommend this movie to ANYONE. It is one of my all time favourite movies and I can watch it over and over again, finding more and more beauty in it every time. It is sad that many friends my age have never seen this movie.
Legend İn The World
he Godfather (1972) did for gangster movies what 2001: A Space Odyssey did for science fiction. Like Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola re-energized and, to a degree, reinvented a basic Hollywood pulp fiction action-entertainment genre, using it as a vehicle for the high artistic ambitions of a post-New Wave film "auteur."

Within his narrower focus on 20th century American civilization (as opposed to Kubrick's philosophical speculations on human evolution), Coppola shapes the story of the Corleone Mafia family into an epic/satiric vision of American business, government, justice, and moral decline. The Godfather's brilliantly constructed opening sequence, the wedding of Don Corleone's daughter, not only establishes the Don's character, the nature of his organization, the role of family and Sicilian tradition in his world, and the character of his sons (three natural and one adopted), but also establishes the relationship between the Don's world and "legitimate" society. For instance, the film's opening words are those of Bonasera, a petitioner for a wedding "favor," whose voice over a dark screen first asserts the American Dream, "I believe in America. America has made my fortune," and then turns to disillusioned contradiction: "for justice, we must go to Don Corleone."

Numerous subsequent lines of dialog establish literal or metaphorical connections between the criminal underworld and social institutions. Some of the most memorable ones include: "My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.""Now we have the unions, we have the gambling; and they're the best things to have. But narcotics is a thing of the future. And if we don't get a piece of that action, we risk everything we have. I mean not now, but ten years from now." "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business." And most famously of all: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

The film's title refers to two godfathers, the original Don Corleone and his youngest son - and ultimate successor - Michael. Marlon Brando's performance as Don Corleone, for which he was awarded a Best Actor Academy Award, balances the Don's subtly counter-pointed functions as beloved, grandfatherly patriarch and fearsome, brutal crime boss. Yet Michael, as the character most centrally and significantly affected by the film's plot and played with a brilliance equaling Brando's by a then unknown Al Pacino, is the principal protagonist.

At the wedding, Michael's centrality is signaled by the Don's frantic call, "Where's Michael? We are not taking the picture without Michael!" A World War II hero still in decorated uniform, Michael is meanwhile busy differentiating himself from his family to his girl friend and future second wife, Kay (Diane Keaton). "Luca Brasi held a gun to the band leader's head," he relates, "and my father assured him that either his signature or his brains would be on the release. That's my family Kay. It's not me." Michael's initial disinterest in Mafia activities is reinforced by his adoring father who envisions him as "Senator Corleone" or "Governor Corleone" not as his successor. That role is reserved for his hot-headed eldest son, Sonny (James Caan). But, of course, events conspire to suck Michael in - and to keep sucking him in right through Godfather III - the assassination attempt on his father, Michael's coolly murderous response, the car bomb meant for him that kills his first wife, the Sicilian beauty Apollonia (aptly named for the god of sun light), the riddled body of his brother Sonny. Inevitably, a morally darkened Michael emerges at the end of the film, one who outdoes his father in guile and ruthlessness and whose final brutal and deceitful acts in Godfather I seal his doom as a Macbeth-like villainous tragic hero.

Shot mainly on location in various New York City locales, The Godfather spans a ten- year post World War II period. A multitude of props, costumes, and pop culture artifacts arranged by the film's art director, Warren Clyner, and production designer, Dean Tavoularis, lend a rich sense of historical authenticity to the film's mise en scene. Moreover, the film's lighting by brilliant cinematographer Gordon ("prince of darkness") Willis, contributes greatly to both the film's realism and its thematic symbolism. Compare, for instance, the use of extremely dark, shadowy, color desaturated interior scenes – especially in the Don's home office – with the brightly lit, vivaciously colored outdoor wedding scene or the sun-drenched, romanticized Sicilian landscape.

The Godfather is edited in the classic Hollywood invisible style, subordinating technique to the needs of narrative and visual continuity. But the film is expertly edited nonetheless. In particular one might note the stunning use of multiple parallel editing that occurs in one of the film's last scenes: the assassination of the other crime family heads, elaborately planned to coincide with Michael's participation in the baptism of sister Connie's child. Likewise, The Godfather's soundtrack is a memorable combination of diegetic period music ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") and a lush, operatic original score composed by one of the greatest film music composers, Nino Rota (a frequent Fellini collaborator as in 8 1/2).

With The Godfather and its even more ambitious sequel, Coppola pushed the classic gangster film in the direction of high art and released it once and for all from the moralistic grip of the Hays Code, which arose in the 1930s in large part as a response to the romanticizing of criminals found in such early examples of the gangster genre as Scarface, Little Cesar, and Public Enemy. Not only did the code regulate the degree and nature of sexual and violent imagery in all films, but it also specifically required that criminals be portrayed as morally repulsive social deviants and that plots involving them be resolved with the implicit or explicit lesson that "crime did not pay." Fortunately for American popular culture The Godfather radically rewrote the rulebook and paved the way for a generation's-worth of gangster masterpieces ranging from the Scarface remake to Pulp Fiction to The Sopranos.
One Can See Why It's So Highly-Rated
Some people have called this one of the best movies of all time. I can see why they say that, although I wouldn't quite rate it that high. It does feature an interesting storyline, great acting and magnificent photography so I am not going to argue with those who place in so high, because it's understandable. It also has a memorable score.

One needs to see this on a nice widescreen DVD because it's so beautifully photographed with tons of greens, grays and browns that are just beautiful. It makes me want to visit Italy. The only reason I personally didn't rate it as high as others was I didn't like any of the characters, and especially the hot-headed James Caan. When he got riddled with bullets and was done with, a la "Bonnie & Clyde," that was fine with me!

There isn't as much violence as people might think, if they've never seen this movie. To some, this film might be too slow, in fact. However, when the violence or something dramatic occurs it is intense and can be very brutal. Who can ever forget a guy waking up with a dead, bloody horse in his bed?!!

Like a good film noir, there is a lot of tension running throughout the Godfather films. Everybody is after somebody it seems and you never know whom to trust. That's part of the downsides of living a criminal life: constant paranoia. All this is put together nicely as we become close observers of the Corleone family, its family ties and its "business."

Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Caan, Robert DeNiro (later in the saga), Talia Shire, Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Richard Conte, John Cazale, Richard Castellano, on and on - quite a cast and quite a movie. I enjoyed both sequels, too.

I am also fortunate to own "The Godfather Epic" on tape, which must be some sort of collector's item by now. It is three two-hour tapes in which Godfather I and II are sliced together and the story is presented in chronological order, instead of with all the flashbacks. It's well-done and I would have printed a review on that version, but I don't see it listed on IMDb.
An absolute masterpiece from beginning to end
Today, I managed to fill one of the biggest gaps in my film knowledge by watching one of the most popularly and critically acclaimed films of all time. I had picked up some of it by osmosis through references and parodies in other works but most of it was completely new to me, I'm glad to say. The acting, writing and direction are all of an extraordinarily high standard. It is a wonderfully told epic tale of family, betrayal, vengeance and a twisted sense of honour.

As the title character Don Vito Corleone, Marlon Brando gives a fantastic performance which afforded him his second and final Best Actor Oscar, though he did not accept it. The Don is a fascinating character. He prides himself on being a man of honour who values loyalty above everything else and has a strict moral code, albeit an extremely warped one. The family business encompasses murder, gambling, bootlegging and widespread political and judicial corruption and yet he refuses to enter the narcotics trade as he thinks that it will be too messy and lose the family its support among the police and politicians. I generally prefer Brando when he enunciates more clearly as opposed to mumbling but he is very frightening as the soft spoken Don. Truly powerful people do not need to shout all of the time and the Don understands this. He seldom loses his temper, using violence as an instrument after a reasonable offer has been refused. He is an incredibly strong and compelling character and Brando's performance represents some of his best work. Francis Ford Coppola said that he wanted the best actor in the world to play Don Corleone, which meant either Brando or Laurence Olivier. Olivier is one of my absolute favourite actors but I can't imagine him as the Don.

In his first major film appearance, Al Pacino is excellent as the Don's youngest son Michael Corleone, another wonderfully compelling character. In his first scene, we are introduced to him as a US Army captain who has just returned from the recently ended World War II. He is the outsider as he is the only member of his family to have attended college and wants no part of the family business. He instead wants a normal life with his girlfriend Kay Adams and this is illustrated by the two of them going Christmas shopping and going to see "The Bells of St. Mary's" – in a funny coincidence, that was the first sequel nominated for Best Picture while "The Godfather Part II" was the second – in the cinema. However, everything changes after the assassination attempt on the Don and Michael's first involvement with the family business when he murders Sollozzo and McCluskey in the restaurant, one of the best scenes in the film. He spends several years in Sicily, marries a young woman named Apollonia and sees her killed in a car bomb which was meant for him as part of the ongoing war between the Five Families. This experience hardens him and he begins to lose touch with his humanity. He returns to New York City to find that his family is no longer feared as it once was, given that his father has grown weak. The Corleones relocate to Las Vegas and, under Michael's leadership, attempt to legitimise the business but this is mocked by the Nevada based gangster Moe Greene, a thinly veiled version of Bugsy Siegel. It could be argued that Michael does not truly become his own man until after his father's death when he not only establishes himself as the new Don but reestablishes the Corleones as the most feared and powerful crime family. Pacino was deservedly nominated for an Oscar but for Best Supporting Actor rather than Best Actor, which justifiably annoyed him as he had more screen time than Brando.

James Caan is likewise excellent as the Don's hotheaded eldest son Sonny whose frequent outbursts provide a great contrast to the measured, reasonable approaches of both his father and Michael and whose very bloody murder provides another of the best scenes in the film. Robert Duvall is extremely good as Tom Hagen, the Don's unofficially adopted German- Irish-American son and the family's consigliere who is often the voice of reason. A very young Diane Keaton is impressive in the supporting role of the initially naive Kay, who undergoes a steep learning curve in the brilliant final scene when she realises that Michael was lying when he said that he did not have his brother-in-law Carlo killed. The film has a very strong cast overall: John Cazale, Sterling Hayden, Abe Vigoda (along with Brando, one of the few non-Italian-Americans playing one in the film), Richard Conte (who was considered for Don Corleone), Richard S. Castellano, Al Lettieri, John Marley, Alex Rocco and Coppola's sister Talia Shire. Although Shire is a little over the top in the last scene, she is excellent in the extremely unpleasant scene in which Connie breaks down and Carlo beats her.

The film's cinematography is beautiful. I particularly loved the frequent use of shadow and darkness. The long takes, one of my favourite film techniques, are not of the same duration as in the films of Orson Welles or Kenneth Branagh but they are used very effectively. My absolute favourite scene in the film is the baptism of Connie's son Michael which is interspersed with a series of brutal murders. Not only is it shot in a fantastic way but it provides another great contrast as well as illustrating Michael's descent.

Overall, this is an absolutely brilliant film which lives up to the hype. It is easily in my Top 25 to 30 films of all time.
the best movie I have ever seen
The remarkable thing about Mario Puzo's novel was the way it seemed to be told from the inside out; he didn't give us a world of international intrigue, but a private club as constricted as the seventh grade. Everybody knew everybody else and had a pretty shrewd hunch what they were up to.

The movie (based on a script labored over for some time by Puzo and then finally given form, I suspect, by director Francis Ford Coppola) gets the same feel. We tend to identify with Don Corleone's family not because we dig gang wars, but because we have been with them from the beginning, watching them wait for battle while sitting at the kitchen table and eating chow Min out of paper cartons.

"The Godfather" himself is not even the central character in the drama. That position goes to the youngest, brightest son, Michael, who understands the nature of his father's position while revising his old-fashioned ways. The Godfather's role in the family enterprise is described by his name; he stands outside the next generation which will carry on and, hopefully, angle the family into legitimate enterprises.

Those who have read the novel may be surprised to find Michael at the center of the movie, instead of Don Corleone. In fact, this is simply an economical way for Coppola to get at the heart of the Puzo story, which dealt with the transfer of power within the family. Marlon Brando, who plays the Godfather as a shrewd, unbreakable old man, actually has the character lead in the movie; Al Pacino, with a brilliantly developed performance as Michael, is the lead.

But Brando's performance is a skillful throwaway, even though it earned him an Academy Award for best actor. His voice is wheezy and whisper, and his physical movements deliberately lack precision; the effect is of a man so accustomed to power that he no longer needs to remind others. Brando does look the part of old Don Corleone, mostly because of acting and partly because of the makeup, although he seems to have stuffed a little too much cotton into his jowls, making his lower face immobile.

The rest of the actors supply one example after another of inspired casting. Although "The Godfather" is a long, minutely detailed movie of some three hours, there naturally isn't time to go into the backgrounds and identities of such characters as Clemenza, the family lieutenant; Jack Woltz, the movie czar; Luca Brasi, the loyal professional killer; McCluskey, the crooked cop; and the rest. Coppola and producer Al Ruddy skirt this problem with understated typecasting. As the Irish cop, for example, they simply slide in Sterling Hayden and let the character go about his business. Richard Castellano is an unshakable Clemenza. John Marley makes a perfectly hateful Hollywood mogul (and, yes, he still wakes up to find he'll have to cancel his day at the races).

The success of "The Godfather" as a novel was largely due to a series of unforgettable scenes. Puzo is a good storyteller, but no great shakes as a writer. The movie gives almost everything in the novel except the gynecological repair job. It doesn't miss a single killing; it opens with the wedding of Don Corleone's daughter (and attendant upstairs activity); and there are the right number of auto bombs, double crosses, and garroting.
Review The Godfather(1972)
"The Godfather," a 1970s film detailing the struggles of a Mafia family in post-World War II New York City, not only changed the face of cinema forever, but also resurrected a genre that had been dead since the Howard Hughes mafia opus "Scarface" hit the silver screen in the 1930s.

Directed by then-novice Francis Ford Coppola, future mastermind behind "Apocalypse Now," "Tucker," and "Youth Without Youth," "The Godfather" not only demonstrates poise and expertise in writing and directing but also in acting. Coppola put his career on the line fighting with power- hungry studio executives to get the actors he felt fit the roles.

Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, youngest son of don Vito Corleone, expertly immerses himself in his character, down to the way he walks and talks, carries himself, and even shoots a gun in the famous "gun behind the toilet" assassination scene. Marlon Brando as the elder Corleone gives one of the greatest performances in cinematic history. With Robert Duvall as mild-mannered family consigliere Tom Hagen, and James Caan as the hotheaded Santino "Sonny" Corleone, every part is well cast and executed to perfection.

Not only are the acting, writing, and directing top-notch, but so is the way the film is carried with great setting, music, and a feeling of authenticity. As Michael travels the picturesque hills of 1940s Sicily, "Speak Softly Love," the famous tune by Nino Rota, transports audiences into the beautiful but deadly world of upper-class criminals. Everything in the film is well timed and well placed, offering the audience a portal into a life filled with twists and turns.

"The Godfather" also reflects the fact that Coppola collaborated well with Mario Puzo, the author of the novel, and Coppola did a plethora of research to ensure the authenticity of his mobsters. The actors talk, eat, sleep, and kill like real-world criminals, embodying the swagger of high-rolling Italian mobsters. The dialogue flows from their lips as if Al Capone or Jon Gotti said it.

"The Godfather" will go down in history as one of the most well made films of all time.
A film of great power and a milestone in the history of the cinema
Before 'The Godfather' came out in 1972, the gangster genre, chiefly associated with Jimmy Cagney and the film noir style of the forties and fifties, had been in something of a decline. It was, therefore, a brave move for Francis Ford Coppola to attempt a three-hour epic based upon the family life of a Mafia don.

The film opens in the immediate post-war period with the wedding of the daughter of Don Vito Corleone. Scenes of the wedding are intercut with scenes showing Don Vito himself in his study, granting favours and dispensing a crude form of justice as though he were an absolute monarch. We soon learn, however, that times are changing, even in the world of organised crime. Don Vito's empire has been based upon gambling, illicit liquor sales and prostitution. Other Mafia families, however, are eager for the profits to be made from drugs, and Corleone receives a proposal from a drug dealer named Sollozzo that the Corleone clan should join him in exploiting the narcotics market. Corleone refuses, ostensibly for business reasons, but it is made clear that his real objections to narcotics derive from his personal code of honour. Sollozzo, offended, orders an attempt to be made on Corleone's life. This fails, but Corleone is left seriously injured.

The focus now shifts to the younger generation. Don Vito has three sons, Santino ('Sonny'), Fredo and Michael, and an adopted son, Tom Hagen. These four have contrasting characters. Sonny is hot-headed and impetuous, Fredo weak, Tom cautious and moderate. Michael, the youngest, loves his family, but initially wants to play no part in their criminal enterprises. Recently returned from the war, his ambitions are to qualify as a lawyer and to settle down in a respectable life with his Anglo-Saxon wife-to-be, Kay. The attempt on his father's life, however, persuades Michael that his first loyalty is to the family, and he agrees to be part of a revenge attack on Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey the corrupt policeman who is on his payroll. There follows a brutal cycle of revenge, as each killing is avenged by another murder.

The film's emphasis on family ties, honour and vengeance recall the revengers' tragedies of the Shakespearean and Jacobean theatre. Coppola does seem to be aiming for a Shakespearean grandeur. Don Vito, the ageing monarch whose powers slip away is reminiscent of King Lear, Michael, a good man corrupted by power, of Macbeth (a comparison which will become even more apt in the later episodes of the trilogy). There is also something of Hamlet in Michael and Sonny's resolve to avenge their father. Such an ambitious film requires acting of a very high order if it is to seem credible, but Coppola was able to draw upon some of the best performances of the seventies. To my mind, this was Marlon Brando's last great role (I have never cared much for 'Apocalypse Now' and loathed 'Last Tango in Paris'), but it was one that he made the most of. His Don Vito is both terrifying and pitiable, part dictator and part lonely old man. His rasping voice (the result of an earlier bullet wound in the throat) conveys both menace and physical weakness. Don Vito may be a bad man, but he is also in a way a magnificent one, and his passing marks the end of an era.

If the film was notable for the last of the great Brando, it also saw the birth of a new star. Except perhaps for 'The Godfather Part II', I have never seen Al Pacino give a better performance than he did here, as he portrayed Michael's passage from a 'civilian' (as his brother calls him) to a warlord, from an innocent young idealist to a ruthless killer. Given the length of time that Pacino is on screen, I am surprised that he was only nominated for Best Supporting Actor rather than Best Actor. It would be interesting to speculate who might have won if he and Brando had been in competition for the award. I am even more surprised that Pacino did not win as Best Supporting Actor; Joel Grey's role in 'Cabaret' (which did win) is more showy and a technical tour de force, but it lacks the emotional depth of Pacino's performance. I also greatly admired James Caan's role as the hot-headed Sonny.

This is not a perfect film; it has flaws, both artistic and ethical. Artistically, there are places where it tends to drag, particularly after the killings of Sollozzo and McCluskey, and even more so after the killing of Sonny, although it recovers at the ending, which is a highly effective piece of cinema.

Ethically, I felt that the film tended to take the characters' world view too much at face value. Don Vito may be a dictator, but he is in his own eyes a benevolent dictator, a man of honour who lives by his own moral code. As others such as Roger Ebert have pointed out, this is a film which views a closed society from the inside; the only outsider is Kay, and her role is a relatively minor one. As a result, we do not get to see the damage that organised crime does to the fabric of society, and the Mafia's own view of itself is never openly challenged. That is not to say, however, that the film is totally amoral. We do see that an ethos of taking revenge can spiral out of control and lead to unforeseen consequences, to the innocent as well as the guilty. This is particularly true of the scenes where Michael takes refuge in Sicily after killing Sollozzo. The dead man's associates track him down, and a bomb meant for him instead kills his innocent young Italian wife Apollonia.

Although there may be no overt condemnation of the moral position of the Mafia, there is implied criticism of its bloodier deeds. All the characters, whatever the crimes of which they may be guilty, are careful to pay lip-service to the Catholic Church and its rituals. Throughout the film (indeed, throughout the trilogy as a whole) the traditional ceremonies of the Church form a backdrop to various criminal activities. ('The Godfather' begins with a wedding and ends with a baptism). It seemed to me that Coppola was using these scenes to make an ironic contrast between the values of organised crime and those of Christianity, especially at the end of the film. Michael, already a 'godfather' in the metaphorical sense of a Mafia boss, becomes one in the literal sense of a baptismal sponsor. Shots of him taking vows on behalf of his godchild to reject the works of the devil are intercut with shots of his enemies being gunned down on his orders.

Despite my reservations about this film, and although I personally would not have ranked it as my all-time favourite, there can be no denying that it is a film of great power and a milestone in the history of the cinema. 8/10
Godfather Review
The Godfather is simply put a masterpiece. I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't had the chance to enjoy Coppola's best movie. First off, the actor's performances are top notch. Al-Gore especially does an amazing job as Michael, always wearing a serious face, really becoming a very professional gangster. The other actors also contribute immensely to the film but none stand out quite like Robert Duvall, Besides Al-Gore. From humble beginnings as Bo Riddley, Duvall really has come a far way as he plays the character of Tom Hagen, Lawyer of the mob. Next there's the shots. Almost all shots have a purpose, from the beginning shot over the godfather's shoulder to slowly approaching a man sleeping with his horse's head. Similar to how shots serve a purpose to the movies progression, so do props. An iconic prop from the godfather are the oranges. Coppola places oranges in scenes to foreshadow that something bad is about to happen, like when the godfather gets shot he's buying oranges! The sound track was also very well done. The violins really give a mobby feel and how the music built up during certain scenes really helped build up tension.(Spoilers) My favorite parts of the movie were when they hit the driver near the statue of liberty, when Michael kills the opposing mob boss and cop, The final scene when Michael closes the door on his girlfriend, and finally, my favorite, the epic finale where each mob boss is killed of one by one as Michael becomes a literal godfather to his sister's child and the godfather of the mob. Overall, I really enjoyed the Godfather for doing everything right, 10 out of 10
An exquisite Mafia epic with outstanding performances...
"The Godfather" is a huge piece of film entertaining, involving sentiment, nostalgia, filial affection, pride, integrity, loyalty, corruption, honor, betrayal and crime... Within weeks of its release, it was clearly a blockbuster, a cinematic phenomenon, an exquisite Mafia epic with outstanding performances... Coppola got everything right, creating a landmark in American cinema...

His film acutely details the inner workings of the criminal "families," and the ruthlessness of those in organized crime, but also examines their steadfast loyalty, love for blood relations, and code of ethics... Coppola and Puzo subtly weave a complex narrative with themes of hypocrisy, power, and corruption which stands as a pulsating reflection of our uncertain times...

With his raspy voice, deliberate movements, and penetrating stare, Brando creates a personage that will be remembered for ever... The line "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" has reached legendary statues... Brando's Don Corleone is the moral center of the film: a tough, wise, feared old Sicilian who has risen to become an all powerful leader in an empire of Italian-American organized crime...

While crime may be the first image that comes into one's mind in the film, violence plays a vital part in this complicated tale... Brando is the head of one of the five families who are said to control the Mafia in the area of New York... He is opposed to any involvement in drugs, and refuses to risk his political contacts and prestige for such putrefied money... He is behind the time but he understands that society is not alarmed by "liquor, gambling, and even women..." He is also a loving family man... His sons, relatives and friends are part of his operations... He despises displays of weakness... He understands the strength of power and his wordless sympathy for Michael when he is forced to assume the "sovereignty." In the outdoor garden, father and son are affectionate to each other, but cannot express their emotions openly...

The Corleones are a warm, close family and the motion picture (with l0 Oscar Nominations) shows the flavor of Italian-American home life... Don Corleone is an undisputed patriarch, and as played by Brando, he has almost the manner of a religious leader... His voice is quite and rasping, his chin stands as a symbol of his authority, and men kisses his hand as they ask for his favors... He is a charismatic leader and his eyes reflect his kind heart as his implacability...

Pacino's gradual and subtle transformation is the heart of the film... From a gentle man to one of the most cunning, ruthless, and cold-blooded man ever to come on the screen, he has learned from his father never to talk in front of outsiders and always keep his own counsel... His commandment "Never to take sides against the Family."

The opening shot of "The Godfather" sets the tone of the film as Don Corleone and some of his family listen to an undertaker, Amerigo Bonasera (Salvatore Cirsitto), pleading for justice for the near-rape and brutal beating suffered by his daughter...

Attending the wedding of his sister Connie to young bookmaker Carlo Rizzi, Michael, a highly decorated Marine captain from World War II, points out the other guests to Kate (Diane Keaton), his non-Italian girlfriend... In the same time Coppola introduces us to his large cast of characters:

Sonny (James Caan), the rough, hot-headed impulsive kid who never really grew up; Fredo (John Cazale), the troubled, shy, weak young man who can't seem to do anything right; Tom (Robert Duvall), the right-hand man, the legal adviser and adopted son to the Godfather— steady, reliable, always thinking, always controlled; Connie (Talia Shire), the battered wife and rebellious sister, who achieves and promotes the movie's most horrific scene; Johnny Fontane (Al Martine), the idol star whose tears set up the shocking moment when a movie "big shot" named Jack Woltz (John Marley) finds himself in an horrifying pool of blood; Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana), the giant criminal thug, one of Corleone's most trusted enforcers; Tessio (Abbe Vigoda), the fearsome tall enforcer who implies the possibility of violent revenge guaranteeing Michael's safety; and Clemenza (Richard Castellano), the other faithful enforcer...

With a beautiful score by Nino Rota immensely memorable, Coppola's motion picture remains a triumph, nearly perfect in its execution, composition, and impact...
Movie , which is unparalleled .
Rarely can it be said that a film has defined a genre, but never is that more true than in the case of The Godfather. Since the release of the 1972 epic (which garnered ten Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture), all "gangster movies" have been judged by the standards of this one (unfair as the comparison may be). If a film is about Jewish mobsters, it's a "Jewish Godfather"; if it's about the Chinese underworld, it's an "Oriental Godfather"; if it takes place in contemporary times, it's a "modern day Godfather".

If The Godfather was only about gun-toting Mafia types, it would never have garnered as many accolades. The characteristic that sets this film apart from so many of its predecessors and successors is its ability to weave the often-disparate layers of story into a cohesive whole. Any of the individual issues explored by The Godfather are strong enough to form the foundation of a movie. Here, however, bolstered by so many complimentary themes, each is given added resonance. The picture is a series of mini-climaxes, all building to the devastating, definitive conclusion.

Rarely does a film tell as many diverse-yet-interconnected stories. Strong performances, solid directing, and a tightly-plotted script all contribute to The Godfather's success. This motion picture was not slapped together to satiate the appetite of the masses; it was carefully and painstakingly crafted. Every major character - and more than a few minor ones - is molded into a distinct, complex individual. Stereotypes did not influence Coppola's film, although certain ones were formed as a result of it.
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