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Plot: The story begins as "Don" Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia "family", oversees his daughter's wedding. His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father's business. Through Michael's life the nature of the family business becomes clear. The business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and benevolent to those who give respect, but given to ruthless violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family. Don Vito lives his life in the way of the old country, but times are changing and some don't want to follow the old ways and look out for community and "family". An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don's influence to further his plan. The clash of the Don's fading old world values and the new ways will demand a terrible price, especially from Michael, all for the sake of the family. Runtime: 175 mins Release Date: 23 Mar 1972
"The Godfather" is pretty much flawless, and one of the greatest films ever made (by SJ_1)
Rather than concentrating on everything that is great about The Godfather, a much easier way for me to judge its quality is on what is bad about it. Almost every film has something that I don't like about it, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't change anything about The Godfather. There is nothing weak about it and nothing that stands out as bad. That's why it gets ten out of ten.This is one of those films that made me wonder why I hadn't seen it earlier. The acting from everyone involved is great, Marlon Brando comes across perfectly as the head of the family, and James <more>
Caan and Al Pacino are excellent as his sons. The soundtrack by Nino Rota is also very memorable, bringing back memories of the film every time I hear it. The plot has to be excellent for it to get ten out of ten, and it is, it's far from predictable and the film is the definition of a great epic.The film is pretty shocking in the way every death occurs almost instantaneously, and as it spans ten years so many different things happen and every minute of it is great entertainment. It's a well-made and entertaining film that is only the first part of a trilogy, but it stands on its own as a wonderful film in its own right. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? This was one acclaimed film that didn't disappoint.
This movie is strong, good script, great casting, excellent acting, and over the top directing. It is hard to fine a movie done this well, it is 29 years old and has aged well. Even if the viewer does not like mafia type of movies, he or she will watch the entire film, the audiences is glued to what will happen next as the film progresses. Its about, family, loyalty, greed, relationships, and real life. This is a great mix, and the artistic style make the film memorable.
For me it isn't "the greatest ever", but it's still great (by BrandtSponseller)
Marlon Brando is Don Vito Corleone, head of perhaps the most powerful New York-area mafia family in the 1940s, in this well-respected film by director/writer Francis Ford Coppola. As the film begins, Vito is receiving "business" guests in his office at his home while his daughter Connie's Talia Shire wedding and reception are taking place. The epic plot takes place over many years, telling the story of Vito, his family--including Michael Al Pacino , Santino James Caan and Tom Hagen Robert Duvall , his associates, and their interactions with other mob syndicates.The <more>
Godfather is commonly considered to be one of the "greatest films of all time". Even though I've given it a 10, I wouldn't put that same kind of exalted emphasis on it. I've given literally thousands of films 10s over the years, and for me, Godfather just barely made a 10. I think it has a number of flaws, but Coppola also has a knack for transcending the problems with some brilliant move or another. At any rate, it is definitely must-see viewing--even if it's only because it's so highly regarded--if you've not experienced the film yet. I think it's a good idea to attain cultural literacy, and films as popularly loved as The Godfather become necessary elements in achieving that literacy.Shorn of its gangster trappings, The Godfather is sprawling and soap-operatic in tone. The sprawl is appropriate to its origins as a novel by Mario Puzo, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Coppola. There is a large cast of characters--maybe too large, as it can be difficult to keep track of just who everyone is. Even after you've watched the film a couple times you may find scenes where mobsters seem to spontaneously appear and you catch yourself saying, "Wait, who is that guy supposed to be again?" The soap opera angle can be a positive or negative depending on your tastes. I tend to not like soap-operatic stories, but of course Coppola put yummy gangster topping on this one to make it palatable for guys like me. At root, though, The Godfather is concerned with realistic depictions of a very dysfunctional family as they try to make it through life--including marriages, births, adultery, spats between family members, tiffs with others in their community, and so on. My theory is that the soap opera angle accounts for much of the film's appeal. For me, it and the slight lack of focus from the sprawl accounts for much of the reason that I barely gave the film a 10.But two things help the film transcend a lower score for me. Even though the gangster stuff has been far surpassed in graphic brutality in the intervening years, the dramatic context of the violence usually gives it tremendous impact. Films like Ichi the Killer 2001 , which I just watched for the first time the night before watching The Godfather again, make the Godfather's brutality fit for Sesame Street in comparison. However, although Ichi's violence is effective, setting that knob to "11" doesn't make it better. Besides, Ichi is so over the top that it would make many Godfather fans want to hurl.To the extent that Coppola and Puzo just focus on the extended Corleone family, they create tremendous depth in their relationships. The whole film can be looked at as a fascinating depiction of "oscillating" dynamics in the family, with the pole pairs being interacting/distancing, control/lack of control, benevolence/malevolence. Most character stances and actions are some combination of those ranges of characteristics, and everyone dances around the poles, so to speak, throughout the film. From this angle, even the attractive surface violence well, attractive to us fans of that stuff in artworks is mainly there for the purpose of pushing characters more to one pole or the other. There is an implication that underlying these mechanisms is some natural tendency towards achieving a dynamic equilibrium.But there are more superficial stylistic factors that help push my score up to a 10, also. The most obvious, which everyone and their grandparents have mentioned, are the performances. It's tough to go wrong when you have a cast including Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton, and so on. Another commonly mentioned element that I agree is fantastic and superbly integrated to create atmosphere is Nino Rota's score.Less often mentioned is the consistently intriguing cinematography by Gordon Willis. Most of Willis' unusual shots in the film are so subtle as to be barely noticeable unless you're looking for them. The opening, for example, consists of a long it lasts a few minutes "zoom out" from Amerigo Bonasera Salvatore Corsitto . The shot is beautifully lit--most of the frame is extremely dark, giving Bonasera a chiaroscuro effect the opening is also unusual in that it's a long monologue from a minor character .Willis and Coppola have a knack for placing their actors in the frame to create depth and interesting visual patterns. This is done so slyly that at first blush you wouldn't believe it's something they thought about, but if you keep this in mind while watching, you can see delightful visual paths that zigzag, wind to a focal point, and so on, all created by the confluence of actors and scenery in the frame.If you haven't seen The Godfather before, the most important thing you can do before watching is to forget about all of the "greatest film of all time" hype. That's only likely to set up expectations that could never be met; more than likely you'll be disappointed. Just think of it as one of the better films from one of Hollywood's more admirable but relatively odder directors, featuring earlier performances from a very well known cast, and keep in mind that it's as much a "historical family saga" as a crime or gangster film.
This is by far the best movie ever to give a portrait organized crime, this movie goes deep inside and shows it all inside out..With superb acting by especially Al Pacino as Mike Corleone and Marlon Brando as Don Vito corleone this movie shows how one of the head mafia families in New York works, it gives a detailed picture of how their business runs and what kinda chances they got to take on their business, for example their denial to step inside the narcotic business brings on alot of troubles, but also it shows what kinda sacrifices they make, every day could be their last day..Al Pacino <more>
shines above all in this movie, as the smart boy of the family he returns after fighting a war for his country, at that time not involved in the family business, but it doesn't take long before the war breaks lose and he see no other ways than to step in and fight for his family.This is definetely a "must see" masterpiece.
The Godfather is one of the very few films that doesn't have a single flaw. Seeing The Godfather for the first time was the most amazing movie experiences of my life. There's scenes that stay with you when the movies over, and you don't forget them. Everyone makes the mistake of calling this film a movie about crime. Its really a movie about family. The dialogue is just unbelievable. I've seen the movie at least 30, 40 times, and I'm still amazed at how perfect it is. The music, the acting, everything. People think that Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever made...well, <more>
there's no way that ANYONE can think that Citizen Kane is more moving, and has a better storyline than The Godfather. The thing I find so amazing about The Godfather is how Michael Al Pacino changes throughout the movie. Its my opinion that this is the greatest movie ever made, and I doubt that anyone can watch this movie, and think I'm crazy.
An important place in American history is the period when several thousand Sicilian emigrants went to the United States in search of a new, better life, in which there would be no tyranny of the Palermo and Messinxich dons. Who knew at that time that this "bunch of Sicilian emigrants" would occupy a high place in the United States and in the history of this country.Sicily is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Unfortunately Sicilians, quite friendly inhabitants of this island, the words-synonyms of Sicily are not only olives, butter and wine, but also words like omerta, <more>
vendetta and mafia. Yes, the mafia. A small bunch of bandit mackerel in Sicily, run by the Don. In the US, this word took a slightly different meaning. A huge number of gangsters who seek to conquer and rule all the States. A family is a mafia, a mafia is a family headed by a cruel and wise person who manages everything and who owns everything. Proudly and shortly - don.Mario Puzo is a brilliant writer, rightly considered to be a recognized classic of the twentieth-century literature, having written several excellent and worthy works, the best of which is undoubtedly the novel "The Godfather". A book about the life of gangsters and revealing all the doors to the world of the mafia. Mario Puzo was a great connoisseur of human psychology, but the psychology of people who transgressed the law especially. That is why in his novel he explores each character to the depths of his soul and climbs into the most intimate corners of their thoughts.The novel, and indeed, the film - is not a direct and reliable historical source, but, nevertheless, it contains the quintessence of the criminal world. Five families of New York Piuso wrote from the real five families of New York, Johnny Fontaine Puzo wrote from Frank Sinatra. The literature was tired of books about Al Capone and Frank Costello, and Puzo made a move to a horse-invented a criminal family that was not really there, but which subsequently won, without exaggeration, the whole world.It often happens that the director, when stating a picture, leaves the original and is engaged in arbitrariness. Francis Ford Coppola director is no less brilliant than the rest of the directors. He squeezed everything that can be learned from the novel Puzo and put it into the film. Doing nothing without adding something new or removing something from the book, Coppola and Puzo created a masterpiece. A masterpiece in everything. Mario Puzo's book became a masterpiece of literature, and Francis Ford Coppola created the film - a masterpiece, a film - a classic that just can not help but like it. Coppola not only superbly put the film, but simply brilliantly picked up the actors. Who knows what was the fate of the film without Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. Coppola skillfully created the atmosphere of New York at the end of the forties, but also the atmosphere of family life, the life of people from Sicily.Vito Carleone is a wise and cruel man with clear principles, a loving but stern father. Marlon Brando was just awesome dona Carleone. His character is a serious strategist who has achieved power and respect himself. Don Carleone's sad gaze, his smooth gestures, his unique voice and his unforgettable "bulldog jaw" forever blended into the image of the viewer.Don Carleone - this is Marlon Brando - sloven and lover in life, but on the screen - a genius who embodied the image of Don Carleone - a strong spirit of a man and a cruel gangster, who has enormous authority. Vito Carleone is a very impressive person who knew how to get others to do things their own way. Marlon Brando with his game was able to make the viewer believe that before him is not just an actor playing a role, but a real person is that same severe don. Brando is a great improvisator.Michael Carleone character is no less interesting than his father. Michael is kind-hearted and truthful, knowing what his father does, he never wanted to deal with his family and participate in criminal quarrels. Al Pacino played his character no less brilliant than Marlon Brando. Pacino showed all the destruction of the human psyche and the transformation of his hero: from the uninitiated in the affairs of the family of the young war hero, to the new Don Carleone, possessing an iron will, foresight, wisdom and dignity. Sonny Carleone is not at all like Michael and Vito. He is an impulsive warrior, but a bad strategist who prefers to go ahead, not act cunning. Coppola did not lose on the fact that he called for the role of an American from Sicily. James Caan brilliantly played the role of Sonny - a man with an explosive Italian temperament, ready to always stand up for the family.In addition to the brilliant acting and excellent production in the film, there is the wonderful music of the composer Nina Rota. An excellent melody, fallen in love with everyone and has long become a classic."Godfather" is a masterpiece, an ideal gangster movie. The film without minuses, blunders and cliches, which pulls to review, even if you know it by heart. This is a classic, a gangster epic, a bible for cinephiles, giving answers to all the questions. A movie that teems with crown phrases that have long since become part of everyday life. A worthy picture, without exaggeration, is the best in its kind."Behind every wealth lies a crime" c - it is this phrase Honore De Balzac stands at the beginning of the work of Puzo. The film, if briefly, actually about it. And about the proposal, "from which you can not refuse" c .
One thing that's a bit annoying when seeing `The Godfather' is the sense that, as a viewer, you feel you are required to bow down before this film and worship it as movie perfection, or else reveal yourself to be a person of no taste. Well, I can definitely acknowledge that this is a very good movie, but not necessarily great, nor is it on my personal favorites list. For starters, while this definitely gives you some great characters and atmosphere, there's really nothing in this movie that you couldn't get from reading the book. In fact, the strength of this film comes from <more>
the way the director and actors faithfully bring the novel to life.What's best? No question - the acting. Judged on that scale alone, it gets a 10. I cannot disagree with those who state that this combines the best acting performances in American film history. The directing and scriptwriting are also very good, worthy of at least a 9. What's not so good? The pacing. As others have noted, this film can be boring at times. Most notably, at least for me, was the time spent showing Mike in Sicily after he shot the cop and the Turk. Other than getting married, it doesn't really show him doing much of anything, nor does it really contribute much to the story. In contrast, the book made this particular sub-plot far more interesting and relevant.And that, at heart, is my problem. I've seen the movie and I've read the book. And I far more enjoyed the latter. The book gives all sorts of details the movie skips. For example, in the film, Al Neri is just a guy dressed up as a cop who performs as one of Mike's hit men. In the book, we learn how he went from being a good cop with a bad temper to taking over the role once held by Luca Brasi another character who is developed far more fully in the book .So there you have it. On the one hand, you have to intellectually acknowledge the great talent displayed in the making of this film, but on the other, I must admit it just isn't very satisfying emotionally. These characters seem cold and distant, and I never really cared much for any of them. In that respect, I much more preferred "Goodfellas". The acting wasn't as good, but the characters were far more engaging and the pacing much more lively. In short, `The Godfather' is sort of like a great, but somber, piece of music, something you can admire but not dance to.8/10
A film of great power and a milestone in the history of the cinema (by JamesHitchcock)
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 <more>
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
Quite possibly the MOST over rated film in history. Never has there been so much made of so little. It is an OK movie if you like discriminate killing and foul language and the glorification of "gang" lifestyle. This movie hardly belongs in the top 50 let alone be in the #1 spot. Do you know what the saddest part of this movie is? That it was remade two more times with the Godfather III being quite possible the worst remake EVER. I'm not saying you won't like the movie. It is entertaining at times and certainly some very good lines have come from the movie. I just can't <more>
stand when movies can't stand up to their own hype.