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Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Francis Ford Coppola


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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
The Godfather 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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The Pioneer of All Filmmaking
The Godfather is one of the most iconic films in cinema history. There are three points in the film that made it stand alone: direction, acting, and writing.

The direction of this film was great! Frances Fran Coppela really knows how to make a great film. Like Steven Spilberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, and so many others, he as list himself as one of the most greatest directors in Hollywood. He's my role model.

The acting was terrible, just kidding! :) The Acting was amazing. Marlon Brando carries the anchor of this movie, but Al Pacino holds it carefully. The cast of this movie was a good example of cast chemistry. Great Cast!

The Writing was awesome. Coppela knows what he is doing when he is writing a script to a major blockbuster hit. That's why he's my role model.

The Godfather is one my favorite films of all time. I would recommend you see this movie. It's awesome.
The Story of Michael Corleone Begins In The Godfather
Legendary actor Marlon Brando and Al Pacino,a young upstart who is only appearing on his third film and second major film role star in this classic film based on the bestselling novel by Mario Puzo about the mob in "The Godfather".

This arguably the best film made in cinema history tells the story of the Corleone organized crime family and the succession of the leadership of the family from the aging Don Vito Corleone,portrayed by Brando in an Oscar winning role, to his youngest son,Michael,portrayed by Pacino.Other members of the cast include James Caan, Robert Duvall,Diane Keaton,John Cazale and Talia Shire.The film directed by Francis Ford Coppola tells the story of how Michael's transformation from being an outsider into becoming the mob boss and how the Corleone family were able to retain the power the family has enjoyed under Don Vito against the rival families such as the Tattaglias and the Barzinis.

No question that this film has remained popular among movie fans after more than 40 years it has been released theatrically. It provides a great story of the mob that was actually based on real- life gangsters and it provides the movie fan a view about gangsterism. Added to that,we also will get intrigued on the transformation of Michael from a war hero and an idealistic young man into ruthless and cold-hearted character as he assumes the position of the Godfather.The story clearly explains everything from the moment that his father Don Vito was almost assassinated until he decided to kill enemies of the family such as Virgin Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey and the untimely death of his Sicilian wife Apollonia,who was killed when the car she was driving was bombed. Aside from having a great story,there were a lot of interesting characters in addition to Don Vito and Michael such as Sonny Corleone,Tom Hagen,Kay Adams-Corleone, Connie Corleone and many others.Great performances by the thespians who portrayed them contributed a lot to these colorful characters.Finally,the script written by Coppola and Puzo remain memorable after many years as many of the dialogues continue to be popular such as "I will given him an offer he cannot refuse" and many others.No question that the screenplay being imitated and lampooned for so many years is a testament to its continuous popularity.

After having stated all these characteristics of cinematic excellence,there is no question that "The Godfather" remains to arguably the best film ever made.
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.
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 perfect mobster movie and much more
The Godfather is a film of undeniable triumph; everything from the set to the sound and lighting, the score to the amazing cast, is perfect and Francis Ford Coppola's vision does justice to Mario Puzo's stylish crime novel, with the author partnering with Coppola on the screenplay. The film is a masterpiece of acting and direction, with Coppola's influence clear, and the work of stars such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert Duvall centre-stage in a beautifully dark and corrupt tale of a powerful Italian crime family. Never has the Mafia been better depicted in cinema, and I opine never will it be again.
Magnificent portrait of organized crime
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 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 Geatest Movie Ever Made
You can't really criticize a film like "The Godfather", especially from a younger-type guy like me. Since its release in 1972, "The Godfather" has been highly praised by fans universally. It's extremely hard for a person who has never seen "The Godfather" without having high expectations because millions of people, maybe more have been talking about how wonderful it is. But as a film critic who has seen the movie several times and has read the novel that it was based on by Mario Puzo, this movie really deserves the credibility it gets. It really is that special. The film is a gripping epic that indulges the viewer with plenty of unsuspecting twists and a plot that works in a multitude of dimensions. The mobster's depicted here face many trials and tribulation that involve marriage, favours, family struggles, turncoats, tragic events, violence and rigor mortis.

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the head patriarch and kingpin of his esteemed enterprise is acquainted to at his daughter's wedding, which is a special occurrence in Italian tradition (Sicilian in particular) where the father of the bride is to refrain from offering the groom any special favours. His representatives showing their signs of respect towards the Don are featured in the opening scenes are told through their ways of personal address and greeting regimentations. The Don is to be treated with respect and dignity, a man who follows his own frame of mind to what is fair, and will likely deny any means of avenge. As an example, if anyone was to fondle with his daughter in any kind of way grounds for murder. It's not revenge, as long as your daughter's still breathing.

There are also numerous facets that indicate how not so respected the Don really is. Vito comes from the old school of Mafia, and can be labeled as a "Moustache" Pete. For one, unlike his adversaries, he refuses to get involved with drugs or smuggling for that matter. It this is much to the chagrin of other rival mob units in the state of New York. The violence is described disturbingly as nothing personal, it's just business. The philosophy behind this organized crime is chilling, but quite convincing. The violence is creepily accepted and sometimes happens all of the sudden. Suddenly, the Corleone enterprise falls on its foundations, and it's up to the next generation to restore the family so it could be ranked as the top of the best mob families.

The cast features a myriad of talented performers each playing their respective roles flawlessly. The top stars like Brando as Vito, James Caan as the hot-tempered Sonny, Al Pacino as the likable Michael, John Cazale as middle-sibling Fredo, Robert Duvall as mob attorney Tom Hagen, Richard Castellano as Clemenza, Abe Vigoda as Tessio and Diane Keaton as Kay Adams are what I may have expected what the characters from Puzo's book look like physically. Even the smaller roles deserve special credit. The performances were absolutely amazing. The characters in the film compliment the characters from the novel and it is mainly due to the physical structuring and the carefully planned interpretation.

The novel this movie was based on by Mario Puzo deserves praise in itself. Even though this movie was a fictional, there are a lot of authentic features that make every scene and every chapter to be real. I guess people when they think of mob bosses they visualize a supreme Don, sitting in his chair with a long facial expression contemplating with endless level-headedness and leadership. "The Godfather" is a marvel from both the film and the novel and it is hard to determine what medium is the better of the two.

If there is one thing that the book is better would be character development. Al Pacino's Michael Corleone is a more prominent character in the novel than in the movie. Michael's transformation in the movie is at times a bit rushed, while in the book it's handled more gradual. The other character Luca Brasi played by Lenny Montana was a more vital character in the novel, which while he was an ally to the Corleone clan, is marked as a threatening adversary with a dark and dreary secret. In the movie comes across as a big oaf, and not as scary. It's also nice that some of the smaller characters from the novel have engaging back stories like Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden). But that's good for the novel's sake, while the film would result in overdone detailing.

Overall, "The Godfather" is one of the greatest films ever made. Thanks mainly to the crew for creating a well-structured setting that compliments nicely to the characters, the script and most importantly, the direction of Francis Ford Coppola. Hats off to the cinematography from Gordon Willis which is backed nicely by the elegant score from Nino Rota and Carlo Savina. This film truly defines the words "required viewings."
Very Average Film. Very Overrated
Marlon Brando's acting as the Godfather is sublime and this film is worth watching for that.

However I did find the film very long-winded and at times boring. I liked the slow progression of the storyline and understand why Francis Ford Coppola did the film in the way he did. It's just that I felt the film was lacking something. It could have done with a bit more excitement or suspense to make the film more gripping.

Lets just say I watched this film about a year ago and I still haven't seen The Godfather 2, and I am in no hurry to either.

7/10. Average film. Worth watching to say that you have seen it.
The Best Of The Set: By A Mile
Spoilers Ahead;

I am not a big fan of the sequels even the second is a big step down from this one. What a cast? Like an earlier reviewer said; REWATCHABLE!! Yes, I am Italian, not a Sicilian, and I have seen it hundreds of times. What a cast: Brando, Pacino, Caan, Duvall. Even the supporting cast is excellent with the film noir legend Richard Conte as Barzini. Puzo wrote such a rich, deep script. The characters suck you in and are so lifelike. Each brother is radically different from the other. Fredo, the mama's boy, the useless one who Michael kills off in the second one. Sonny, the human volcano, with a temper that has to be seen to be believed. Michael, the quiet and deadly one most like Vito but colder more ruthless. Michael was always outside the family looking in; he was held in contempt by the rest as the soft college boy who didn't want to get his hands dirty. This is the answer to the riddle of how he could kill Fredo, his own brother, later in the second one. Notice where he sits at the wedding, as far away from the family as he can get.

Events suck Michael into their world but he never is really in the family. We see his cruelty by the end of the movie as he slaughters the heads of the five families and his own sister's husband Carlo who fingered Sonny. The key scene for understanding Michael is the baby's baptism; watch the juxtaposition of the images with the words the priest is saying. As he renounces Satan he performs the very actions he is renouncing. Coppola was so good at using images to contradict words; it is really his signature. Pacino becomes the very image of Satan as he murders all those people while standing reciting the holy words of baptism renouncing the very deeds as he is performing them. What a work of art!! Only Francis Coppola could do this.

The film, to be fair to its critics, does gloss over the mafia a bit. We do not see old store owners shaken down with blow torches waved in front of their faces. I do think Puzo and Coppola do show the awful cost of the evil. Even here, Michael slowly transforms from a diffident outcast at the back of the family to a ruthless Don. It appears here that he is like Vito but that illusion is dispelled by his ruthlessness far exceeding Vito's. Michael because he was an outcast simply does not feel the bonds of family as Vito did. There is a coldness about him; he is like an iceberg. The movie is three hours long but it moves very quickly. The only parts that drag are the scenes of michael's exile in Sicily. It really is the story of the brothers and how radically different their fates are; Fredo is sent to Vegas where he becomes a weakling fop beaten up by Moe Greene, Sonny's temper ends up killing him like you always knew it would. Michael gets sucked in; there is always great resentment in Michael for the destiny he never wanted.

The second film shows Michael's estrangement from the family deepening. It culminates in him killing Fredo for putting him at risk. I always think it is important to see Michael as Puzo and Coppola paint him: a loner who protects himself ruthlessly. He really could care less about the family; he is all about power and control. Vito, for all his evil, cared and loved his family very deeply. Look, Fredo almost got him killed when Sollozo's men attacked, he fumbled and dropped his gun. Vito did not kill him; Michael was not so forgiving. It is a true masterpiece. I LOVE IT
The Greatest Movie Ever Made
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, 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.
See Also
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