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The Godfather
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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"I'm Going To Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"
When I first saw The Godfather many years ago, I initially called the film "a long, boring piece of crap." Luckily as I have matured, so have my tastes in cinema. This film is heralded as an American classic, and now I can wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. As famed critic Roger Ebert pointed out, this movie is the one where most people can agree on its quality.

Ultimately, The Godfather is still a very long movie but I have come to appreciate it more with each viewing. The film is obviously about the mafia, but this is a different kind of mafia film. Prior mafia films and even those after this one deals with perspectives from an outsider and their perceptions of violence and death with the mafia. However, this film is told within the confinements of a mafia family. The story is told within the inside and that was a unique story angle at that time. I like how the film doesn't show corruption from the mafia family, the Corleones. There are no civilian casualties from organized crime and the only corrupt person in the film is in the form of a police officer. Don Corleone doesn't believe in dealing with drugs, because of how they affect people. The themes of the Corleone family and the movie itself is family and loyalty. As Michael Corleone points out in the movie, "never take sides against the family." That is when crazy things begin to happen.

The beginning of the movie is very crucial. It is basically a large wedding scene with scenes intercut of Don Corleone in his darkened office taking care of family business. This beginning is important for several reasons. We get the tone of the film and we understand who the Corleone family is. This is also where all the characters are introduced and explained. By the time the scene is over, we get the big picture of the film and we get a sense where the film is heading. The scene is a bit long, but I felt director Francis Ford Coppola did an excellent job on introducing all of his main characters in the film

This is a film about family and it takes advantage of the classic structure of handing power between generations. The patriarch of the family is Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) who is the head of one of the most powerful mafia families. His children, who play a huge factor in the family, are Sonny (James Caan), Michael (Al Pacino), Connie (Talia Shire), and Fredo (John Cazale). Also playing a huge role is the family lawyer, Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). The aging Vito decides to transfer power to one of his subalterns, and that causes a ripple between the five Mafia families in New York. The main child here is Michael, who didn't want anything to do with his family and instead join the military. But after Vito is shot, Mike decides to join the family business and take control.

The acting is absolutely fantastic. Marlon Brando delivered one of the best performances of his career as the aging head of the family. He is known for using his devices in the beginning such as his puffy cheeks and the cat on his lap. The way he delivered his dialogue in such a soft-spoken voice is also very memorable. Al Pacino does a very good job, taking wise advice from his father while delivering on his own counsel. This is the beginning for Pacino's illustrious career. Robert Duvall does a fantastic job as Hagen. Duvall has had a legendary career, but the one role I think of every time I reflect on his career is his role as Tom Hagen. James Caan does a great job as the quick-tempered Sonny.

The one thing that does irk me about the film is the use of women. It seems like women has no part of the family. Mike's sister, Connie (played solidly by Talia Shire) is only used for a target of her husband's Carlo anger. He treats her like a piece of filth. Although, Mike does have a special place in his heart for Connie. Mike also has a romantic interest in the film named Kay Adams (played by the eccentric Diane Keaton). I didn't think Kay was a strong character in the film. Also, Vito has a wife but she is just an insignificant shadow only meant for the family pictures. Finally, there is a Sicilian woman we meet. After Michael goes on exile in Sicily for shooting a cop who played a role in the shooting of his father, he falls in love with this girl…..but she ends up getting blown up. My only qualm abut the film is how little importance women play in it.

Also playing a huge role in the film is the music. Coppola traveled to Italy to find a composer who can bring an Italian feeling to the film. His find, Nino Rota did just that. The main title is heavily influenced by Italian culture and it gave an authentic feeling to the film-as the main characters are an Italian family. It's a shame that the Academy snubbed his music, because I felt it should have won an Oscar. It's one of my favorite all-time scores.

Nominated for 11 Oscars and winning 3 of them including Best Picture, The Godfather is one of America's most influential films. The movie remains popular to this day and if you haven't seen the film, you should see it. It's almost three hours long, but this is a portrait of a mafia family that is all about family. Francis Ford Coppola did an amazing job directing this film from the very popular novel written by Mario Puzo. The Godfather is an instant American classic.

My Grade: A-
A tour de force of cinema
Since I was a small boy, whenever I heard of others talking of the greatest movies ever made, The Godfather always came up,most of the time, at the top. I always thought that the movie was overrated, that is, until watched it two years ago.

How to tell if a movie is good? If you can't stop thinking about it, if you keep replaying the characters' lines in your sleep, then the movie isn't just good, it's great. The Godfather's impact on the movie industry is incalculable, in almost ever modern gangster movie there is at least one reference to it.

I can find no flaw in this movie. If there were anything such as a 'perfect' movie, this is it. Coppola provides excellent direction such that though the movie stretches to almost three hours, you won't be bored for one minute.

The highlight of this film is an innovation. The gangsters here are not portrayed as mindless monsters but as men with families. We see Vito and Michael Corleone as protagonists rather than antagonists. Credit for this goes to Mario Puzo's original source material but let us not forget the actors.

Marlon Brando gives the greatest performance of not only his career but of any other actor as the family patriarch. He's so Don-like that you just wished you could go to him with all your problems too. Al Pacino plays Michael Corleone. But he doesn't give a single performance, he gives two. At the beginning, he plays a war hero who doesn't want anything to do with the family business. Pacino skillfully shows us Michael's transition from this to a cold blooded Don at the end. The other actors play their parts well too. In fact, there has never been any other better cast than the cast of The Godfather.

A cinematic masterpiece, this is one for the ages.
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 <)
you will learn a lot from this movie about life, love, revenge, growing up, power, friendship & the most important of course Family :)) the relationship between Micheal and his father it's alone need another movie.. how Micheal character complicity changed but he still the same, what could revenge and anger achieved when they exits in smart person.

-It's not personal, it's just business. -I don't like violence, i'm businessman blood is a big expense. -Revenge is a dish best served cold -i'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse -Never hate your enemies, it effect your judgment. -Great men not born great, they grow great. the quotes in this film are endless..

it's a life guide movie not just another Hollywood movie.
Cinema at its best
What's to say about this movie that hasn't been said already. Pure cinema magic. The casting is superb, the character development is superb, the acting is first class, coupled with the legendary soundtrack a true masterpiece.

From the script to the whole dialogue and interactions between the characters the attention to detail is stunning and I wish more modern movie makers would take the time to build and develop the characters like this movie does.

From the opening scene, when Bonasera is looking for revenge for the beating of his daughter, to the closing scene when Kay sees Michael crowned as the Don and Neri closes the door, the movie just flows seamlessly from act to act. Coupled with the legendary soundtrack

The scene where Sonny, Michael, Tessio, Hagen and Clemenza are discussing hitting Solozzo is pure gold. As they all sit around nonchalantly discussing murder, before Michael pipes up and tells them how if they arrange a meeting he will kill them both is so just so well acted, that you actually believe these guys are gangsters.

A real example of great story telling transferred to film.
"He is a good godson."
This film has spawned so many gangster clichés and parodies that it's not even funny. Every time you've heard of people "sleeping with da fishies" or "making an offer you can't refuse," it'll all boil back to this classic, highly-tutted film.

On first glance, I dismissed the film as being rather dull, despite a few standout moments. On repeat viewings, I have found it more compelling. The film is most memorable for the scenes everybody knows and loves: the scene with the horse's head, the street fighting scene, Marlon Brando's mumbling, the restaurant shooting, sporadic bursts of gunfights and violence...it's all there. Dialogue dominates most of the film, but when given due attention, the story can be rather gripping and mesmerizing. At this point, the only drag I've felt is in the last thirty minutes or so; the film just kinda winds down after nearly 150 minutes of epic-scale gangster mayhem.

The story is long, dense, and chock full of quality characterizations. The film does a fine job of keeping its events in order so that the politics of each situation makes some kind of sense. What matters the most will be the characters, who are endearing, and the underlying themes of family, honor, and loyalty. Family and generations are probably the most blatant themes, especially since most scenes show some strong contrast (or perhaps comparisons) between adults and children.

As a film, it looks really classy. Photography never was a huge standout for these films, but the sepia tones and framing lends the movie a type of classic family-portrait appeal. Editing is decent. Acting is probably the biggest virtue here. Marlon Brando chews the scenery, despite his mumbling and constant fiddling with things, he does show endless nuance and expressions that brings Vito Corleone to life really well. Al Pacino must be at his most nuanced as Michael, and the rest of the magnificent cast fulfills their parts well. Writing is decent. This production has good-looking sets, props, and costumes, and is especially noteworthy for its period reproduction. Music is nice too.

Everybody should see this at least once in their lifetime.

4/5 (Entertainment: Pretty Good | Story: Good | Film: Perfect)
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.
The Greatest Film of All Time ! Period.
This film contains all the elements of a genuine masterpiece. Its attention to detail, history, and tradition. An absolutely wonderful screenplay. Its comparative closeness to the novel and a storyline which became the template for future stories in this genre. As for the performances: there is not one single character flaw in this entire cast. What continues to amaze me about this film more than any other is the fact that not only were the correct actors and actresses chosen for the roles but that they were each chosen at the perfect point in their respective careers. Throughout this film, there is not one actor nor actress who seems "too old or young for the part". Nor does anyone (including an extremely strong Diane Keaton) seem "out of place" or "unconvincing". The plot and storyline could not have been better and this is one film that no matter how many times you've seen it, it still continues to amaze, entertain, and (in some ways) inform. Like some of the classics which preceded it, it holds up very well over time and will probably continue to do so. I currently own on VHS "The Godfather Saga" (the first 2 movies woven together in chronological order) which is absolutely amazing. It begins with the birth of Vito and ends with the eventual rise of Michael. Although Francis Ford Coppola does not like this version of his epic, I sure wish he would release it on DVD.
A Film About Succession Is A Masterpiece
"The Godfather" is about the Corleones - an organized crime family better known as the mob or mafia - that tells a great story of succession of the leadership of the crime family from an aging Don Vito Corleone to his reluctant and youngest son,Michael Corleone.

This film directed by Francis Ford Coppola that was based on the novel of Mario Puzo stars legendary actor Marlon Brando and Al Pacino,an up-and-coming young actor back then who just happened to appear on his only second major film role.The cast also includes talented actors and actresses such as James Caan, Robert Duvall,Diane Keaton,John Cazale and Talia Shire.

The story starts during the wedding of Don Vito Corleone's daughter Connie.In it,we get meet the members of the Corleone family such Don Vito's oldest son Sonny and his adopted son as well as the consigliere Tom Hagen together with the different henchmen like Tessio and Clemenza as well as different people who are obtaining favors from Don Vito who is also known as the godfather.Then,we get to meet Michael and his girlfriend Kay.It was evident that Michael has no intentions of joining his father's business.But several events happen such as Don Vito getting shot,Sonny getting killed and the other rival members of the Five Families trying to overthrow the Corleones power and influence as Don Vito does not want to be part of the illegal drugs trade.Then,it became clear that the only son who should replace Don Vito,who is getting older and weaker as he approaching near his death,as the leader of the family is reluctant Michael.After Don Vito died,Michael made moves to retain the family's power and influence by killing the leaders of the rival families and getting rid of the traitors of among family.It ended with Michael succeeding and becoming the new godfather.

This epic film definitely is the greatest film ever made.We have great performances coming from Marlon Brando,who won an Oscar as Don Vito,the upstart Al Pacino and the rest of the cast.We also have a great story involving the Corleones as we get to see the transition of the family's leadership from Don Vito to Michael.The characters of the story are definitely far from one-note and they can be as complex evoking humanity.We are also treated to great production set designs, memorable musical scores coming from Nino Rota, a superb script coming from Puzo and Coppola, and a magnificent direction coming from Coppola.With that said,it has become a benchmark for excellence in film and has for many years remained relevant despite being initially released 45 years ago when this review is written.Overall,it is simply a masterpiece.
Best Movie Ever
The movie is phenomenal, is rightly considered one of the greatest films ever made. The Godfather continues to influence producers of films, television shows, and video games more than 40 years after its release.

It takes its subjects seriously, bestowing legitimacy upon the internecine power struggles of the Mafia normally reserved for classical themes in high art. There is something deeply resonant in the film's treatment of filial piety, the need for respect, and our culture's abiding interest in the parallel moral universe of the Mafia. Just the best.
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