This isn't just a beautifully crafted gangster film. Or an outstanding family portrait, for that matter. An amazing period piece. A character study. A lesson in filmmaking and an inspiration to generations of actors, directors, screenwriters and producers. For me, this is more: this is the definitive film. 10 stars out of 10.Favorite films: IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/Lesser-Known Masterpieces: imdb.com/list/ls070242495/
Tell me a movie that is more famous than this. Tell me a movie that has had more parodies spinned off its storyline than this. Tell me one movie that has been as quoted as a much as this. The answer is you can't. No movie has had as much of an impact as The Godfather has had ever since it was released.The acting was simply amazing, what else could you say. What could be more appealing to people(even today) than watching actors like Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Robert Duvall. This is like heaven for someone who is a fan of movies. With this movie Brando was able to bring himself back into the limelight. His performance as the godfather alone is iconic. His character has been recreated so much in films that it has almost if it has not already become a cliché. His performance though was not a cliché. His performance was subtle and breathtaking. It was so genuine and realistic that it was not just probably but definitely more genuine than Marlon Brando himself. Al Pacino was perfect for this film as well. What a way to start up your career. His character was all about depth and he displayed it perfectly. He was able to display his own inner-battles in his mind as well as the battles he had with his family, friends and enemies. His character was more of a psychological character study than anything else to me. Robert Duvall to me was the glue to the movie. He added a different perspective to everything in just that he was not Italian yet having the respect of the mafia. His character is a man of high authority within the Corleone family who was listened to and insightful;. This was simply perfect giving the film great balance throughout. The rest of the cast was just icing on the cake.The writing was phenomenal and breathtaking. As mentioned before there has been no movie quoted more than this. It is not even the quotes though that makes the writing in here so perfect. It is the symbolism and meaning that went into every scene. There are countless symbols, messages and lines in here that are so memorable yet it is as realistic as a movie could get.The directing by Coppola was perfect as well. Not many movies can be 3 hours and yet maintain a good level of interest from the audience like The Godfather. Coppola deserves credit for this. The symbolism and messages that went into every scene also has to do with the directing not just the writing. The movie is so well edited and strung together that the only word that could come to my mind is perfection.The cinematography and music were perfect. The score of this movie is one of the most memorable ever. If you were to hear it you could identify it right away. The cinematography was what actually really drove this movie. The Godfather seems to have this mystique to it, it gives you the feeling you are watching something truly remarkable.The horse's head, the scene of Brando running with his groceries, the coffee shop scene, "I'll give him an offer he can't refuse" and countless other scenes and quotes from this movie have become a part of our culture. These scenes and lines have been recycled over and over again in comedies, commercials, etc. that it is impossible to avoid the greatness of The Godfather. The Godfather is like a disease once you see it you fall in love with it. I don't know if it is the greatest movie ever but it is definitely the most iconic film ever made.
It is now past 1 PM and I just finished watching Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather". I should probably go to bed. It's late and tomorrow I have to wake up a bit early. But not early enough to postpone writing these lines. Now that I have seen it three times, the opportunity of sharing my thoughts and refreshed insights are too much of a good offer to sit on. So, bear with me.This film works so well because it takes place in an underworld in which we are so embedded that we do not even observe it. Coppola puts us straight in the smack-dab center of what is, admittedly, a society made by criminals for criminals. It is also the reason why it's so welcoming. We are surrounded by its inhabitants--cold-blooded murderers, men who see crime like a 9 to 5 job masquerading as honorable men. And I do mean men. From the outside, we would only witness the horrifying, disturbing manifestations of their well-thought out actions.But it goes even deeper than that. It all revolves around the Corleone family led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). He is the most honest of these men, sitting right on the edge. But for people like him, who do not fully embrace this world, it's not easy. He avoids conflict until it is absolutely necessary. He is a man defined by moral principles. There is a scene at the beginning, in which, during his daughter's wedding day, one of his associates, Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana) practices his speech that he is going to give to the Don when he meets him. The scene with these two is funny and almost adorable. I could not help but sympathize both of them only to realize that I am feeling warmth for two mobsters. Not to even mention that Lenny Montana was an actual mob hit-man and that he was actually nervous as he said that line.The more I watched the more I realized just how incredibly complex and ruthless this society is and how it has the power to corrupt anyone to come in contact with it. The best example is Corleone's youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino). He returns home for his sister's wedding as a war hero dressed the part with his long-time girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton). At first, he avoids this underworld, but necessity, first-hand exposure and just its sheer devilish appealing nature draws him in. As we get further in the film, the change is shocking and every outsider who ever got close to him is tainted in one way or another. If they survive it, they are drawn in as well as we are as viewers.Inside, Coppola exposes the family to us fully, with a bold personal approach and we witness every discussion, every methodically calculated choice. Crime is done simply because it is the nature of their business, and we are put on a chair alongside them, so we easily relate. For us, they are the good guys, the rival families are the bad guys. This is the greatest feat this film managed to pull off--set apart good guys and bad guys in a world filled with bad guys.This is a film of unmatched subtlety. No other movie sustains itself as good. No other film is done with such precision, attention and completeness. There are many layers which I probably missed and maybe will never notice. But I felt them. What director Francis Ford Coppola and his partner in crime (poor choice of words, sorry) Mario Puzo did is nothing short of a timeless piece of reference cinema whose influence is not based on reinventing the wheel, but rather perfecting it to the absolute maximum.Most masterpieces are remembered for their historical contributio
This is a masterpiece. A timeless masterpiece. Initially, I didn't like this film all that much - I found it rather over-hyped and boring. This was until the advent of DVD, which gave me the feature I needed for this sort of film: subtitles. Once I switched them on and heard (read) every last word of Brando's ramblings and other characters ramblings, I grew a true appreciation for this epic.To make a true epic, you need all of three following ingredients working in near perfect harmony. For screenwriters who come across this, take the following pointers on board: 1) Contrasting Characters: Good films have some character distinction, but most fall rather flat because the core of each character is the same.Of course, there are exceptions to rule (ie... where you want mono-tonal characters... aka matrix; or where you want outlandish contrasts... aka The Fifth Element), but ultimately, this is what makes films deep, meaningful and grand. Consider the contrasts between the Don's children. Michael is rather cool, rational and collected, whereas Sonny is more hot-headed, spontaneous and simple minded. But simply having these contrasts is not nearly enough. What you really need to do is to develop these characters - place them in situations - and then dwell on how their character impacts on the situation they're put in. The Godfather is a terrific example of how to pull this off. While many try to do this in screenplays, most lose the plot and create character obscurities that stretch credibility.2) Transformation: The central character(s) must undergo a transformation, resulting in them being almost unrecognizable by the end of the film. By putting them into situations, the character's character must not only influence the outcome of the situation; it must also have a lasting impact on the character. Consider Michael at the wedding and compare that to the Michael we see at the end of the film. Again, many films try, but most fail because they come up with unreal (literally, not praisingly) or simply moronic transformations (eg, Wall Street).3) Patience: Men in Black 2 was an astounding film for one simple reason - it was an entire film squashed into about 70 minutes. It was not much longer than an episode of ER or Buffy. I certainly hope the new goal of Hollywood isn't to make films as short as possible.All the great ones spend time - time developing characters, family life, growth, patience with the story telling in general. This is the key (provided that the story isn't mind-numbingly boring). Dances with Wolves, Heat.. and so on are very patient but top-class films. While studios may be lukewarm on the idea of longer films, they are worth it if you have a ripper story to base it on.I feel that this film has not dated all that much and has tremendous re-watch-ability.
I love this movie and all of the GF movies. I see something new every time I have seen it (countless, truly). The story of tragedy and (little) comedy that exists in this film is easily understood by people all over the world. This film has been called an American story however I have met others who have seen this movie in other languages and they seem to have the same love and appreciation for it that I do. I love the characters and all of the different personalities that they represent not just in families but in society itself. It seems like the entire cast is part of every other movie that I love as well. The sounds, music, color and light in the film are just as much a part of the film as the people. This could be attributed to the method in which it was filmed. At many parts of the film I can still find myself feeling the emotions conveyed in the film. I never tire of appreciating this film. I thank God that FFC is an American treasure. We are fortunate to have him.
This must rank as the best film (along with part 2)of all time.An ensemble performance that has no weak spot.Particularly, John Cazale ( Fredo) and Richard Castellano ( Clemenza) give wonderfully understated performances. You just have to believe that Castellano WAS Clemenza, he brings a real touch to his role.John Cazale brings the troubled Fredo to life, and you can see the weak Fredo desperately trying to live up to the family reputation but knowing that he can never be what his father wants. The story of one man's reluctance to be drawn into the murky family business,and his gradual change through circumstance, paints a vivid picture of this violent period of US history.Do not miss this film!