|The Godfather - The Coppola Restoration
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Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 09/23/2008 Run time: 177 minutes Rating: R
Generally acknowledged as a bona fide classic, this Francis Ford Coppola film is one of those rare experiences that feels perfectly right from beginning to end--almost as if everyone involved had been born to participate in it. Based on Mario Puzo's bestselling novel about a Mafia dynasty, Coppola's Godfather extracted and enhanced the most universal themes of immigrant experience in America: the plotting-out of hopes and dreams for one's successors, the raising of children to carry on the good work, etc. In the midst of generational strife during the Vietnam years, the film somehow struck a chord with a nation fascinated by the metamorphosis of a rebellious son (Al Pacino) into the keeper of his father's dream. Marlon Brando played against Puzo's own conception of patriarch Vito Corleone, and time has certainly proven the actor correct. The rest of the cast, particularly James Caan, John Cazale, and Robert Duvall as the rest of Vito's male brood--all coping with how to take the mantle of responsibility from their father--is seamless and wonderful. --Tom Keogh
- ONE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE
This has to be one of the greatest films ever made , great acting , great writing and directing , a true american masterpiece....more info
- Power, Money, Loyalty, It's All in the Family...
The mafia is a subject that has captivated the imaginations of both Hollywood and moviegoers alike for years and years. Generally, when the mob is chosen as the topic for another movie, assuming the film is done with the proper attention and care, it's pretty much a guarantee that there will be the potential for plenty of money flowing in at the box office. Many of the most successful mafia-themed movies rank amongst some of the best films Hollywood has ever offered to the public. With entries into this particular film grouping including some of Martin Scorcese's classics, such as "Goodfellas" and "Casino", to Sam Mendes' "Road to Perdition", and even on TV with HBO's "The Sopranos", it's no wonder this is a sub-genre that has lasted for so many decades; however, as great as all of those titles are, there is one trilogy of films that truly set the bar for what all others would be compared to. I'm referring to none other than the best of the best of the mafia film sub-genre...The Godfather trilogy. To kick things off lets talk about the one that started it all, the original classic film in director and co-writer Francis Ford Coppola's gangland magnum opus, "The Godfather".
"The Godfather" focuses on the fictional Corleone crime family. The family, as led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), vies for money and power amidst the dark world of organized crime. Set in the years following the Second World War, Don Vito Corleone is offered a chance for his family to further expand their empire via the fledgling, yet profitable drug trade. However, the Don is not convinced that this is the way their organization should take for more profits, a school of thought that the other rival families aren't too comfortable with. As tensions mount and battle lines are being drawn, Don Vito along with his sons, Sonny (James Caan) and Fredo, and consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), prepare to do what must be done to preserve the power they have fought so long and hard to attain. As an all-out mafia war begins to claim casualties on all sides, it seems some new blood may be needed to turn the tide. Enter Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), the youngest of the Corleone children, and the one who had vowed to steer clear of the dark world that has consumed the rest of his family. However, certain events are unfolding that will force Michael to choose whether his destiny lies by his father's side or on his own path separate from a life of crime.
Based upon the novel by Mario Puzo, who also served as co-writer alongside director Francis Ford Coppola, "The Godfather" is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book that I have ever seen. Having read the book and seen the movie, I find both to be perfect companion pieces to one another. Even though it is cemented within the dark underworld of organized crime, the story is one that can resonate with virtually every person on some level, thanks in no small part to the many themes inherent within the screenplay and the novel.
The biggest theme that this film deals with throughout its nearly three-hour running time is the concept of family, displayed in both a literal and metaphorical sense (as shown in the numerous references to a person's mafia affiliation and/or organization as a family). For me this was the most intriguing aspect of the film's richly layered story. Seeing how the various Corleone children grappled with the weight of eventually taking the reins of the family's various affairs, both personal and business related, was truly interesting and provided the strongest dramatic firepower for the script to draw from. For me, making the primary driving force of the screenplay focus upon the family aspect, made "The Godfather" stand apart from all other mafia themed movies that had come before it, and many that arrived after it, for that matter. Many times in these types of films we get a very violent story, full of intense drama and plenty of colorful language, and even some allusions to the themes found in this film, but it seems to be a bit of a rarity to find a mafia movie outside of this series that takes the time to delve deeply into the personal relationships these people establish over the course of their lives and nefarious careers as criminal figures. We all know that the mafia is all about loyalty, respect and living by certain codes of honor, but what we rarely get to see is where those attributes come from, which can only be found in the personal relationships these characters share with each other over the course of the film. To me, it is the personal touches found in this movie and its sequels that make the story all the more accessible, and elevate it from being just another mafia movie to something far greater.
The casting choices made for "The Godfather" seem to perfectly embody every single character from Mario Puzo's classic novel, as if they could have walked right off of the page and onto the screen. Marlon Brando ("Superman: The Movie") as the Corleone family's patriarch and Don of the Corleone crime family is simply iconic in his portrayal. He brings a warmth and magnetism to the character that instantly draws you in, essentially erasing all thoughts of the evil acts this man has committed either personally or via his organization. Yet behind the almost grandfatherly quality Brando gives the character, lies an extremely dangerous man, who possesses a quiet and powerful inner-strength, along with a worldly power that is unparalleled by any other member of the underworld.
Portraying the other primary members of the story are veteran actors (although at the time they were still rising stars in Hollywood) James Caan ("Misery"), Robert Duvall ("Secondhand Lions"), and Al Pacino ("Heat"). James Caan plays the hot-headed eldest son of Vito Corleone named Sonny, who is first in line to take over the family business whenever the Don steps down or passes on. Caan perfectly portrays the character with a dangerous volatility that is electrifying and borderline insane at times, yet he also brings to the table an unyielding devotion to his family that is both his greatest strength and biggest weakness. Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen the surrogate son and consigliere to the Corleone family, seems an ideal choice lending the character plenty of gravitas, while at the same time giving a sense that he is constantly seeking approval from the other members of the family due to him being of German/Irish descent, and therefore an outsider to the otherwise Italian family. Lastly, we have Al Pacino, giving his most restrained performance of his career, long before he became the iconic actor he is today, as the youngest Corleone sibling and the one member of the family that tries his hardest to remain at a safe distance from the crime and corruption that has consumed the other family members. So, in a sense, even though Tom is an outsider due to his heritage, it is Michael who is the one that is truly the outsider, a position that he finds harder and harder to retain the more the story unfolds.
Other cast members worthy of note would include Talia Shire ("Rocky"), Diane Keaton ("Because I Said So"), and John Cazale ("The Deer Hunter"). To be fair there are so many more actors and actresses that deserve attention, I just don't have the time to devote to them. Talia Shire played Connie Corleone, the lone girl amongst the Corleone children. Talia does a very good job with her character, even though she isn't given a very large amount of screen time. Nevertheless, if it weren't for her character's involvement many of the major events within the story never would have come to fruition. So, even though she possibly has the least amount of time in front of the camera, out of the entire family, her character's story arc is one of the most pivotal ones of all. The always terrific Diane Keaton is Kay Adams, the young woman who finds herself inadvertently dragged into this dark world through her romantic relationship with Michael. Diane gives Kay an innocence that balances the otherwise corrupt nature of essentially every other character within the film; however, it's fascinating to see her character's temptation by the power and money that accompanies such a dangerous world. To see how Kay grapples with the person she is and the person she may become via her romance is interesting, and provides some very small, yet important moments within the film. Rounding out this particular grouping we have Fredo Corleone played by rarely seen actor John Cazale ("The Deer Hunter"). Fredo is the middle child of the three Corleone boys, and is generally perceived as weak and relatively simple-minded in the grand scheme of things. Even though Fredo is given very little to do in this film, John is spot-on with his interpretation of the character, and it's a shame that an actor as talented as John clearly is, has for some reason chosen to shy away from movie roles ever since "The Godfather Part II".
It seems somewhat strange to me that a film such as "The Godfather" has become such a globally recognizable film and essentially a major brand name for games, toys, etc. I feel this is strange partly because of these films' subject matter (which could be perceived as a reflection on our dwindling morality), but also because this film almost didn't see the light of day, at least not in the way we all have come to know and love. Prior to anyone really being attached to this film, the head of troubled film studio Paramount Pictures, Robert Evans, was having a difficult time convincing anyone to direct this gangland epic after acquiring the rights to the novel. It wasn't until director Francis Ford Coppola ("Dracula") took the gig, in an effort to save his fledgling production company, that the film truly began to take shape. Even so, if it hadn't been for Francis' stubbornness, Italian heritage, and cinematic vision, who knows what this film would have ended up as, most likely it would not have been the masterpiece it wound up being, that is if the attempted studio tampering had prevailed. So, thank God for directors who know what they want, and have the courage to see their vision through.
With a gripping story rife with powerful thematic elements, intense drama, and some of the best acting you will ever find in any film throughout history, "The Godfather" is a film that truly defines what it is to be a definitive tour de force of American cinema. If you have yet to see this film or its sequels, do yourself a gigantic favor and rent a copy today.
"The Godfather" is rated R for violence, brief language, and brief nudity....more info
- THE GODFATHER - COPPOLA RESTORATION
This is a great movie and the restoration is fantastic. The picture is clear with no noticeable scratches or dust, and the color that was added to make it resemble with looked like in at it's theatrical release gives it a sunny glow that in my opinion, gives it more life. My only problem is that upon buying this dvd, I found that the "2" disks amazon has in it's description, is really just 1. There are no bonus features except for the commentary that was included in previous releases. If you must have special features, buy The Godfather Trilogy - The Coppola Restoration it has a boat load of special features, and you can get it on blu-ray or dvd for around $65 online. Besides there not being special features or a 2nd disk, this is a great restoration that should not be passed up by fans or anyone looking to see it for the first time. ...more info
- The most overrated movie ever made!
I did indeed sit through all 57 hours of the Godfather and not only is it one of the most boring movies ever made it's completely pointless garbage. I have no clue why it's considered the greatest film ever made but then again most people are dumb so yea no suprise. The only good thing about this film is the music, if you haven't seen it don't buy into the hype that's all it is hype... BUT if you have insomnia put this movie in you should be asleep within the first 30 minutes....more info
- One of the best movies ever made
This movie is epic, the score, the actors, the plot, there is nothing else like it. A must see and buy....more info
- THE BEST MOVIE ON THE PLANET!
This movie is about the mafia and takes place in the late 40s. It is THE BEST MOVIE EVER. It is noted for the famous scene of Santino's death. The movie is so clever and a masterpeice! I HIGHLY RECOMEND IT....more info
- One of the greatest films of all time. If you haven't seen it, see it!
There are very very few films in this world that are of such high quality in so many categories as this one. The cast is fantastic, the acting is great, the story draws you right in, cinematography and directing are top notch. And let's not forget the music, which stays with you long after the film is over. Truly a masterpiece, The Godfather is also a solid piece of entertainment. It will grip you from start to finish. It touches on so many themes in such a deep way, you're left with a million threads to explore. I've seen this film many many times and am always up to see it again. There's always some new nuance I notice, some little detail that slipped by or I didn't fully appreciate the first time. Scene after memorable scene flows by, leaving you in a perpetual state of amazement. Get this film and you will see the heights the filmic medium can reach. ...more info
- Worth the hype
A great film that I'm glad I finally got around to seeing after years of saying I would!
There is the wonderfully menacing presence of Brando, the complex character of Michael, played by Pacino and the epic ups and downs of the family, played out under the inspired direction of Ford Coppola.
One of the strongest parts of the film is the gradual and irreversable change in Pacino's character; from the respected war veteran at the beginning to a less subtle version of his violent, all powerful father by the end.
2 scenes stuck out for me in showing this beautfully. Firstly a scene in which he is trying to muster up the conviction to shoot the person who has made an attempt on his father's life, the suspense echoed by the sound of an impending train. Secondly, near the end, the scene jumps between the christening of his own godson (and his own baptism) and the planned killing of all his foes by his design - showing the true extremes of his character and the depths of cold-hearted evil he has now reached.
Great film, worth much of it's hype...more info
- A film so great you are forced to like it
The epic saga of a Mafia family, focusing on the youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), an honest war hero who is progressively drawn into the family business.
The mark of a great movie is that, even if you have no interest in the subject matter, the film is so well made that you are forced to like it, or at the very least appreciate it. "The Godfather" is one of those movies. In general, I do not like Mafia movies, and as a result, I felt certain that I would hate this movie, and yet, within the first 15 minutes of starting this film, I found myself drawn into the saga of the Corleone family.
It is virtually impossible to find fault with "The Godfather". Everything about it is perfect, from the script, to the acting, to the directing. Some negative reviewers have called this film boring, and I will admit that this film is slow moving, but slow moving does not translate into boredom. The pacing of this film is perfect for what it is and it allows the viewer to become fully acquainted with each and every member of the Corleone clan. The only factor that I would say could possibly prevent someone from watching and enjoying this film is the violence. Back in 1972, "The Godfather" was considered to be extremely violent, and even by 21st century standards, the violence is still intense and likely to distress some viewers.
The only bad thing I can think of about "The Godfather" is the unfortunate timing of its release. "The Godfather" was released in the same year as "Cabaret", another great film, resulting in the Academy Awards for that year being split between the two films ("The Godfather" got Best Picture and Best Actor, while "Cabaret" got Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor). Both of these films are so good that they deserve all of the above mentioned Oscars (well, with the possible exception of Best Actress, since there was no lead actress in "The Godfather"), and I just wish that they could have been released in separate years so that they could have achieved just that.
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. ...more info
- More like the GodAWFULfather.
When's an editor when you need one? This movie is so long that I played it on my TV, drove across the state, and when I came back, it was still playing. Since when is a movie this long? Movies are supposed to be 1:30-2:00 hours long. Plus this movie is as boring as a trip to the doctor's. No good violence, no hot sex scenes, and furthermore, it stereotypes Italians. The only decent movie in this series is The Godfather III.
For a good crime movie, get Gigli instead. ...more info
- A Must See, A Must Have
Oh, so that's what they meant about swimming with the fishies. This movie is so embedded in our culture that you find references and allusions to it every where. It's a must see, or go through life not knowing what going to the mattresses mean or the importance of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer," Marlon Brando's talent, Coppola's, Al Paccino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, James Caan, etc.
Also, I liked the DVD, looked clear and finely remastered to me. But sure, if they can do better, why not :)...more info
- Amazon offer you can't refuse!!!
What can you say about one of the best movies ever made. I really thought they did a great job with the latest remastering. And at this price you can't go wrong....more info
- The gangster film summit
Francis Ford Coppola's THE GODFATHER (1972) may be the best movie ever made that no one in my family wants to borrow from my large private DVD collection. They say it is too long (it really isn't) and much too violent (it is). Ironically, the graphic violence may be one reason we have the version of THE GODFATHER that gangster film devotees love so much. Listen to the illuminating commentary by Coppola on the DVD. He was young and constantly under pressure from Paramount executives to shoot the movie faster and make it more violent, or face firing. The exquisite wedding sequence in reel one is a good example--executives demanded it be filmed in three days or else, so scenes with Al Pacino and Diane Keaton talking at a side table were shot at night with tons of light to look like daytime and to cinematographer Gordon Willis' justified anger as a perfectionist. And a later scene with Talia Shire getting beaten up by her husband was shot by Coppola with the fear of being replaced if he did not add more violence to the movie.
It was a low-budget film ($2.5 million) that blossomed up to $6.5 million. The Hollywood exterior scenes with John Marley were done with long shot doubles and a second unit crew. (But the infamous horse's head in bed scene WAS done by Coppola in New York.) Ironically, the first week of filming went very smoothly and included two full nights to film the killing of the violent police captain (Sterling Hayden) and his henchman in the restaurant. In any event, the first GODFATHER film was a very hard movie to make. Producer Robert Evans, coming off LOVE STORY, even wanted to replace Nino Rota's incomparably lovely score with something more schmaltzy, until an enthusiastic public screening of the movie convinced him to stay with Rota.
At 175 minutes, THE GODFATHER a towering gangster film achievement with flawless performances and solid writing. (The studio executives were so brutal to Marlon Brando in his Oscar-winning role that he refused to come back for the 1974 sequel, even for just a cameo. And the "shirts" also were not very keen on Al Pacino as Michael, not even after the restaurant massacre in week one.) Note the plotting and the way light and dark contrast--not just dramatically, but also visually. Take the opening reel and the way undertaker Bonasera is talking to Vito Corleone (Brando, and an improvised cat to stroke as he talked) in a darkened study, all golds and browns, while a gorgeous sun-lit wedding reception for Vito's daughter is taking place outside. The whole movie has juxtapositions like this to make it a special gangster film. All the way to the last reel, where the baptism of Michael's infant son (really baby Sofia Coppola!) in a cathedral is intercut with terrible murders happening all over greater New York City.
Dean Tavoularis' production design and Anna Hill Johnstone's costumes deserve special mention in their extraordinary detail, especially the shops in Little Italy and just the right clothes for everyone on the sidewalks and in the streets. Their work is magnificent.
And I love the Sicily scenes with Al Pacino's Michael hiding out for a couple of years after killing the police captain in the New York restaurant. Michael falls in love with and marries a beautiful Sicilian bride, with Nino Rota's exquisite "Love Theme" music on the soundtrack. Their evocative wedding will contrast against the bride being subsequently blown up in a car, which sends Michael back home to Diane Keaton's nurturing Kay.
I also love a later scene that a moron Paramount executive wanted cut out because it allegedly did not advance the plot--the death of Brando's Vito Corleone of a heart attack while playing in a tomato vineyard with his young son. Fortunately, this classic scene stayed in and adds great beauty on either side of darker scenes. In fact, Coppola says on the audio commentary that Robert Evans eventually came to his rescue when Evans saw that he had a potential masterpiece and blockbuster on his hands--Evans insisted that scene after scene be put back into a movie that was originally about two hours and slowly creeped up to its present 175 minutes. Hollywood moviemaking is a crapshoot and a crazy, stressful game. God must have been looking down on the 30 year old director and co-writer more than a few times.
In the final analysis, it is the constant blending of romance and violence, both dramatically and visually, that makes THE GODFATHER such a special gangster film masterpiece. It blends flawless acting, strong writing, authoritative direction, world-class sets and costumes, magnificent (and very underrated) photography, and the loveliest of lovely music scores to be one of the great works of art of the American cinema. Now if only I could get my own family to watch my DVD of it and its even better 1974 sequel!
- Another Hard-Core Classic!!!
This is a classic in every sense of the word! Everybody did an awesome job! Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan,Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and everybody else did great! The movie starts on the day of Don Vito Corleone's daughter's wedding day, and the Don is taking requests. His son, Michael shows up. Michael was in a war and tells his girlfriend that he is not like his mafia family. Around Christmas, Don Corleone is assassinated, but survives. Michael wants revenge. Later, when Don Corleone is getting older, and all the 5 mafia families are at war, Don is getting weak, so he wants Michael to become the new Godfather. If you love mafia movies, and classics, you'll love THE GODFATHER!!!...more info
- The Godfather
Product received in excellent condition and promptly. This was the first time I have used this firm and I'm satisfied with the service....more info
- The last stand
This was much better a movie than it has been reviewed to be. I thought most of the acting was good, but I was kind of disgusted with the premise of Sophia Coppola's disturbing relationship with Andy Garcia. Besides, she's just a terrible actress. I think she's a brilliant director, but acting is definitely not her thing. Everything else from the movie was good, although I think that since it is later since the first and second films, it lacked a lot of impact. But I would suggest seeing this movie to just end the series.
I found the novel (all three Godfather movies) a lot more put together for its continuance. It was more cohesive and I would suggest reading that book before watching the movie - it makes better sense because of that....more info
- A Masterpiece
I must admit I was a little scared to write this review because no matter what I write, no words can do this film justice. So, where to start? I believe in this film. Let's be clear, this in not a gangster movie. The Godfather is about family ('a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man'), it's about post-war America, and it's about a war hero, a good man's descent into darkness and solitary. Yet, it's so much more. The screenplay is amazing and the entire film is a huge quotable. An epic poem, a three hour masterpiece.
From the iconic opening scene to the scenes in Sicily to the gruesome murders, the audience is always in awe. Coppola put it perfectly when he said that it was the best home movie ever made. You feel like you are a Corleone. No matter what they do you feel they are justified and you agree with what they do. They are never the bad guys. Even Brando as The Godfather is always likeable. This man has killed so many and still you feel for this man. That's great writing.
The title of this film is The Godfather yet the movie is about the rise and the loss of innocence of Michael Corleone. Pacino shines and is always chilling. He's always thinking. He has distanced himself from his family yet when his father is targeted he's drawn into the center of the drama. The key scene of his transformation is always chilling. He stands outside of the hospital with Enzo the baker and is attempting to prevent his father from being assassinated. He succeeds and as Enzo attempts to light a cigarette, he cannot because his hand is shaking so much. Michael reaches over and lights it for him, he stares at his hand and sees that it is steady as a rock. The transformation was complete. Following his return from Italy, a conversation takes place between him and his father. We feel right at home. Vito tells his son that there wasn't enough time and that Michael was supposed to be more: A Senator or a Governor, the one pulling the strings. As Michael becomes Don and head of the family, we are almost disappointed for Michael yet we support him one hundred percent.
The acting is amazing and it always feels natural. I could literally talk about this film for days. In any time period, any country, this film is relevant. It is life changing and it is amazing. The film starts with the iconic words, "I believe in America." Well, this film represents everything America is about and I truly mean it when I say that I believe in this film.
- The Godfather
"The Godfather" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, is number 3 on AFI's Top 100 Movies, and is an all around great (mob) movie. Without this movie, we probably wouldn't see movies like "Goodfellas" or shows like "The Sopranos." This essentially started it all. Oddly enough, I've seen this movie three times and not until the third viewing did it strike me just how wonderful this movie is. It's truly, in every form of the phrase, a cinematic masterpiece. I don't know about the 3rd best film of all time, but it's definitely has a place up there.
The movie stars Marlon Brando in one of his best performances as Don Vito Coreleone, head of the Coreleone crime family. The film opens with a man pleading Don Coreleone to avenge his daughter's beating at the hands of two men. The Don agrees, but the man has to repay him a favor one day. Turns out it's The Don's daughter Connie's (Talia Shire) wedding day and the whole family is there. We're introduced to The Don's son Sonny (an almost unrecognizable James Caan) and his consilierge/lawyer Tom (Robert Duvall), who are very much involved in the family business. Then there's his son Michael (Al Pacino, who looks completely different), a war hero who has chosen to stay away from the family business. Diane Keaton also turns up as Michael's girlfriend Kay. Anyways, the movie really hits it's stride after the first 30 minutes; As we learn more about the Coreleone family, Don Coreleone is shot and it's up to Michael to take care of the would be-assassins.
This is not just a "mob movie", it's many other things as well. It's a portrait of family, a family that shares many of the same values regular household families do. It's about choice...In the beginning, Michael Coreleone is a straight arrowed war hero. By the end of the film, he's the new Don. As for Brando, in case you hadn't heard 30 years ago, delivers the performance of a lifetime. Impressions are still done as a result of his performance. The talk, the walk, the look...This is an amazing performance. Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo crafted a rare thing here, something that would be imitated over and over but never copied. Chances are, if you're reading this review, you've seen the movie. Almost half the population has. But if you haven't you need to.
- no one will read this but
I just bought the 2008 Coppola dvd and owned this 1 cent video tape from 1998 is the best and corrected version of this movie
the new dvd is little dark but cleaned up and widescreen has very sharp image for cinematic widescreen tv effect.
this movie is not a wide screen movie it was meant to be a square film there is more from the top and bottom that to me is more to view and is the orginal as attended...there is just more to look at!!!!!!
it was also cleaned up as well and has perfect image not that dark quality the coppola 08 dvd has. The vhs digital transferred from 1998 I think was from the orignal source and looks more natural with good sound.
I have a issue with most of these movies from this era meant to be 4x3 instead of widescreen movies. but now dvd's are all widescreen
in the late 90's MGM had good intentions of including both
- A Modern Parable On Power
At just under four hours, this is a long film, but one that holds the viewer riveted. Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, comes back from World War II as a hero. His family are leading mobsters and it is a life he wants to reject, but his hand is forced when his father, Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, is shot down in the street. Slowly and reluctantly, he gets sucked into the vortex of the Mob, proving himself every bit as ruthless as his rivals.
This film reveals perfectly the analogy between 20th Century gangsters and the aristocracy. Not the effete aristocracy of the modern age but that of antiquity: when brutality and nobility went together; when power came from brute strength. This is what Thomas Paine had to say about the aristocracy:
"It could have been no difficult thing....for a banditti of ruffians to overrun a country [and] their power being thus established, the chief of the band contrived to lose the name of Robber in that of monarch and hence the origin of Monarchy and Kings." 'The Rights of Man.'
If Don Corleone had been born in the pre-democratic age, his descendants would now have lands and respectable titles. Don Corleone insists people call him Godfather: In a previous age it would have been King, Duke, Baron, or Prince. It all means the same. Splendour sits side by side with violence. There are no ethics, only power. Everything else is a fa?ade.
This was made in the 70s, when Coppola made genuinely great films. It's a compelling story beautifully told. The pacing is steady but never slow. The performances are flawless: the cinematography beautiful. Come the 80s, his genius would desert him. However, his classic films are still around and show just how powerful a medium film can be. The Godfather is ample evidence of this. This is one of the great movies of the 20th Century....more info
- Still wonderful
Seeing The Godfather again was like revisiting an old friend. It was still absolutely fascinating....more info