The Godfather (1972)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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Overall Rating 89%
Overall Rating
Ranked #22
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Connections: The Godfather

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. --IMDb
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Review by Ramone
Added: March 2, 2008
The Godfather. What else needs to be said? It's the Godfather, for crying out loud. Loaded with a stellar cast, (Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Jimmy Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire), and wonderfully written by Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Towne, The Godfather delivers in every way, which is why it considered one of the greatest pieces of cinema to ever be spun through the reels.

The Godfather, set in late 1940's New York, tells the story of the Corleone crime family and its trials and tribulations. Don Vito Corleone (Brando) is the head of the family and is the central character throughout most of the movie. Santino or Sonny (Caan) is his eldest son and is being groomed to take over the family, providing he can keep his temper in check. Tom Hagen (Duvall) is Vito's adopted son and he is consigliere to the Don. Vito youngest son Michael (Pacino) is a war veteran and doesn't want to get involved in the family business. Vito also has a daughter Connie (Shire) and another son Fredo (John Cazale), whose character plays much more of a central role in Godfather II.

After the Don turns down a business deal from Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo, things turn deadly. He is shot several times in the street and is presumed dead. Once Sonny learns of his father's condition he strikes immediately and assassinates the rival Tatagglia family's eldest son, after ignoring Tom Hagen's advice to just accept the Turk's business proposition. Michael finds out about his father shortly after and goes to visit him at the hospital. After saving his father from another assassination attempt in the hospital and having it out with the Chief of Police McCluskey, Michael returns home to discuss the family's next move. He tells Sonny that he will do the dirty work and kill Sollozzo and Kelusky at a meeting they wish to have with him. But after he does this Michael must flee the country and can only return when it is safe. After spending over 2 years in Sicily learning the old ways of his people, Michael returns home to take over the family business. Vito steps down from the head of the family and retires into a life of red wine and khakis. Slowly, Michael realizes how difficult it is going to be to step into his father's shoes and struggles to fit the mold of Don, a topic that is the main theme in Godfather II.

The strength and substance of the movie lies in the character's commitment to the family ideals and beliefs. While sometimes the methods and results are questionable, it is still undeniable that the Corleoene family's love for each other and for the family's way of business is something that has be admired. At the first of the movie it is clear that Michael wants nothing to do with the family business. It is perhaps that he wants his girlfriend Kay to feel more welcome. Or maybe Michael is lying to himself. It is also clear the Vito favors Michael over his other sons. Santino is a hot-head and Fredo is just different. He hopes that Michael can rise above his family's criminal ways and become some important figure in the world. But as soon as Vito's life is in danger, Michael immediately springs into action and becomes the man that his family expects him to be. He comes to the aid of his father and exacts revenge on his enemies. It is Michael's unquestionable love for his father that fuels him and pushes him through to do the difficult things he must do. His love for his father is also something that troubles him his entire life, something that is discussed frequently in Godfather II and III. It is almost a hindrance to Michael, as he feels he must live up to his father and do things the same way as him, instead of doing things his own way and becoming his own Don rather than his father's replacement.

From the haunting soundtrack that perfectly highlights the movie throughout, to the terrific cast of actors and the wonderful directing of Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders), The Godfather is a cinematic masterpiece and deserves every bit if credit that people give it. If you haven't seen this yet, stop being a silly goose and go pick it up. Just "Give them an offer they can't refuse."

Nirrad #1: Nirrad - added March 2, 2008 at 6:12pm
Awesome piece of work right here. Ray Liotta as Henry Hill was just a pure magnificent performance. Joe Pesci as the usual ass. This mov....wait a minute.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added March 2, 2008 at 7:02pm
Swing and a miss. You couldn't have possibly bombed harder. Aside from the second one, which I think is equally as good, this is the finest movie ever made. Like Paul-Mark said, it's a stellar cast, backed up by an even better screenplay, and one of the finest directing efforts by FFC. There really is no excuse for people to not see this film, and for those of you who haven't, you can act like a man. What's the matter with you?
Ramone #3: Ramone - added March 2, 2008 at 7:09pm
Wow. I get it. You thought it was Goodfellas. That was literally a verbal clunker. I think I can hear the crickets from here. Anyways great review and an even better movie. Not that I'm trying to toot my own horn. Mrrraaa Mraaa L L
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added March 2, 2008 at 8:12pm
Great movie though.
And fuck you both, it was funny. You're just too lame to understand the comedic genius that I represent.
Luminaire #5: Luminaire - added March 3, 2008 at 12:13am
if you were funny, you wouldn't have to laugh at your own jokes.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added March 3, 2008 at 12:16am
Exactly -- "What else needs be said?" -- this review should have been one sentence long. It's hard to review a film like this without doing it piss poor justice. Some films are too good for ratings.
Nirrad #7: Nirrad - added March 3, 2008 at 12:52am
Haha, thats what you said about Rocky as well, and I agree with you there. Sometimes you just want to say "Great movie! Go see it, end of story"
Nirrad #8: Nirrad - added May 27, 2009 at 1:17pm
It didn't blow me a way or anything, but there really isn't anything wrong with the movie. I thought the second act was a little uninteresting, but it was still good. 10/10 L L L L LB blLBLBlblbstupid.aLLL LBLBLB
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