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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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A masterpiece
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on a book by Mario Puzo. The aging Godfather of a mafia family, Don Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando) is keen to pass on control of his empire to his son, Michael (played by Al Pacino). Michael is reluctant at first but over time becomes quite adept at being a ruthless mafia boss...

Hard to come up with any more superlatives for this movie, as it is rightfully regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. Great story, excellent direction. Despite the long duration it doesn't drift or lose focus.

Excellent performances too. Marlon Brando well deserved his Best Actor Oscar, as did Al Pacino, Robert Duvall and James Caan their nominations for Best Supporting Actor.

A masterpiece, and all-time classic.
History is made with this movie
I cannot think of a single negative of the Godfather. It truly is a classic and will always be one of the greatest films ever made. I have seen it many times and recently purchased the movie so that I could watch it anytime that I want.

I love the score for this film and get goosebumps when I hear that opening trumpet begin to play. As the movie progresses I begin to feel a connection to the characters and become invested in their growth and story. As many times as I have seen this movie, I continue to have the same feelings. It is one of the movies that can never get old and will always be a masterpiece.

It will be a number of years before anything can come close to the magnitude of this film and it may never be contested.
Great look at a family based around crime
Michael Corleone returns home from the war for his sister's wedding. However his return coincides with the beginnings of a war between the main families sparked by the marketing of drugs. Michael's involvement in the family business increases when his father is the victim of an assassination attempt and Michael wants to kill the two men responsible before going to Italy for a year to lay low. When Michael's brother Sonny is murdered, Michael returns home to take control of the family and clear up the war.

The most famous and the best film about organised crime is also one of the best films ever made. The plot is at once straightforward and complex, it deals with things on many levels from the action to the theme of family. The basic story is gripping and sprawling at the same time. It creates many memorable scenes and lines that have become part of the general knowledge that we all share – that's why it's referred to in everything from Sopranos down to The Simpsons.

Every shot is perfectly framed and has a great sense of period throughout. From the opening speech with it's memorable lines and camera focus down to the final shot and all it implies, it is full throughout. The action is a pleasure to watch and the lines are so much more classy than more recent attempts at gangster films.

Pacino is great – he not only changes before our eyes over the 3 hours but he manages it into the next film too. Brando is always a risk on any film, and when he started mumbling and filling his cheeks with cotton wool, Coppola must have worried about what was happening, but he delivers a performance that is so good that almost everyone has impersonated him at some time. The main cast is full of good performances from actors from all stages. Up and comers such as Duvall, Caan, Keaton etc are as good as more ageing icons such as Richard Conte, Sterling Haydn, Castellano etc.

In every area the film oozes class and professionalism. The look at family life is excellent and the only downside is that it can't help but glamorise organised crime – people may be killed but it still looks and sounds cool. But then, if we're going to start criticising films because they glamorise violence or destruction then The Godfather comes along way down the hit list – long after countless hundreds of action movies and summer blockbusters.

Overall this film will always be a classic, your Harry Potters, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings etc will come and go based on how well hyped they are – but Godfather has been on most people's top 5 list for decades and will to continue to be for many more. Now that's respect.
Truly the Godfather of movies
Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the head of a Mafia family. Sonny (James Caan) is his eldest and heir apparent. Michael (Al Pacino) is a return WWII hero and wants to keep out of the family business. The Don refuses to go into the drug business which precipitate a mob war.

There is no doubt that this is one of the greatest movie of all times. Director Francis Ford Coppola has crafted a masterpiece from Mario Puzo's novel. It is not just a great story, but great characters and great actors playing them. Forty years later, it's still as compelling as ever. The pacing is slower than today's standard, but it packs a punch more potent than anything recent. The acting power alone is incredible. When you consider that Al Pacino is the new unknown kid, the cast is unquestionable the best that Hollywood has to offer in that era. Every 10 minutes, there is an iconic scene. There is no way I can list them all.

I rarely give a 10. Rarer still do I give it with no reservation. A perfect movie is not enough. It has to have cultural significance and some originality. That is 'The Godfather'. It is still being referenced today. May all the haters sleep with the fishes.
Very overrated - yet pretty remarkable. Great film, in ways, yes, but not the greatest film ever.
As "great" as the film is --- you can't help but realise how overrated and over-talked-about it really is. It's like it "must be" on every top 3, 5, and/or 10 list of "best films" or "all-time greatest films" - when in all honesty, I don't think it should be. I actually prefer its sequel, The Godfather Part II.

The Godfather is a very good film - but I don't think it's as good as it's said to be. It has good acting, nonetheless, and outstanding directing. But after you've succumb to its somewhat impressive acting and directing, you'll realise it's merely a boring film with slow scenes that are difficult to draw you in.

People actually list this film as "the greatest film ever made" - Well, I can see it's an absolute classic with top-notch acting and directing... and that's it! It's no more. The second one is better - although it's merely the same (good acting, good directing, etc.) but I just think there are a few things that make Part II better.

Praise was looked towards Marlon Brando's influential, and extremely grasping performance - and so it should. Pachino was great too, of course. There are many fantastic and inspiring things about the film - but that being said, there are many other things I find boring, slow, and inpatient about it. However, it is a good film, overall. Just too overrated is all.

I would rate it 7.5 or 8.0 out of 10; whereas I would rate the second one an higher rating of 9.5 out of 10. Maybe it's just each to their own, and it's everyone's own opinion. You like what you like. But it is, nonetheless, a remarkable achievement - I just wouldn't class it as one of the greatest films ever. The second one, maybe, yes, but I prefer films such as The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the original Star Wars films.

7.5/8.0 out of 10.
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.
A Must-See For All Generations
"The Godfather" has been a title so beloved and entirely embraced as a significant, cultural phenomenon, that in a certain level demands of you to watch it with full recommendations off of it. Especially if you're young, there is absolutely no way that the buzz of the "greatest movie in history" did not get you. So, even though that buzz doesn't necessarily ruin the viewing for you all-together, I will accept that while I was watching, I was unintentionally trying to like it and feel it.

The beginning of the film sets the mood perfectly. There are no attachments to settled humor or dry dialogue. It warns us that this is going to be a serious take, on some pretty serious issues. Don Corleone's first lines are self-aware and carefully put. This dominating appearance shows us a man trusted, beloved and respected and at the same time feared, depressed and deserted. And that goes for both his family and outsiders. He is a mafia man, one of the greatest, and his life is surrounded by his business partners, by his associates and comrades in this dark lifestyle. And throughout the entire movie, he is presented to have balanced the time between family and business, yet that seems like one impossible task.

Micheal Corleone, son of the Godfather, is introduced like a man with a very different approach and very different opinions on the case of life and choices than the rest of his family and especially his father. That happens for two reasons: early on his life he decided not to be like him (even though he seems to be the one attached by the Godfather as the favorite) and he has chosen a decent life for him and Kay, the love of his life.

Then, everything goes down the drain: someone attempts to kill the Godfather.

It is at that point when the son Micheal starts his decay... No promises, no commitments, no wrongs... Someone tried to kill his loving father. He stares at every single person in his family just standing by, so in his rage, decides to do the unthinkable. Using his status as the most innocent of the Corleone family, he exacts revenge.

When he succeeds, he exiles himself out of the country until things can settle down. He attempts to start a new life away from the madness with Apollonia, a beautiful woman he meets and falls in love with (although never convincing even himself that he has forgotten Kay). He comes to know the hard way that he can't run away from what he has done and what his family stands for. Someone tries to kill him even so far from his home but gets to Apollonia. So upon his return, he accepts the position of the new "Godfather" and immediately seems to be a changed man.

Micheal retrieves Kay, makes unconditional promises and ends up being the very person he was trying to avoid.

There are several things in this film that make it astounding. Relationships within the family are displayed in such a truthful way. Francis Ford Coppola offers us a chance to connect with many different characters and their several views. The main plot is driven excellently, with Don Corleone and Micheal taking the grandeur, but in the meanwhile we get to know the deep motions and powers of every person slightly connected to this world. What we get is a fiery and passionate film exploring deep meanings and strong notions.

Marlon Brando won the Academy Award for what was an unbelievably great performance. After this film, I totally get his worldwide fame as one of the greatest actors of all time. Al Pacino shines with charisma (which he perfected on the second part) in the greatest role of his career. And besides these two super-actors, is there anyone from the cast that I can talk badly for? All great.

I guess the only issue with this movie is it's running-time and most importantly the somewhat complicated way things glue together. I understand that Mario Puzo had a difficult task of bringing the book on- screen, but it's the way we are drawn to these characters that makes me confused about who is who. And that is the reason I suggest we stick to the father-son relationship and not worry about certain aspects and scenes we don't understand or just keep asking "who is that guy talking"?

This is the "Godfather" that everyone is talking about for decades, and if you don't like what you hear in the very first scene in that dark room, I warn you... turn of the picture and don't watch anymore. Come back a few years later when you could probably handle it.

On the other hand, you must ask yourself: can you feel the zest for respect and loyalty when Don Corleone whispers his lines? Don't you yearn for the moral and innocent Micheal as the movie goes? Can you sympathize with Kay when the door closes at the end? Then "The Godfather" got you where it should have.
Count Me In The Minority
First I have to say that it is very difficult to watch this movie for the first time (which I just did) and approach it with an open mind. The glowing reviews it gets everywhere (many of course calling it the best movie ever made) gives one extremely high expectations and the possibility of being easily disappointed. The many parodies of the movie also give it a cult status that makes one think one knows the story even if one has never seen it.

I thought "The Godfather" was a good movie, but nothing more than that really. I personally wouldn't call it the greatest movie ever made; not even one of the greatest. It was good, worth watching once and I'm glad I've finally seen it, but nothing more.

The portrayal of mob life in the post-war era seemed realistic enough, and the appropriate atmosphere was set. The opening scenes (revolving around Don Corleone's daughter's wedding) gave me mixed feelings. I thought the whole thing went on too long, but it did demonstrate that Corleone's "business" never ended - he was constantly meeting with various people looking for favours rather than being front and centre at the wedding. Brando, of course, won (and refused to accept) the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Corleone, but I wasn't actually taken with his performance. First, I really didn't think of him as the Lead Actor. Al Pacino (as Corleone's son Mike) was, I thought, far more important to the story and far more interesting to watch. Brando had - to me - an almost cartoonish aura around him. Over-rated in my view. But Pacino was excellent, and the character of Mike the most interesting in the movie, as he evolves from the returned war hero who wants nothing to do with the family "business" to the eventual "Don."

It's not that I thought this was a bad movie. It was quite watchable and for the most part very interesting. I just think I've seen better.

Simply amazing
This has to be a masterpiece for me and for my understanding and knowledge. I adore mob films like this one and TV series about the mob as the great TV series I've ever watched: The Sopranos. The shooting of the whole film is sublime, and the shots of the two sequels as well. Coppola got to manage this as a master of film composing. The plot and the development in general is majestic too. The scene of the head horse in the film director's bed is very shocking; I never saw something like that. Now I can only say that this has become one of my favorites films ever (for me and for most of you who are reading this). This is the sort of films that I would watch for many times.
Best Movie Ever.
The Godfather movie series is the best that I have ever seen. It's really joy and fun and exciting to watch the movie all over again. I really enjoy the first part the most, but I think the second part is very interesting and adds lots of elements to part one. I wish the Godfather was a whole new TV series, that dose extend beyond three parts. I enjoy the excellent acting, story, and drama. I can't say enough about the music. It's something that many people enjoy listening to on regular bases. Overall I would rank this movie top notch on my list. Highly recommended. have seen The Godfather movies too many times to count. It's part of the lexicon in my family, we quote lines from it all the time in regular conversation. So, I thought this book might be a little boring, just because I already knew the story so well. Not the case! The book adds so much detail to the story that I think I'll be watching the movie again soon in a whole new light. Joe Mantegna does such a wonderful job narrating this story and I'd absolutely recommend his version as opposed to the other full cast version that's out there, especially for people that are really in tune with the movie.
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