The Godfather MAG

September 10, 2010
By Bryant Barile BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
Bryant Barile BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“The Godfather,” a 1970s film detailing the struggles of a Mafia family in post-World War II New York City, not only changed the face of cinema forever, but also resurrected a genre that had been dead since the Howard Hughes mafia opus “Scarface” hit the silver screen in the 1930s.

Directed by then-novice Francis Ford Coppola, future mastermind behind “Apocalypse Now,” “Tucker,” and “Youth Without Youth,” “The Godfather” not only demonstrates poise and expertise in writing and directing but also in acting. Coppola put his career on the line fighting with power-hungry studio executives to get the actors he felt fit the roles.

Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, youngest son of don Vito Corleone, expertly immerses himself in his character, down to the way he walks and talks, carries himself, and even shoots a gun in the famous “gun behind the toilet” assassination scene. Marlon Brando as the elder Corleone gives one of the greatest performances in cinematic history. With Robert Duvall as mild-mannered family consigliere Tom Hagen, and James Caan as the hotheaded Santino “Sonny” Corleone, every part is well cast and executed to perfection.

Not only are the acting, writing, and directing top-notch, but so is the way the film is carried with great setting, music, and a feeling of authenticity. As Michael travels the picturesque hills of 1940s Sicily, “Speak Softly Love,” the famous tune by Nino Rota, transports audiences into the beautiful but deadly world of upper-class criminals. Everything in the film is well timed and well placed, offering the audience a portal into a life filled with twists and turns.

“The Godfather” also reflects the fact that Coppola collaborated well with Mario Puzo, the author of the novel, and Coppola did a plethora of research to ensure the authenticity of his mobsters. The actors talk, eat, sleep, and kill like real-world criminals, embodying the swagger of high-rolling Italian mobsters. The dialogue flows from their lips as if Al Capone or Jon Gotti said it.

“The Godfather” will go down in history as one of the most well made films of all time.

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