Here is a guest post review by my friend Rebecca at Just me... I have yet to see The Godfather and I am not sure if I would agree with Rebecca on the review but it is a great review.
Thoughts: The Godfather is a movie about the Corleone crime family in New York during the 1920s-1930s. The story chronicles the finale fall of Vito Corleone and the reluctant rise of his son Michael. Despite it's label as a 'violent' movie--it really isn't that violent, and not only that but it can be pretty deep. There are many subtle cues throughout the movie that give you amazing insight into the characters. The Godfather is a surprisingly symbolic movie. Symbolism runs throughout the movie and gives it a powerful edge. You must be a close and careful viewer in order to fully understand the intense meaning behind it all.
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola
Release Date: March 15 1972
Running Time: 175 Minutes
MMPA Rating: R
The Good: Fantastic drama, story, and acting. The story is absolutely amazing and a must watch!
The Bad: Not as much action as one might expect--however, what action there was is exceptional and true to life. Also, the movie does have it's slow moments, but those slow moments are often crucial to the story.
Plot: The following summary is copied from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather Though it really isn't a great work. I will right my own plot sample for The Godfather Part Two.
On the day of his only daughter's wedding, Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) hears requests in his role as the Godfather, the Don of his New York crime family. Vito's youngest son Michael (Al Pacino), on military leave, introduces his girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton), to his family at the sprawling reception. Vito's godson Johnny Fontane (Al Martino), a popular singer, pleads for help in securing a coveted movie role, so Vito dispatches his consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) to the abrasive studio head, Jack Woltz (John Marley), to secure the casting. Woltz is unmoved until the morning he wakes up in bed with the severed head of his prized stud horse.
Shortly before Christmas 1945, drug baron Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), backed by the Corleones' rivals, the Tattaglias, asks Vito for investment and protection through his political connections, but Vito disapproves of drug dealers. Instead, he sends his enforcer, Luca Brasi (Lenny Montana) to spy on them, but a fish is returned to the family wrapped in Brasi's vest, confirming he "sleeps with the fishes". Sollozzo's assassination attempt on Vito lands Vito in the hospital, so eldest son, Sonny (James Caan), takes command. Sollozzo kidnaps Hagen to pressure Sonny to accept his deal. Michael thwarts a second assassination attempt on his father at the hospital, but is accosted by corrupt police Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), who breaks his jaw. Sonny retaliates by having Tattaglia's son killed. Michael comes up with a plan to hit Sollozzo and McCluskey that his brother approves over Hagen's objections. On the pretext of settling the dispute, Michael lures the pair to a restaurant, retrieves a planted handgun and murders them.
Despite a clampdown from the authorities, the Five Families erupt in open warfare and the brothers fear for their safety.
Watch the movie to see what happens next!
Plot: 9.9/10: The movie has an original plot and keeps the viewer interested. As I said before, the story is one of great sorry and triumph for the Corlone family and gives remarkable insight into the world of the crime families.
"It's not personal, it's just business."
The symbolism alone is amazing! Everything about this movie has a point. For instance: the puppet controls on the title symbolize the control the Godfather has over the family. Basically they are is puppets. Also, the subtle nuances of this movie are wonderful! For example: When Michael goes to the hospital and discovers that the guards have abandoned his father to die--he and a visitor pose as guards in order to ward off the up coming attack. After it's over, the visitor tries to light a cigarette, but can't because his hands are shaking too badly. Michael lights it for him and discovers that his own hands aren't shaking--hinting to the fact that, despite Michael's best efforts--he is immune to the terror around him. Also, when the reluctant Michael Corleone becomes the Don (AKA the Godfather of the family) he stops smiling. I know that's not something most people would pick up on--but still, it's there. Michael never smiles again (or at least not genuinely) after he becomes the Don. He didn't want in the family--he just wanted out. Yet, to save his family, he sacrificed everything.
Action:7.6/10: This movie isn't really an action movie, though many people claim it is very violent. Actually, it really isn't that bad on the violent scale...though there are parts that definitely are violent. However, there are very few mass shoot outs in this movie.
Acting: 9.8/10: The acting in this movie is superb! Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert Duvall give jaw dropping performances, and even the supporting cast calls for an encore! The movie was cast perfectly. I'd give it a 10/10--but that's just me.
Special Effects: N/A: The Godfather really doesn't have any special effects; there's no need for any. The Godfather is a realistic drama about a New York Crime family; the only real special effects in this movie are the basic gunfire effects. However they are still good.
Soundtrack: 9.9/10: The soundtrack is perfectly suited to this movie. Nino Rota did a brilliant job!
Comedy: 5.2/10: The Godfather isn't really a comedy movie. However, there are a few comedic moments scattered throughout. However these moments are more chagrin than anything else. They are humorous if you have been paying attention to the story and understand the characters. For instance: it's funny when Sonny beats his brother-in-law for abusing his sister. Also, some of the ways the Corleone family sends messages are humorous!
Would I Watch This Again?: Yes! This is one of those great movies that you can never get tired of!
Overall: 10/10: The Godfather is an epic, timeless movie that you can never forget. It is a classic must see. The Godfather is the story of a powerful family's reign of power and the reluctant hero who tried, in vain, to save them. Trust me, you haven't seen a movie until you have seen the Godfather!
Closing Comments: If and when you decide to view the Godfather--don't expect a quick, no effort watch. This is an amazingly complex movie and you HAVE to pay attention in order to fully comprehend it all! Everything in this movie has a point and ultimately leads to the conclusion--so pay attention! If you miss a cue then you won't understand the story!
Recommended for: Drama fans, Classics fans, Crime Drama Fans and anyone over fifteen!
Thanks so much to my friend James for letting me do this review!
Rebecca will be posting some very important news on her Just me..., very soon. Be sure to check out her blog.
"It's not personal, it's just business"