Movie: The Godfather
Release Date: March 14, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Diane Keaton
Personal History: Watched Before
Rating: 7.75 Oscars out of 10
With ‘Patton,’ ‘The French Connection‘ and now ‘The Godfather,’ there was a very testosteroney vibe in my household today. (“Which, by the way, is the real San Francisco treat.” If you know, you know.)
In 2020 during my 365 Day Movie Challenge when I reviewed ‘Goodfellas,’ I received a lot of hate mail for the following sentence: “…It is also my favorite “gangster” film of all time. (Sorry to disappoint you ‘Godfather’ fans, I won’t be watching any of those films this year.)”
Okay, so there wasn’t a lot of hate mail, but I did get some negative feedback from some very outspoken ‘The Godfather’ fans arguing, in disbelief, that none of Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia films made my list of favorite movies of all time. My response to them both then and now is “Make your own fucking list.”
With that said, I did not say anything at all negative about ‘The Godfather.’ I actually like this movie and its sequels. I just happen to like other movies more.
‘The Godfather’ was a huge commercial success when it was released in 1972. In fact, it was the highest-grossing film of that year and received universal acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. It was originally nominated for eleven Academy Awards until one of those nominations was revoked due to the movie’s music composer using some of that music for another film. (The Academy is a stickler for their rules.) But with ten nominations and winner of three Oscars, including Best Picture, ‘The Godfather’ is still revered by many and considered one of the greatest films ever made.
I don’t recall the first time that I saw the film but I do know that it was watched. And contrary to popular belief, I absolutely do enjoy it. Artistically speaking, the film is extremely well-crafted. The writing, direction and especially the acting are all superb. The story is epic in its storytelling and keeps the viewer (for the most part) at the edge of their seat. Let’s face it, it is a long movie and some parts do drag a bit.
However, even during the “dragging” moments, the actors are so good, one doesn’t seem to care. Marlon Brando received the Oscar for his portrayal and of course he was great, but Al “fucking” Pacino is the glue that holds this story together. It is such a subtle performance for someone that on occasion has gone overboard with the melodrama. Every second he is on screen is a blessing for the film and the audience. How he did not receive an Oscar for this role is beyond me.
‘The Godfather’ is without a doubt a classic. With so much iconic imagery, lines, music (even if it was originally used for a different film), there is something for everyone to feast on. Even if the film is not your cup of tea, or it doesn’t make your favorites list, it is still a movie that not only entertains but demands your respect. And that respect is well deserved.