Classic Review: The Godfather (1972)

Certificate: 18

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Screenwriter: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Genre: Drama, Crime

Runtime: 175 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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The Godfather “Don” Vito Corleone is the head of the Corleone mafia family in New York. Vito is a powerful man, and is kind to all those who give him respect but is ruthless against those who do not. But when a powerful and treacherous rival wants to sell drugs and needs the Don’s influence for the same, Vito refuses to do it. What follows is a clash between Vito’s fading old values and the new ways which may cause Michael to do the thing he was most reluctant in doing and wage a mob war against all the other mafia families which could tear the Corleone family apart. – From IMDB

What is there to say about such a beloved classic that hasn’t been said by a thousand, much more eloquent people than myself. I first watched this film about five years ago, and can honestly say, with a bit of a heavy heart, that I didn’t really care for it all that much. I found it to be too slow and mostly just dull. I have been apprehensive to rewatch it because of those initial feelings, but now that I have, I am so glad to say that my feelings have changed much more for the better.

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It’s never going to be a favourite of mine, gangster epics just aren’t in my wheelhouse. But I can say that I enjoyed the viewing experience much more this time around, and found myself much more engrossed in the story. Yes, it is a slow mover, and at nearly three hours, at times is feels a little over-long. But this time allows the audience to get to know all the characters, see how the relationships work, and see the characters develop over the time that the film is set. And it is that development of characters that is the meat of the film.

To help back up tis character work, Coppola has put together what is by now an absolutely iconic cast, and one that only gets better in the next instalment. All the actors involved give it their all, they give absolutely fantastic performances, but it’s Marlon Brando that is always going to be remembered in his role as Vito Corleone. Such a commanding performance, and one that has obviously stood the test of time, and is now one of the most recognised characters in cinema history.

I know you don’t need me to tell you this, but this really is a classic, a film that every movie buff should see at least once. So if you haven’t done so already, I implore you to do so.

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