If you had to describe The Godfather in on word, that word should be iconic. Regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s timeless tale of the rise and falls within the ranks of the New York Italian mafia is the pinnacle gangster movie, setting the bar that all other gangster films should aim for. Marlon Brando’s captivating Oscar winning performance as Don Corleone has exceeded the test of time. Matched with Al Pacino’s breakthrough role as Ivy-league war-veteran Michael Corleone compelled to take over the family business, it really is no wonder why The Godfather is so highly regarded.
The immense attention to detail and ad-libbing adds a certain authenticity to the film, no doubt contributing to the overall quality and success, after all the devil is in the detail. Brando’s Don Corleone voice was in fact inspired by Frank Costello, an actual mobster Brando had seen on TV resulting in the husky whisper. Coppola’s original cut was 126 minutes but Paramount wanted to be shown more of the Corleone family which is how we ended with the extra 49 minutes. Whilst clocking in at just under 3 hours, there is never a lack of interest. It is incredibly well paced and well put together, from when we first meet Don Corleone and Michael, the change in their dynamic within the family and within the mafia, and the chain of events and characters that drives and develops that change. Coppola’s use of Nino Rota’s subliminal score has reverberated through the genre almost as much the film itself. As soon as you hear that lone trumpet from ‘The Godfather Waltz’ you are hit with such severity that demands to be listened to. The violin then adds a solemnity to the piece, when the guitar begins its reminiscent Italian styled Waltz, a contrast between playful and sinister reflects perfectly the nature of being part of ‘The Godfathers’ family.
There is no question as to why The Godfather is considered a masterpiece, because it is. If you’ve never got around to watching The Godfather this is the perfect opportunity to see it how it should be seen; On the big screen, in 4K with surround sound. Even if this is a re-watch it’s a fantastic opportunity to really appreciate it for what it’s worth and who knows when the next opportunity will be to catch it again at a cinema? Surely this is an offer you can’t refuse?
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