The Godfather

The Godfather ★★★★★

I have never considered this a favorite film, but it’s an obvious understatement to call this one of the greatest films ever made, The 3 hour runtime breezes by faster than most 2 hour films I can think of and that’s one personal subjective criteria I use to identify a great film.
The direction is certainly not flashy but the story does not require that, the performance by Brando I think is slightly overrated, but that's just my opinion and I don't think it detracts from the movie.
On the other hand I think we can't speak highly enough of Pacino because he undergoes a full transformation in character which is thrilling to watch.

An underrated performance I think is that of James Caan, he can be dismissed here as the hothead who has no business in a family authority position but really this takes quite a bit of acting skill to make this look believable when everybody else seems so calm and composed.
Best scene for me is the diner scene with Michael, police chief and Sollozzo, it sets everything in motion, and the film barely stops to take a breath from that point on (aside from some strolls through Italian countryside).
I listened to good portion of the Coppola commentary on the DVD and it is pretty amazing how well this came together despite all the limitations and budgetary setbacks they had. This is very engaging commentary and worth a listen especially if you know the film well.

I've only seen part two a couple times and it's hard for me to remember what all happens but I'm looking forward to that rewatch soon. I know its great in it’s own right but it will never hold a position over the original in my mind. Despite knowing pretty much everything that is going to happen in The Godfather, it still does surprise me and holds an impact with each viewing, I think even more so as I age with it.

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