James Justice’s review published on Letterboxd:
1972’s “The godfather”, or to be more exact “Mario Puzo’s The godfather”, was based on his own book and adapted to screenplay by him and the director, Francis Ford Coppola. The movie stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and many others and it received three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Brando which he infamously rejected as a protest directed against misrepresentation of Native Americans in the movies. It was a fine gesture by Marlon considering that I personally would call his character a supporting one and Pacino’s Michael was the true lead but that’s up for debate.
I’d also add that this movie, in my eyes, marked the final shift from the Old Hollywood to the New Era which can be paralleled with this picture’s titular characters. Brando’s Vito Corleone is an old patriarch of the family, adored and respected by many and feared by just as many. His son Michael on the other hand is a newcomer, fresh in this world that he has to adjust in and live by its rules. His struggle, his inner battle between what he wants to be and what he has to be in order to protect his family and close ones is the core of the movie and that’s why I think of his character as a central, pivotal to the story and plot more than that of Vito’s.
What is there to say about “The godfather” that hasn’t been said too many times already? It is one of the best crime dramas ever; the performances here are top notch, outstanding cinematography, little outdated but not less impressive special effects, fantastic music score by Nino Rota and Mr Coppola’s masterful direction bring this motion picture to the hall of the greatest cinema pieces in history and put it onto top shelves with ease.