The Godfather

The Godfather ★★★★★

"You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn't need a friend like me. Now you come and say "Don Corleone, give me justice." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me "Godfather." You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money."

Filled with love, honour, betrayal and death The Godfather is structured very much like an opera and is the film that set the template for every subsequent Mafia and gangster film. Pinochle, cannoli, sleeping with the fishes, offers you cannot refuse - you heard them here first.

An obvious comparison would be with Goodfellas but where Scorsese's film is brash, fast and in your face, The Godfather is slower, theatrical and considered. Goodfellas is the Shangri-las' Leader of the Pack and The Godfather is Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. Which do I prefer? I don't know, I really don't, but I seem to remember reading that the real Mafia had a bit of a soft spot for The Godfather and I really wouldn't want to go against them!

Filled with great performances, editing, composition and a terrific middle-8 set in Sicily, the Godfather never seems like a three hour film and is one that you'll watch again and again.

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