Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #7 of The Movie King's Scavenger Hunt Challenge
Task #4: A film that is 3 or more hours long
Letters to the Director #11- The Godfather
To Mr. Francis Ford Coppola,
Please tell me you didn't really decapitate a horse in that one gruesome sequence about thirty minutes into The Godfather! That was a messed up sequence, Mr. Coppola, one that kind of put me off guard being a pro-animal rights dude. Though you won't find me protesting about different things regarding animal safety, I am concerned about how humanity treats God's beautiful creatures. I'm hoping that horse head was just a prop or something...
Anyway, let me go in-depth about this movie you made during your directing prime known as The Godfather. If you're wondering who I am, I am an avid movie buff about to turn 20 making my way through college and growing in my cinematic experiences. You will not believe how long I have had The Godfather on my watchlist. The hype and praise for this film have been in my mind for so long that had I not watched the film I might have missed out in my cinematic growth. Any film that's regarded by many as one of the best films ever made has to be viewed by anyone who calls himself The Movie King! So yeah, I popped in The Godfather at 8:00 AM, and as that moody trumpeter was playing in the background, and Marlon Brando emerges from the darkness into the screen, I knew I was being treated to something truly remarkable.
Why do I sound so ecstatic right now? Well, Mr. Coppola, for years and years and years, I had a favorite movie and it was called Star Wars, made by your buddy George Lucas. You know, a film that redefined cinematic art and entertainment has to be commended, and watching that film a gazillion times doesn't get old. But today, I viewed The Godfather, this film that redefined cinematic art in an era when directors were taking risks and endorsing freedom of speech over profits and selling toys... and you know what??? Star Wars has been dethroned, man, dethroned!!! The Godfather is officially the greatest movie ever made!
This three-hour epic is fantastic, mesmerizing, very impactful, highly entertaining, filled with stunning performances and beautiful cinematography, and I had never viewed it until now! It's more than just an epic; it's a vicious crime drama about power and total control, it's a powerful look at the love of family and running the business, and on top of that, for a film about the Mob, it's got heart! Sure these gangsters are brutal, shady, and kill on the spot (like those hitmen killing gangsters while a baby is being baptized), but the way you and Mario Puzo manage to create sympathy on the Corleone family is a stellar accomplishment that even after over 40 years is still something remarkable. It's hard to believe that you were almost fired from production when the studio refused to trust your judgments regarding the mostly unknown cast and how it would be shot. But look what you've accomplished; your film won Best Picture, it was the highest-grossing film of its year, and its still regarded by many critics as one of cinema's finest.
Before I go, there's one performance I have to commend that truly made the three-hour flick a true cinematic experience... Marlon Brando as the Don. His performance was terrific, and goes down as possibly one of the best performances I've seen out of hundreds of films I've seen in my life! His stage presence is felt tremendously, his dialect is spot-on, his voice alone gave me chills, and the whole time I seriously felt like I was in the room thinking "Movie King, do not mess with him, no no no." Other performances were great as well, notably Al Pacino and Robert Duvall, but here, thanks to you, Brando's class. He's a contender. He's somebody who's not a bum, and the strongest performance I've seen out of his entire career!
The Godfather, officially the best movie I've ever seen, and one of the best first-time viewings I've ever encountered in my living room! Everything put into this is well-handed, your masterful direction making everything feel epic, whether its a shootout to a moving funeral, to how the actors stage their characters, to the dynamic script, to the breathtaking cinematography, to its haunting musical score, Mr. Coppola, you've redefined art, and I can guarantee that it will never be dethroned... except maybe Godfather Part 2. I definitely cannot wait to revisit this one as I continue to live my humble life. Thank you for making a movie about the Mob so delicately awesome!
From a newfound fan,
The Movie King
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."