The Godfather

The Godfather ★★★★★

Based on Mario Puzo’s crime novel The Godfather (1969), which Paramount Pictures secured as a still unfinished 60-page manuscript for a measly $12,500 with an $80,000 option, Francis Ford Coppola’s traditionally filmed and stylized The Godfather (1972) forever altered the crime genre and gangster subgenre with the introduction of “family” as a motivator for criminal activities against those purely pursuing personal gain.

This story about the pursuit of health and wealth for the sake of familial bonds, many of which extend beyond true flesh and blood, is a sublime first-to-concept that would semi-regrettably open the floodgates to glut of watered down gangster movies and television attempting to ride its coattails. Actively avoiding the word “mafia” and its well-established negative connotations, The Godfather (1972) wields the power and respect it draws from its viewers like a sword, allowing it to destroy the enemies of the criminals to applause instead of protest. 

Harsh critics of The Godfather (1972) regularly toss around phrases like “overly dramatic” in an attempt to discount its characters and their actors’ performances as if the cast isn’t one of the greatest ever assembled and as if they aren’t responsible for some of the most memorable, iconic archetypes to ever grace the silver screen. To pretend their value has diminished, simply because this film has begun to slip from popular culture, is a gross disservice to a genre cornerstone purely for the sake of recognition and clout. The Godfather (1972) is a cinematic masterpiece and, without a doubt, one of the greatest films of all time.

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