The Godfather

The Godfather ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

I decided I wanted to revisit this since I planned on watching The Godfather: Part ll this weekend. I wanted to revisit The Godfather so I could have it fresh on my mind. I was also hoping that on rewatch, it would jump to that 10/10. While it's clear from the rating up top that it didn't quite reach that perfect 10/10, I now have a deeper appreciation for The Godfather than I ever have before. Trust me, it feels weird to sit here and not give The Godfather a 10/10 but I just couldn't do it with a sound mind. They're just a few nitpicks I have and some things that reach the heights of my version of a 10/10 film. Maybe I'm a fool for not giving this that perfect rating but I am going to go with my gut instinct. That all being said though I'm still giving this a 9/10 which is a pretty high rating for me. The Godfather does so many things rate. Everything from the acting, directing, writing, and, the score is all fantastic and makes for an incredible film.

The Godfather's importance to film cannot be measured. It has been replicated many times to great success and failure. It just might be the most important movie of the 20th century but that debate is for another time. People who haven't seen this movie and are "film fans" really need to get their priorities straight. This is an absolute must-see whether you like it or not. I like to say that this is the Citizen Kane of the first half of the 20th century.

The acting in The Godfather is of course superb. Marlon Brando gives one of my all-time favorite performances here. It's straight-up masterclass acting. I forgot how much he's actually in this movie. Of course, he's not in it as much as Pacino or Duvall (yet he somehow got the award for the leading actor) but we got more of him than I remember which is definitely a good thing. Brando controls the movie whenever he is on screen. I learned afterward that he was reading off of Q cards and such. I didn't notice that on this viewing. It does explain some of the pauses Brando takes in the movie but they fit so smoothly into the film that it doesn't hinder the movie in any way. Brando's introduction into the movie is one of the best introductions to a character and one of my favorite scenes in the movie. When we think of the character study of The Godfather it's not just for Pacino. Brando feels like a fully formed character by the movie who we care about and that character study will continue in Part II. Vito's death is sad and still gets me. It really is heartbreaking. The scene in the third act with him and Pacino sitting outside is fantastic as well. Then of course we have Pacino who is fantastic as well. When we think of a character study, Michael Corleone is one of the first characters to come to mind. It's absolutely perfect how Coppola and Puzo write this character. Pacino as Micheal is straight-up iconic. The Academy should've given his performance more recognition. Robert Duvall is fantastic as Tom Hagen. Hagen has become one of my favorite supporting characters in a movie. Duvall is such a great actor and he's great here. The role he plays to each character is so crucial and executed perfectly. It's the most subtle performance but it's one of the best of the movie. James Caan as Sonny is great as well. There are many scenes in the movie where I was particularly surprised by Caan's performance. He perfectly encapsulates the role of a mobster while Pacino is slowly growing into it and Vito is dropping out. There are many other side performances that aren't in the movie a whole lot but are little gold nuggets.

Francis Ford Coppola's directing in this movie is fantastic. It feels like he has total control over everything that happens in the film. Coppola nailed the lighting of the film. It feels like a weird thing to point out in a movie full of great things but I just noticed on this viewing just how perfect it is. There aren't really any shots I would pull out as masterful, but it's the lighting where Coppola shines. He was the perfect person to pick for the director. His being Italian as well, he brought a vibe to it that makes the movie even better. You really buy that this is a family in such a deep way. You can feel the Italian culture coursing through this movie even if not everyone here is Italian. The writing he did with Mario Puzo is a straight-up masterclass. You can go to my Noah's list and see that I have this nominated for best script ever. It's fantastic writing for sure. To see it applied to the characters is what makes the movie so great. The score by Nino Rota is quite good. It's far from my favorite piece of music. It's not something I'm ever going to listen to by itself but the way it aids the movie is very effective.

I suppose I should probably explain why this isn't getting five stars from me. The whole sequence of Michael away from the family in hiding was kind of a drag for me. I was never invested there at all. I wanted to be back with the family and that was in the way. There are some good moments that come out of it. We do see Micheal begin to become a little crueler and start to be a little more threatening. The parts there look very good. Coppola got some good moments in there with his directing. This is a very long movie though and it feels like there were some things to be trimmed down in the side of the story.

Make no mistake, even though I'm not giving this 10/10 it is still incredible. Brando and Pacino are so fantastic in their roles and give some of the best performances I have seen. Coppola's direction and writing are fantastic. The music is great by Nino Rota is great as well. This is one of the most important pieces of our pop culture and is an absolute must-see. Check this out as soon as you can if you haven't seen it.

Strong Recommend

Previous: The Social Network

Coming Soon:
Casino Royale
Jurassic Park
The Godfather: Part 2
The Iron Giant
Quantum of Solace
The Game

💀Noah liked these reviews