The Godfather (1972)
(R) 175 mins

“Leave the gun. Take the canolis.”
“It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Okay, I realize I could go on and on with Godfather quotes, but I’ll stop there. Simply stated, ‘The Godfather’ is one of the greatest scripts ever written. For starters, the dialogue is unforgettable (as exhibited above). Secondly, the storyline is done perfectly. It’s deep enough to be drawn out over nearly three hours, but tight enough to maintain interest in every scene. Not an easy task.

But what makes the film truly great and deserves mention among the best films ever made is the cast. It’s probably the best casting of any film I’ve ever seen. First off of course is Brando, who’s at his best even though he’s well past his prime. Can you honestly imagine anyone else in this role? And as immortal as Brando is…he had to audition for the role!

The real coup in the casting was of an unknown at the time: Al Pacino. He embodies Michael Corleone like no one else. From in the opening scene, where he’s uninvolved with the family to the restrained rage at the other heads of the family which guide his decisionmaking, Al Pacino IS Michael Corleone. He had been in two films previous to this one, and neither is anything you’ve heard of.

Aside the two leads, the supporting cast holds their own as well. James Caan as the hotheaded Sonny, Robert Duvall as the rational, cool-headed Consiglieri, Diane Keaton as Michael’s less family oriented girlfriend, Al Martino as the crooning Johnny Fontane, and so on and so on. Believe me I could go on. But I’ll stop there. Anyone reading my review knows the film is one of the best ever made, so why should I keep wasting their time?

+4


Oscar Awards
Best Picture
Best Actor (Marlon Brando)
Best Adapted Screenplay

Oscar Nominations
Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola)
Best Supporting Actor (James Caan)
Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)
Best Supporting Actor (Al Pacino)
Achievement in Film Editing
Achievement in Costume Design
Achievement in Sound