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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Three Godfather Films, 1 Nov. 2005
This review is from: The Godfather [DVD] (DVD)
After I purchased Mario Puzo's novel, I stayed up most of that night reading it. Two years later, this film adaptation appeared and I have since seen it (as well as Godfather Part II) more than a dozen times. Francis Ford Coppola deserves all of the praise and awards these films have received over the years. He should also be admired for insisting that Pacino and Brando be cast in two of the major roles despite strong opposition from Paramount. Coppola assembled a superb cast but also an equally talented crew. Those who share my high regard for it no doubt have their own favorite scenes. Mine include Michael's enlistment of a bewildered young man's assistance at the hospital until members of the Corleone family arrive to protect their don, the sequence in the restaurant which results in the killing of Sollozzo and McCluskey, Tom Hagen's discussion with Jack Woltz during dinner, Michael's reunion conversation with Kay as they stroll in a New England village, and the montage of executions during the baptism. None of the extensive violence in the film seems gratuitous. Each major character is fully developed. The cinematography and score are outstanding, although neither was even nominated for an Academy Award. Dark as this film often is, it also has its lighter moments, as during the wedding celebration when Luca Brasi rehearses his remarks before presenting a gift and later when Clemenza teases Michael good-naturedly about Kay Adams. For me, the single most interesting element in the film is Michael's gradual development from his family's baby brother (albeit a war hero) to its ruthlessly efficient don. Once he volunteers to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey, his destiny is assured. In some respects, this film reminds me of an opera but one with a multi-dimensional plot as well as grandeur in its style, scope, and emotional impact. In 1998, the American Film Institute selected The Godfather as one of the three greatest American films. Only Citizen Kane and Casablanca were ranked higher.
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Location: Dallas, Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 121