What else is there to say about The Godfather that hasn’t been said? The mere thought of writing an article for it is quite daunting, because I might be doing it a disservice by not talking about it properly. This paper will attempt an explanation of my experience with the Godfather 1 from a personal standpoint (or will perhaps appear as a tribute, of sorts.)
I have loved the Godfather ever since my grade school days. My father and my brother are huge fans of the series, and I have often watched it with them countless times. Back then however, I think that I was a bit confused about what was going on; there were many characters, (and most of them looked alike, typically Italian); and the storyline, though straightforward, was complicated for a little kid to handle. Despite this confusion, I had initially fallen in love with the movie if not due to its action scenes, at first; you’d have to admit that the Solozzo headshot was pretty damn cool. I had often fantasized what it was like to lead the life of a Don.
It was one of the films, if not the definitive film, that showed the glamorous side of organized crime. Though their business was illegal and could be said of as dirty, they certainly didn’t look the part; with their double breasted suits, slicked back Italian hair, fancy cars and Thompson guns. Not only did they appear stylish, but they also acted stylish too. Their principles and what they stood for; how they valued honor and family above everything else, not to mention the stylish way they performed executions or death threats. I believe that the horse head scene ranks as the most memorable scene as far as death threats in film go.
Though Mario Puzo could be said as the main person behind this brilliant piece of fiction, credit is due to Francis Ford Coppola for having transformed the experience masterfully onscreen. The casting choices are brilliant, including a lifetime’s worth of work for Marlon Brando, and a rising star and a force to be reckoned with in Al Pacino. Symbolisms and metaphors abound, such as the baptism scene with the multiple murders; or even the way death is imminent whenever oranges are present in the scene. The transitions are brilliant, the lighting is impeccable (although natural light was used); the overall mood elicited by the movie guarantees it as a classic. So much so that it has garnered innumerable ardent fans over the decades; spawning numerous spin-offs wanting to capitalize on its success, or perhaps recreate the same emotions which the movie has triggered.
**The Sopranos, a personal favourite, is a close contender for the ultimate gangster piece; integrating the dimension of psychology and semiotics with regard to the life of a modern day mob boss, it has elevated the genre into another level.
** This movie has influenced me to embrace the Mafia videogame over the then more popular Grand Theft Auto III. Perhaps you know what I am talking about, sir.
Again, what else is there to say about The Godfather that hasn’t been said? Stop reading this article and go watch it already, if you haven’t. If you have, go watch it again.