Archive for May 15th, 2010

Cinema was built on genres and whether you like it or not for good of bad most movies can be pigeonholed into a genre. That is why our host Heather (from Movie Mobsters)and myself decided to invite a few of our blogging friends to join us exploring genre in the only way we know how, talking about our favourite movies. One of the most enduring genres is the gangster movie. Often overlapping with other genres like film noir, thrillers and even comedy, gangster movies have been a mainstay of Hollywood since the golden age of cinema. Below is my own contribution, for the full blog click here.

The Godfather (1972): “My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse” Michael Corleon

We are introduced to a New York Mafia family and its patriarch “Don” Vito Corleone aka The Godfather (Marlon Brando) at his daughters wedding. As guests line up to talk to the Don knowing that according to Sicilian tradition he can not refuse their requests on the day of his daughters wedding. Thought the conversations he has we learn how he is a powerful man with a deep sense of honour. But it is through his youngest Son Michael (Al Pacino) that we learn the darker nature of the family business. He explains to his date Kay (Diane Keaton) his fathers idea of “an offer he couldn’t refuse”. Initially not wanting any part of the family business but when his farther refuses Virgil ‘The Turk’ Colossi’s (Al Lettieri) offer to move into narcotics a chain of events begins that ensnare Michael and change the course of his life.

The movie revolutionised the way we look at the Mafia, it isn’t about the mob or the G men who stop them, the movie is about a family and relationships and all that comes with it: love, loss, loyalty, betrayal. You can see the influence of The Godfather in Mob movies ever since from Goodfellas to Donnie Brasco and even parodies like Lick-Ass and TV shows like The Sopranos. Also embracing the history of the genre with actors like Sterling Hayden from The Asphalt Jungle giving a nod to the past. A virtual master class in acting, every performance is totally believable and enthralling. Everyone remembers that Brando won the Best Actor Oscar but don’t forget James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino were all nominated for best supporting actor. All this is aided by the direction that is deliberate and assured not feeling the need to rush things. If you haven’t seen the movie go see it, if you have see it again, movies this good don’t get tired!

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