Sunday, February 23, 2014

Flick Pick: The Godfather

The Godfather
(Paramount, 1972)

Let's get it out of the way: this movie is the godfather of American masterpiece films. Anybody can make a Top 50 or Top 100 list. This is a film that belongs on a Top 3 list, and arguably on a list for The Best. Nightmarish to make for Francis Ford Coppola, from a then-struggling studio doing their level best to fire him, undermine, and sabotage every move he made, it was shot on a shoestring and garnered nearly $300M in returns. The cast is legendary: Brando, Pacino, Duvall, Caan. It is filled from beginning to end with iconic moments, and quotes that will live as long as people watch movies. The only thing wrong with it, is absolutely not one single thing. And for those who don't care about the whole inside-baseball film studies thing, pay attention to the fact that this movie took a tiny subset of Italian Americans, arguably the worst human beings on the planet in many ways, and made them the absolute rock stars of all time, and you end up rooting for them. If only to see how it's done, note how they do it in this movie; it's a masterclass on propaganda, let alone a monumental work of art. Coppola was no rookie when this came out; he had an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for Patton, and directing five feature films under his belt. But this movie put him into two new categories overnight: genius, and legendary.
Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando - declined), Best Adapted Screenplay              

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