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The Godfather

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Genre: Drama
Year: 1972
Rating: 5 / 5

Director Francis Ford Coppola's epic masterpiece,The Godfather, is viewed by fans and critics alike as quite possibly the greatest film of all time. 1972's Oscar winner for Best Picture, The Godfather tracks the Corleone family's rise and near fall from power in the late 1940s and early 1950s, featuring an award-winning performance by Marlon Brando and career-making turns by Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall, and James Caan. It spawned to sequels - including the only sequel ever to win a Best Picture Oscar - and launched the careers of many of its key participants.

As the movie opens at the wedding of Connie Corleone (Talia Shire), we are instantly immersed in the dark underworld of the Corleone family. Vito Corleone's immortal line, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse," brings us full-throttle into the action, and it is only a matter of time before the gunplay ensues. Gangland warfare is the norm in old New York, and the Corleone family soon finds itself drowning in blood, courtesy of some near fatal hits by rival families.

Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) has been the Godfather since his early twenties, complete with all the power and the misfortunes that come with it. It is a lifestyle he has chosen for himself, and one that he understands will be a primary part of the lives of his sons Sonny (James Caan) and Fredo. For his youngest son Michael (Al Pacino), Vito Corleone has always wanted something better than the gangster life. Michael is Ivy League-educated, a decorated war hero, and largely disconnected from the family business. All of that changes when another New York family declares war on the Corleone's, and a tragic loss is suffered. Michael is thrust into a position of leadership within the family, setting it on a course to regain its lofty standing.

This movie features well-acted performances throughout, from Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the old and new Godfather, to Robert Duvall's role as adopted son in the Corleone family, to James Caan's greatest role ever, as fiery Sonny Corleone. Keep an eye out for Sonny's immortal fistfight with Connie's husband Carlo, a scene involving extensive use of a garbage can, which an anonymous friend of mine has called "the greatest scene in movie history." No one could deny that The Godfather is a "mob" film, or that it features extensive violence and crime. Yet first and foremost, The Godfather is about family, and how, in the most trying of circumstances, family always pulls together.

Cast:

Marlon Brando..........Vito Corleone
Al Pacino..........Michael Corleone
James Caan..........Sonny Corleone
Robert Duvall..........Tom Hagen
Diane Keaton..........Kay
Talia Shire..........Connie Corleone

Certification: Rated R for violence and language.
Running Time: 150 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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[critics]