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Indeed, The Godfather is the story of Michael Corleone's rise to power, and for Al Pacino, the role represents his own first step towards stardom.
Following The Godfather, Pacino would star and excel in a broad range of excellent films, including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, Scent of a Woman, Heat (alongside The Godfather: Part II co-star Robert De Niro), and Donnie Brasco.
Don Vito's refusal to enter into the drug business, against the better judgement of his son Santoni (James Caan, A Bridge Too Far) and "consigliere" (counselor) Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall, We Own the Night) sets off a series of events that will be the death of several in the Corleone family, ignite a war with rival families, and see Don Vito's son Michael (Al Pacino, Ocean's Thirteen) rise, at first reluctantly, to power in the Corleone family.
The Godfather is a cinematic opera that comments on the bond of family, friendship, loyalty, trust, anger, and revenge.
Among those he meets are three of the most crucial characters in the film, including Johnny Ola (Dominic Chianese, who would go on to play a major role in arguably the most-popular television-based mafia program, The Sopranos), an associate of the Miami-based Hyman Roth (Lee Starsberg), who is seeking a business opportunity with the Corleone family in revolution-torn Havana, Cuba; Frank Pentangeli (Michael V. Soon after, an attempt on Michael's life leads him to believe a mole exists inside his own inner-circle, and as he conducts business with Roth, he fleshes out the mole and exacts revenge on anyone who gets in his way.
Gazzo), a newly-minted "cappo" in the Corleone family who is seeking help in eliminating the Rosato Brothers, associates of Roth's; and Pat Geary (G. Meanwhile, told in flashbacks, Vito's story covers much of his youth and early adult life: beginning with childhood in Sicily, where he witnesses the murder of his family at the hands of Don Francesco (Giuseppe Sillato); his arrival to Ellis Island, New York, as a young boy with smallpox; his dealings with a corrupt, unforgiving neighborhood boss, Don Fanucci (Gaston Moschin); and his rise to prominence in the city as a man known for getting things done.
One of the most powerful scenes in cinema history, it leaves a lasting impression and in a film filled with memorable images and familiar quotes, it's perhaps the best.
The Godfather: Part II Rating: 5/5 Things are changing.
The family's influence reaches far and wide, from local dealings on the East Coast to Hollywood, employing dialogue, threats, and brute force to get their way.Although we cannot, as of today, travel back in time to witness this indelible American classic on the big screen, Paramount Pictures' Blu-ray edition, released some 36 and a half years following the original film's theatrical debut, allows both film aficionados and newcomers to these classics to see the films as closely to the originals as any home video format currently allows, and with the stamp of approval from director Francis Ford Coppola himself.The Godfather Rating: 5/5 I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.The film, like its predecessor, is an amalgamation of cinema done splendidly right.
From its easy, seamless transition from the first film, including bookends reminiscent of that original, to the effortless integration of a sub-story into the film, there is never a dull moment in the movie, and the expert craftsmanship that went into the project both in front of and behind the camera are testaments to the pinnacle of filmmaking.
Released on March 24, 1972, based on the novel by Mario Puzo, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather quickly attained the status of instant classic, and if anything, has only risen in the estimation of critics and film fans worldwide.