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Director Coppola paints a chilling portrait of the Sicilian clan’s rise and near fall from power in America, masterfully balancing the story between the Corleone’s family life and the ugly crime business in which they are engaged.

The story begins as “Don” Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia “family”, oversees his daughter’s wedding with his wife Carmela. His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father’s business. Through Michael’s life the nature of the family business becomes clear. The business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and benevolent to those who give respect, but given to ruthless violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family.

Don Vito lives his life in the way of the old country, but times are changing and some don’t want to follow the old ways and look out for community and “family”. An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don’s influence to further his plan. The clash of the Don’s fading old world values and the new ways will demand a terrible price, especially from Michael, all for the sake of the family.




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Movie Reviews: “The Godfather

Movie Review: Hollywood Reporter

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Best-selling novel to manageable screenplay terms has always been a major problem for any filmmaker blessed (or cursed) with the assignment. What do you include? What do you leave out? Perhaps even more important, how do you cast to anticipate the expectations of the millions who have already read the book?

The best answer to these knotty problems would seem to have been provided by producer Albert S. Ruddy on this almost three-hour version of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. You cut where you can, condense where you can, and cast for excitement rather than any preconceptions of how each character should look. Otherwise, how do you get Marlon Brando for the titular role?

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Movie Review: New York Daily News

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The old irresistible magic is revived in Paramount’s “The Godfather” in his intuitive grasp of Mario Puzo’s Don Corleone, a living symbol of the poetic translation of his name, the lionhearted.

Brando is cool as the godfather, sagacious head of the Corleone “family,” most powerful of the five “families” of organized crime in New York. He is relaxed as the loving, indulgent patriarch of his large blood family, in his mansion behind an iron fence in Long Beach, L.I. And he is terrifically appealing as the man who cheats death, recovers from bullet wounds inflicted by a rival gang, recuperates at home to enjoy his garden and grandchildren until he dies of old age. Once he comes out of seclusion, to warn chiefs of the five “families” that the gang war must stop.

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Movie Review: The Movie Sleuth

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It seems that the first question everyone asks about “THE GODFATHER” is concerned with Marlon Brando’s interpretation of the title role. That is the way the movie has been programmed and promoted: Brando, Brando, Brando, and more Brando. The word from advance hush-hush screenings was wow all caps and exclamation point. More exclamation, in fact, than explanation.

More than one whisperer intimated that Brando’s make-up (by Dick Smith, the auteur also of Dustin Hoffman’s Shangri-La face-furrows in “Little Big Man”) was so masterful that the Brando we all know and love had disappeared completely beneath it. I must admit that some of the advance hype had gotten to me by the time I sat braced in my seat for the screening of “The Godfather.” I was determined to discern Brando beneath any disguise mere humans could devise.

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