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The Godfather (1972)

R | | Crime, Drama | 24 March 1972 (USA)
Trailer
1:15 | Trailer
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Writers:

Mario Puzo (screenplay by), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
46 ( 8)
Top Rated Movies #2 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Don Vito Corleone
Al Pacino ... Michael Corleone
James Caan ... Sonny Corleone
Richard S. Castellano ... Clemenza (as Richard Castellano)
Robert Duvall ... Tom Hagen
Sterling Hayden ... Capt. McCluskey
John Marley ... Jack Woltz
Richard Conte ... Barzini
Al Lettieri ... Sollozzo
Diane Keaton ... Kay Adams
Abe Vigoda ... Tessio
Talia Shire ... Connie
Gianni Russo ... Carlo
John Cazale ... Fredo
Rudy Bond ... Cuneo
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Storyline

The Godfather "Don" Vito Corleone is the head of the Corleone mafia family in New York. He is at the event of his daughter's wedding. Michael, Vito's youngest son and a decorated WW II Marine is also present at the wedding. Michael seems to be uninterested in being a part of the family business. Vito is a powerful man, and is kind to all those who give him respect but is ruthless against those who do not. But when a powerful and treacherous rival wants to sell drugs and needs the Don's influence for the same, Vito refuses to do it. What follows is a clash between Vito's fading old values and the new ways which may cause Michael to do the thing he was most reluctant in doing and wage a mob war against all the other mafia families which could tear the Corleone family apart. Written by srijanarora-152-448595

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An offer you can't refuse.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only scene that Marlon Brando shared with Diane Keaton in the film was the scene with the family photo taken at Connie's wedding. See more »

Goofs

When Sonny is beating up Carlo in the street, you can clearly see that one of the punches does not get anywhere near Carlo's face, but Carlo still shows a reaction to the "punch". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a "boy friend," not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago he took her for a drive, with another boy friend. They made her drink whiskey and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her. Like an animal...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Although Mario Puzo is given possessory credit at the beginning, and is credited as a screenwriter at the end, no credit is given to him on-screen as author of the original novel, even though that credit is given on the poster. This credit does appear in the second film, however. See more »

Alternate Versions

The broadcast/basic cable television version is edited for sexuality/nudity and violence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sodankylä Forever: Valon draama (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
(1944)
Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
Performed by Al Martino (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Initially, I wasn't a fan... but then I realised
14 October 2006 | by mattrochmanSee all my reviews

This is a masterpiece. A timeless masterpiece. Initially, I didn't like this film all that much - I found it rather over-hyped and boring. This was until the advent of DVD, which gave me the feature I needed for this sort of film: subtitles. Once I switched them on and heard (read) every last word of Brando's ramblings and other characters ramblings, I grew a true appreciation for this epic.

To make a true epic, you need all of three following ingredients working in near perfect harmony. For screenwriters who come across this, take the following pointers on board: 1) Contrasting Characters: Good films have some character distinction, but most fall rather flat because the core of each character is the same.

Of course, there are exceptions to rule (ie... where you want mono-tonal characters... aka matrix; or where you want outlandish contrasts... aka The Fifth Element), but ultimately, this is what makes films deep, meaningful and grand. Consider the contrasts between the Don's children. Michael is rather cool, rational and collected, whereas Sonny is more hot-headed, spontaneous and simple minded. But simply having these contrasts is not nearly enough. What you really need to do is to develop these characters - place them in situations - and then dwell on how their character impacts on the situation they're put in. The Godfather is a terrific example of how to pull this off. While many try to do this in screenplays, most lose the plot and create character obscurities that stretch credibility.

2) Transformation: The central character(s) must undergo a transformation, resulting in them being almost unrecognizable by the end of the film. By putting them into situations, the character's character must not only influence the outcome of the situation; it must also have a lasting impact on the character. Consider Michael at the wedding and compare that to the Michael we see at the end of the film. Again, many films try, but most fail because they come up with unreal (literally, not praisingly) or simply moronic transformations (eg, Wall Street).

3) Patience: Men in Black 2 was an astounding film for one simple reason - it was an entire film squashed into about 70 minutes. It was not much longer than an episode of ER or Buffy. I certainly hope the new goal of Hollywood isn't to make films as short as possible.

All the great ones spend time - time developing characters, family life, growth, patience with the story telling in general. This is the key (provided that the story isn't mind-numbingly boring). Dances with Wolves, Heat.. and so on are very patient but top-class films. While studios may be lukewarm on the idea of longer films, they are worth it if you have a ripper story to base it on.

I feel that this film has not dated all that much and has tremendous re-watch-ability.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

24 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mario Puzo's The Godfather See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$302,393, 19 March 1972

Gross USA:

$134,966,411

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$246,120,974
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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