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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

The Godfather (1972) Revisit

Original Episode: #100 The Godfather (1972) ft. Robb Conlon (released February 2, 2022)

New Episode: #206 The Godfather (1972) Revisit (released April 3, 2023)


Cast:

  • Francis Ford Coppola as Director/Writer

  • Mario Puzo, Writer

  • Nino Rota, Music

  • Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone

  • Al Pacino as Michael

  • James Caan as Sonny

  • Richard Castellano as Clemenza

  • Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen

  • Sterling Hayden as Capt. McCluskey

  • John Marley as Jack Woltz

  • Richard Conte as Barzini

  • Al Lettieri as Sollozzo

  • Diane Keaton as Kay Adams

  • Abe Vigoda as Tessio

  • Talia Shire as Connie

  • Gianni Russo as Carlo

  • John Cazale as Fredo

  • Al Martino as Johnny Fontane


*Recognition: 

  • The Godfather was originally released on March 14, 1972.

  • The Godfather was a blockbuster, breaking many box office records to become the highest grossing film of 1972.

  • After 18 weeks at number one in the United States, it was the second film to gross $100 million in North America behind the Sound of Music (1965).

  • It remained at number one in the US for another five weeks to bring its total to 23 consecutive weeks at number one before being unseated by Butterflies Are Free for one week before becoming number one for another three weeks.

  • Profits were so high for The Godfather that earnings for Gulf & Western Industries, Inc., which owned Paramount, jumped from 77 cents per share to $3.30 a share for the year, according to a Los Angeles Times.

  • It was nominated for Best Director (Coppola), Best Supporting Actor (James Caan, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall), Costume Design, Film Editing, Sound, and Dramatic Score (which was subsequently revoked).

  • It won the 1972 Best Picture Award, Best Actor (Brando who refused the award), and Adapted Screenplay (Puzo and Coppola).

  • 1998 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – No. 3

  • 2001 AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills – No. 11

  • 2005 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:

    • "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." – No. 2

  • 2006 AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – No. 5

  • 2007 AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – No. 2

  • 2008 AFI's 10 Top 10 – No. 1 Gangster Film

  • In 1990, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

  • In 1992, The Godfather ranked 6th in Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time director's poll.

  • In 1998, Time Out conducted a poll and The Godfather was voted the best film of all time.

  • In 1998, The Village Voice ranked The Godfather at number 12 in its Top 250 "Best Films of the Century" list, based on a poll of critics.

  • In 1999, Entertainment Weekly named it the greatest film ever made.

  • In 2002, Sight & Sound polled film directors and they voted the film and its sequel as the second best film ever; the critics poll separately voted it fourth.

  • In 2002, The Godfather was ranked the second best film of all time by Film4, after Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

  • In 2002, the film (along with The Godfather Part II) was voted at No. 39 on the list of the "Top 100 Essential Films of All Time" by the National Society of Film Critics.

  • In 2005, it was named one of the 100 greatest films of the last 80 years by Time magazine (the selected films were not ranked).

  • In 2006, The Writers Guild of America voted it the number two screenplay in its list of the 101 greatest screenplays, after Casablanca.

  • In 2008, it was voted in at No. 1 on Empire magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

  • In 2008, it was voted at No. 50 on the list of "100 Greatest Films" by the prominent French magazine Cahiers du cinéma.

  • In 2009, The Godfather was ranked at No. 1 on Japanese film magazine Kinema Junpo's Top 10 Non-Japanese Films of All Time list.

  • In 2010, The Guardian ranked the film 15th in its list of 25 greatest arthouse films.

  • In 2012, The Motion Picture Editors Guild listed The Godfather as the sixth best-edited film of all time based on a survey of its membership.

  • In 2012, the film ranked at number seven on Sight & Sound directors' top ten poll.

  • In 2014, The Godfather was voted the greatest film in a Hollywood Reporter poll of 2120 industry members, including every studio, agency, publicity firm and production house in Hollywood.

  • In 2015, it was second on the BBC's "100 Greatest American Films", voted by film critics from around the world.

  • The Godfather currently holds a 97% among critics on RT, a 100 score on Metacritic, and a 4.6/5 on Letterboxd.


Plot Summary: "The Godfather," directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a timeless cinematic masterpiece that delves deep into the intricate world of organized crime. Set in 1940s New York, the film follows the Corleone family, led by the enigmatic and ruthless Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). Through a gripping narrative filled with betrayal, loyalty, and power struggles, "The Godfather" explores themes of family legacy, honor, and the consequences of a life immersed in crime. With iconic performances, including Al Pacino as the conflicted Michael Corleone, and a stellar supporting cast, the film captivates viewers with its rich storytelling, evocative cinematography, and unforgettable moments that have solidified its place in cinematic history as one of the greatest films ever made.


Did You Know?:

  • Lenny Montana (Luca Brasi) was so nervous about working with Marlon Brando that in the first take of their scene together, he flubbed some lines. Director Francis Ford Coppola liked the genuine nervousness and used it in the final cut. The scenes of Luca practicing his speech were added later.

  • The smack that Vito gives Johnny Fontane was not in the script. Marlon Brando improvised the smack and Al Martino's confused reaction was real. According to James Caan, "Martino didn't know whether to laugh or cry."

  • James Caan improvised the part where he throws the FBI photographer's camera to the ground. The actor's frightened reaction is genuine. Caan also came up with the idea of throwing money at the man to make up for breaking his camera. As he put it, "Where I came from, you broke something, you replaced it or repaid the owner."

  • Orson Welles lobbied to get the part of Don Vito Corleone, even offering to lose a good deal of weight in order to get the role. Francis Ford Coppola, a Welles fan, had to turn him down because he already had Marlon Brando in mind for the role and felt Welles wouldn't be right for it.

  • The scene where Sonny beats up Carlo (Connie's husband) took four days to shoot, and featured more than 700 extras. The use of the garbage can lid was improvised by James Caan.

  • Al Pacino's maternal grandparents immigrated to America from Corleone, Sicily, just as Vito Corleone had.


The Stanley Rubric:

Original Legacy Score: 10

New Legacy Score: 10


Original Impact/Significance Score: 10

New Impact/Significance Score: 10


Original Novelty Score: 7.33

New Novelty Score: 8


Original Classicness Score: 8.58

New Classicness Score: 8.5


Original Rewatchability Score: 8.25

New Rewatchability Score: 8.75


Original Audience Score: 9.5 (92% Google, 98% RT)

New Audience Score: 9.4 (90% Google, 98% RT)


Original Total Score: 53.66

New Total Score: 54.65


In Memorium:

  • Paula Weinstein, 78, American film producer (The Perfect Storm, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Blood Diamond, Grace and Frankie), political activist, 2x Emmy winner.

  • Fritz Wepper, 82, German actor (Derrick, Cabaret, Die Brücke, For Heaven's Sake)

  • Ron Harper, 91, American actor (Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost, Generations, 87th Precinct).

  • M. Emmet Walsh, 88, American actor (Blade Runner, Blood Simple, Fletch)


Audience Questions:

  • Please rank the nominated acting performances for The Godfather (Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duval, Al Pacino)?

  • Would you hire Tom Hagan at your Law Firm?

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