The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola
There are few masterpieces in the history of cinema. The Godfather is one of them. Based on a book by Mario Puzo, Paramount gambled on the production despite poor performances with other mafia films. The one brilliant move they made was to hire Francis Ford Coppola to direct (after going through 12 other directors). He fought the studio to get Marlon Brando to play Vito (his reputation required insurance for the film). He got the budget bumped from $2.5 to $6M. He got Al Pacino over the studio’s choices of other popular actors of the time. Coppola stuck with the time period and setting of New York instead of Kansas City and modern times that the studio wanted (to keep it cheap). Even the score, one of the most famous in movie history, was rejected by the studio requiring Coppola to fight for it to stay in.
What we got will live with us forever. The quotes. The wedding scene. The horse head in a bed. Making an offer they can’t refuse. The five families. Sicily. Michael Corleone. Sleeping with the fishes. Smiling with an orange slice. Anointing the new Don.
I have so many favorite scenes in the movie. If I had to pick one, it would be the initial scene with Brando during the wedding with people coming in one by one to ask the Godfather for a favor. The craft to pace and fill the movie with scenes like this is nothing short of remarkable.
The Godfather is the greatest film ever made.
Moving Rating: 11/10 (off the damn charts)