Quintessential and timeless, The Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola, tells the story of several generations of Corleone mafia family. Arguably the finest films ever made and here's my views on why they're must sees...
The Godfather (1972)
Coppola's near perfect masterpiece. A first class cast including, James Caan, Al Pacino and heavy weight Marlon Brando to name a few. There is not much I can add that hasn't already been written it is the quintessential family, Mafia gangster film.
The 1950's nostalgic feel is captured, distinguished cinematography by Gordon Willis and the script honed. The costumes, locations and sets add to the overall authentic experience. Brando's aged make-up is incredible, particularly for 1972 and apart from some insignificant choppy editing and stock footage the film is near enough picture perfect.
Timeless, compulsive viewing, there is a reason why The Godfather is on a pedestal as one of the greatest movies or of all time… There is no offer to refuse, it's a must see.
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Told through parallel story lines that features the 1900's, following a young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, growing up and opening his business. Then in conjunction: the 1950's as Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone expands his crime empire.
Same cast, director, writers, Gordon Willis'cinematography and music by Nino Rota, Pacino is harder and more ruthless than every before. The acting from a stars studded cast is excellent the Cuban and Vegas scenes are astounding, you can taste the atmosphere. A weaving, compelling and seeming realistic portrayal of the rise of a crime family and it pitfalls along the way. Themes of loss, rejection, and betrayal to name a few, Part to is richer in all respects.
A truly classic film in it's own right, Coppola and Puzo deliver a worthy seamless sequel to the Godfather.
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Misjudged due to its truthfulness, filmed in 1991, this Godfather is a fitting third film.
It's now the 70's and times have changed since the 1950's hay days of the first two films. Pacino portrays an aged, mellower, ill and haunted man, gone is the steeliness of his youth. Michael Corleone's hair changes colour after his stroke, and there are plenty of character touches added to the older Don, as well as to Talia Shire's Connie Corleone.
Many of the original cast appear which adds to the continuity, a great touch for die hard fans. You can argue that Sofia Coppola was miscast but it may just be because she's not authentically beautiful, sorry, you can't pick your family. Missing is Tom Hagan and George Hamilton as B.J. Harrison fills the gap tolerably. Andy Garcia is excellent as Vincent Mancini, Sonny's illegitimate son.
Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo take the rounded characters on journey of self realisation. It's a pleasant character study that reflects how we change as we get older. The film gains momentum, building great tension and shock in the third act. However, don't watch expecting the atmosphere, vitality or vigour first two.
These are 1950's remnants in the 70's and all the power on earth can't change destiny.