Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1972. Paramount Pictures, Alfran Productions. Screenplay by Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. Cinematography by Gordon Willis. Produced by Albert S. Ruddy. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Dean Tavoularis. Costume Design by Anna Hill Johnstone. Film Editing by William Reynolds, Peter Zinner. Academy Awards 1972. Golden Globe Awards 1972.
The masterpiece that started it all. At a level of popularity on par with such other classics like Gone With The Wind and The Sound Of Music, this phenomenally successful epic was responsible for changing the face of cinema in the seventies, plus boosted mafia films to a level of popularity that has yet to go away. Marlon Brando is the commanding presence of the title, the head of a respected family who run much of the organized crime in 1930s New York City. His eldest son (James Caan) is a hotheaded punk who is set to take over the family, while younger brother Al Pacino has decided to not be part of the family and wants to live a legit life with his girlfriend (Diane Keaton). When trouble befalls his father, however, Pacino finds himself unable to avoid stepping in to help settle things, eventually getting sucked in to the life of a crime lord. Stunning in every respect, acting, directing, photography, editing, writing, there is nothing bad you can say about this marvelous film, and it was followed by an even more impressive sequel two years later.