One of the things I got for Ken this past Christmas was all 3 Godfather movies. (I hear that the third one isn't really worth watching, but hey, you have to get them all, right?)
Can you believe that neither of us has seen these movies in their entirety? We've seen bits and pieces, a famous scene here and there, but we have never actually sat down and watched them through. Considering our love of "The Sopranos," and my fascination with the Mob in general, I find it astounding. Well, we're in the business of remedying that.
Over the past couple of nights, we watched "The Godfather," the one that starts it all. Holy cannoli, there's a reason this is a classic. Absolutely one of the best movies I've ever seen. I know that most of you have probably seen this, so I'm not writing anything new here, but I feel the need to write about it!
Warning: Spoilers ahead, if you're one of the few who hasn't seen it!
Marlon Brando is, of course, Don Corleone, The Godfather, the role that probably defined his career the best. His performance is understated and deadly, but I think the better performance comes from Al Pacino as the youngest son, Michael. Watching his transformation from the decorated war hero who is not in "the business" to The Godfather himself is astonishing. He loses that boyish, innocent look and takes on the chilling deadliness of his father. (And wasn't he the handsome one in his younger days?)
James Caan also does a great job as the doomed Sonny, and I loved how he beats the crap out of his sister's abusive husband. I hated to see Sonny get whacked.
The way the suspense builds in this movie is just perfect. The culmination of the war between the Corleones and the 5 families is a bloodbath that takes place while Michael is becoming godfather to his nephew. Scenes of the assassinations (ordered by Michael) are woven with scenes of him in the church, renouncing Satan. Chilling, I tell you!
End of spoilers
There are also some great shots of long-gone casinos when they go to Las Vegas: The Desert Inn, The Sands, and I forget the other one.
Bada bing, bada boom, I think this one has shot right up there into my top 10, and shame on me for never having seen the whole thing! As much as Ken and I love our movies, and we'd never seen it. Shocking! By many accounts, "The Godfather: Part II" is supposed to be even better. (That one has DeNiro in it...oh boy!)
It was also kind of fun to see how much "The Sopranos" is based on this movie. The story lines aren't exactly the same, or anything, but so many of the words and actions and mannerisms would appear 30 years later in the TV show.
And of course, I had to play "air mandolin" during the closing credits. <grin> This is a movie soundtrack that everyone remembers.
Thanks for letting me write about it, even though it's probably nothing new to most of you. I just LOVED this movie, and I'm looking forward to Part 2. In the meantime, here's the trailer for "The Godfather." See how young some of them look? Just remember: "It's not personal. It's strictly business."