The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
An executive mortgages all he owns to stage a coup and gain control of the National Shoe Company, with the intent of keeping the company out of the hands of incompetent and greedy executives. He needs the same money, though, to pay the ransom that will possibly save a child's life. His resolution of that dilemma -- the certain loss of the company vs. the probable loss of the child -- makes for one distinct drama, and an ensuing elaborate police procedure makes for a second. Written by
This movie was incredible!! They called it Film Noir but, my God, it's so much better than THAT-- This film out-Hitchcocks Hitchcock! And I'm a Hitchcock devotee. The issues Kurosawa wrestles with in this, and his other films; the ethic responsibility we have as humans, humanity vs. greed, crime and punishment are universally understood. Nothing he presents in black and white(except literally in the film stock)-- but every shade of grey is reflected on. The story unfolds slowly but contains many twists and turns as the viewer questions the motives of each character. It's not just the force of good against evil--but a question of what is morally right and morally wrong. The title itself clues the viewer in to the ambiguities of class, greed, and moral ethic.
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