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The Godfather (1972)

R | | Crime, Drama | 24 March 1972 (USA)
Trailer
1:15 | Trailer
An organized crime dynasty's aging patriarch transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Writers:

Mario Puzo (screenplay by), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
27 ( 11)
Top Rated Movies #2 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Don Vito Corleone
Al Pacino ... Michael Corleone
James Caan ... Sonny Corleone
Richard S. Castellano ... Clemenza (as Richard Castellano)
Robert Duvall ... Tom Hagen
Sterling Hayden ... Capt. McCluskey
John Marley ... Jack Woltz
Richard Conte ... Barzini
Al Lettieri ... Sollozzo
Diane Keaton ... Kay Adams
Abe Vigoda ... Tessio
Talia Shire ... Connie
Gianni Russo ... Carlo
John Cazale ... Fredo
Rudy Bond ... Cuneo
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Storyline

The Godfather "Don" Vito Corleone is the head of the Corleone mafia family in New York. He is at the event of his daughter's wedding. Michael, Vito's youngest son and a decorated WW II Marine is also present at the wedding. Michael seems to be uninterested in being a part of the family business. Vito is a powerful man, and is kind to all those who give him respect but is ruthless against those who do not. But when a powerful and treacherous rival wants to sell drugs and needs the Don's influence for the same, Vito refuses to do it. What follows is a clash between Vito's fading old values and the new ways which may cause Michael to do the thing he was most reluctant in doing and wage a mob war against all the other mafia families which could tear the Corleone family apart. Written by srijanarora-152-448595

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An offer you can't refuse.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During an early shot of the scene where Vito Corleone returns home and his people carry him up the stairs, Marlon Brando put weights under his body on the bed as a prank, to make it harder to lift him. See more »

Goofs

When Capt. Mark McCluskey harasses Michael Corleone at the hospital, Michael's jacket changes. Michael's jacket is open a few inches near his tie as McCluskey pulls back his arm to hit Michael. After the cut, his jacket is closed and straight when he gets punched. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a "boy friend," not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago he took her for a drive, with another boy friend. They made her drink whiskey and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her. Like an animal...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Other than Mario Puzo's name there are no opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1977, a special version for television titled The Godfather Saga was prepared by director Francis Ford Coppola and editor Barry Malkin by re-editing The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II in chronological order and adding deleted scenes. Most of these deleted scenes are also included separately on the DVD release and in The Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980. Among the deleted scenes:
  • Following Amerigo Bonasera's exit in the first scene, Don Vito Corleone whistles at Sonny for not paying attention to business.
  • During the wedding reception, Tom Hagen informs Don Vito that consigliere Genco Abbandando won't last the night in the hospital.
  • After the wedding, the Don and his sons are leaving the compound with Johnny Fontane to visit Genco. Vito asks Michael if Kay Adams was able to get home all right.
  • In the hospital, the Don looks at Michael's military decorations with disdain, then tells Michael that he has plans for him after graduation.
  • A dying Genco Abbandando (Franco Corsaro) begs Vito to stay with him believing that Vito will somehow stop his death.
  • An extended version of Jack Woltz's party for his child star, Janie.
  • After being thrown out by Woltz, Tom looks up and sees Janie crying and her mother push her back into Woltz's bedroom.
  • Constanzia 'Connie' Corleone and Carlo Rizzi argue and she runs to Carmela 'Mama' Corleone, crying in Mama's arms. Santino 'Sonny' Corleone wants to confront Carlo, but Don Vito tells him not to interfere.
  • After Tom Hagen returns from Hollywood, he discusses with Don Vito what he has discovered about Jack Woltz.
  • Michael and Kay are in their hotel bed in New York City and don't want to go to the family compound. Michael has Kay call Tom pretending to be an operator, then Michael tells Tom that they are in New Hampshire and will be at the compound the next day.
  • On the way to meet Sollozzo, Luca sees the nightclub's neon sign burn out.
  • Sonny gets a call from a detective telling him about his father's shooting. He then tries to call Tom.
  • Sonny tells Mama about the shooting. He then goes into Vito's study, calls Tessio and tells him to prepare his men. He then tries to call Luca.
  • A quick shot of Michael driving, returning home after his father's shooting and Rocco offering to escort Michael into the house.
  • Michael brings Tom's wife Theresa into the study where Sonny and Tessio are. Sonny comforts her and tells them both to wait outside but Michael stays. They discuss with Michael whether Clemenza or Paulie was the traitor. Michael tries to talk Sonny out of going to war stating Vito would not want it. Then Tom returns home and hugs Theresa.
  • Immediately following is a quick shot of the Corleone compound that dissolves to the scene where they discuss their next course of action.
  • Rocco admires Clemenza's car but Clemenza complains that the bumpers are wooden due to the war effort. He then tells Rocco that he is to kill Paulie.
  • Clemenza has Paulie check the hideout spot. He then has Paulie make a stop so he can buy some cannoli and have a meal at a restaurant.
  • In Sicily, Michael and the bodyguards watch a Communist demonstration march.
  • While relaxing in the afternoon sun, Fabrizio begs Michael to bring him along to America when he returns.
  • Michael and his bodyguards visit his father's childhood home and find it abandoned.
  • After Connie hangs up the phone on Carlo's "girlfriend", she then confronts him in the shower. Then, Carlo orders her to make him dinner.
  • Bonasera is shown getting ready to return his favor to Don Vito. Bonasera tells his wife who is helping him get dressed that maybe he will be asked to be an accomplice to murder.
  • After the car bomb, Michael wakes up in bed surrounded by nurses and Don Tommasino. Michael tells Tommasino to find Fabrizio and he passes out.
  • Michael and Vito talk in the new garden after his return from Sicily. Michael takes responsibility for avenging the deaths of Sonny and Apollonia so Vito will not have to break his promise to the other Dons.
  • Additional dialogue when Michael removes Tom from his position as consigliere.
  • The final scene is Kay in a Catholic church lighting candles and praying.
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Connections

Referenced in Futurama: Bender's Big Score (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
(1944)
Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
Performed by Al Martino (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Initially, I wasn't a fan... but then I realised
14 October 2006 | by mattrochmanSee all my reviews

This is a masterpiece. A timeless masterpiece. Initially, I didn't like this film all that much - I found it rather over-hyped and boring. This was until the advent of DVD, which gave me the feature I needed for this sort of film: subtitles. Once I switched them on and heard (read) every last word of Brando's ramblings and other characters ramblings, I grew a true appreciation for this epic.

To make a true epic, you need all of three following ingredients working in near perfect harmony. For screenwriters who come across this, take the following pointers on board: 1) Contrasting Characters: Good films have some character distinction, but most fall rather flat because the core of each character is the same.

Of course, there are exceptions to rule (ie... where you want mono-tonal characters... aka matrix; or where you want outlandish contrasts... aka The Fifth Element), but ultimately, this is what makes films deep, meaningful and grand. Consider the contrasts between the Don's children. Michael is rather cool, rational and collected, whereas Sonny is more hot-headed, spontaneous and simple minded. But simply having these contrasts is not nearly enough. What you really need to do is to develop these characters - place them in situations - and then dwell on how their character impacts on the situation they're put in. The Godfather is a terrific example of how to pull this off. While many try to do this in screenplays, most lose the plot and create character obscurities that stretch credibility.

2) Transformation: The central character(s) must undergo a transformation, resulting in them being almost unrecognizable by the end of the film. By putting them into situations, the character's character must not only influence the outcome of the situation; it must also have a lasting impact on the character. Consider Michael at the wedding and compare that to the Michael we see at the end of the film. Again, many films try, but most fail because they come up with unreal (literally, not praisingly) or simply moronic transformations (eg, Wall Street).

3) Patience: Men in Black 2 was an astounding film for one simple reason - it was an entire film squashed into about 70 minutes. It was not much longer than an episode of ER or Buffy. I certainly hope the new goal of Hollywood isn't to make films as short as possible.

All the great ones spend time - time developing characters, family life, growth, patience with the story telling in general. This is the key (provided that the story isn't mind-numbingly boring). Dances with Wolves, Heat.. and so on are very patient but top-class films. While studios may be lukewarm on the idea of longer films, they are worth it if you have a ripper story to base it on.

I feel that this film has not dated all that much and has tremendous re-watch-ability.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

24 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mario Puzo's The Godfather See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$302,393, 19 March 1972

Gross USA:

$134,966,411

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$246,120,986
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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