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The Godfather (1972)

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The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Writers:

Mario Puzo (screenplay by), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
133 ( 24)
Top Rated Movies #2 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 24 wins & 28 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 Rudy Bond ... Cuneo
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Storyline

When the aging head of a famous crime family decides to transfer his position to one of his subalterns, a series of unfortunate events start happening to the family, and a war begins between all the well-known families leading to insolence, deportation, murder and revenge, and ends with the favorable successor being finally chosen. Written by J. S. Golden

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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$134,966,411, 11 May 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$245,066,411
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (re-release)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Pacino boycotted the Academy Awards ceremony, angry that he was nominated for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar, noting that his character had more screentime than his co-star, Best Actor winner, Marlon Brando. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Vito is being returned home via ambulance, a pale yellow 1947 Lincoln Convertible is also shown. It is supposed to be 1945 "almost 1946" according to Hagan. 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...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

In 1972, Paramount was owned by Gulf & Western, so that company's name appears on the opening Paramount logo. When the film was re-released in 1997, Paramount was owned by Viacom, which placed its named on the re-release Paramount logo, and all subsequent video releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 1987 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Antico Canto Siciliano
(uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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