Monday, 26 August 2013

IMDB number2: The Godfather

I don’t feel too embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I have watched The Godfather.  I do feel a slight sense of shame when I confess that the only reason I decided to sit down and watch the film is because it appears at the top of the IMDB top250. 
I have absolutely nothing against The Godfather; it’s just I’ve never had any desire to watch it.  Until now.
PLOT: Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the head of one of the biggest mafia families in New York.  The family is threatened after Don Corleone refuses to venture into the drugs trade.  The Corleone family find themselves caught up in a mafia war and it falls to the youngest son Michael (Al Pacino) to ensure that they remain in business.  END PLOT
The Godfather opens with a cheery family wedding but behind the festivities we see Don Corleone in his office discussing business.  The mixture of grandchildren, family dinners, guns and violence makes for intriguing viewing.
The film was less about Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) than I thought it would be with his youngest son Michael (Al Pacino) being the main character.  It was fascinating watching his character change from the idyllic young war hero into the head of the family business.  This was a slow process with the timespan of The Godfather covering about ten years.
Pacino is the true star of the film although Marlon Brando is equally memorable.  James Caan (Sonny Corleone) and Robert Duvall (Tom Hagan) provide very able support.
There were perhaps too many characters for my tiny brain to cope with as I had to keep stopping to double check who each character was and how they were involved with the Corleone family.
The Godfather is the template for all gangster parodies and as I am of The Simpsons generation I was worried that it would feel like I was watching the birth of several clichés.  I was very relieved that this did not turn out to be the case as the characters, the familiar phrases and the iconic scenes worked in the proper context. 
The main issue I have with The Godfather is the length – 2hours 55mins.  My mind started to wander on quite a few occasions and it was hard to stay focused. The extra length allowed us to delve deeper into the Corleone family dynamic so I appreciate the reasons for the running time, it was just hard to stay fully engaged.
The Godfather is classed as a masterpiece and I have no real arguments to the contrary.  I am glad I have finally watched it but I don’t think it is a film that I will ever love.  It gets 7/10.


  1. LOL, sounds like we both had similar reactions to this film. I finally watched it to have watched it. Enjoyed it and appreciate it's status but can't say I loved it.

    1. It was enjoyable and I am glad I watched it but like you I will have no love for it.

      The annoying thing is The Godfather Part2 is next on the IMDB list and I don't think I have the energy to sit through it


      K :-)

  2. I need to watch this movie just to watch it. But I imagine that I will have a similar reaction as you about the film. Excellent unbiased review, I also need to try and watch all the top movies on IMDB.


    1. I am on movie 2 of 250 - if I do one a week it'll still take years!

      I'm glad I watched The Godfather as I can now say that I've seen it. I will never love it

      It's very long so you need an entire afternoon to get through it

      K :-)

  3. I'm pleased you were able to enjoy it as much as you did and that you could in spite of all the spoofs and parodies in the decades since. I will say, however, that the comments are a little disheartening. Someone with the last name "The Movie Reviewer" has not seen this movie, and will only be watching it to notch it off a checklist? Have any of you watched a silent feature film all the way through? Do you avoid older, black and white movies - because, you know, well, color? Ah well, call me Craig The Grumpy Slightly Older Movie Loving Guy. ;)

    1. I can't speak for any one else but yes, I only watched the film because I am working my way through the IMDB top250.

      The reason I am attempting the IMDB top250 is to watch some of the classic films that I haven't seen yet. Me being me I will branch off on a tangent and end up having a Hitchcock Season in the middle of it - this is how I like to watch films (random seasons!)

      I will say this - just because a film is considered a classic, black & white or silent I don't automatically feel obliged to love it nor will I apologise for this!

      Don't be disheartened! I will get there eventually!

      K :-D