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(Review originally written at 4 October 2009)

"The Godfather" is a movie that tops many list as the greatest movie ever made. It also tops some list concerning the greatest and most memorable movie lines and the movie it's characters and performances from its actors have also received lots of acclaim throughout the years. And yes, the movie is truly deserving all of the praise that is receiving from everywhere and everyone.

Even though in my opinion part II is an even better movie, this is still the movie that began it all. Without this movie there of course would had never been a second one and this movie beautifully laid down the foundations for the even greater masterpiece that part II was, even though it's missing the presence of the great Marlon Brando in it.

The movie is a greatly epic one, not in the least due to it's amazing running time of 175 minutes. But despite it's very long running time it really is not a movie that ever bores, even not at moments when not a lot is happening in the story. There always is something great or intriguing happening.

But the movie is also really epic in many more different ways. It's like an operatic drama about a large Italian mafia family, located in New York. The movie features really a lot of characters in it and therefore also some different plot lines and dramatic developments but the movie does an amazing job with its story and the diversity of it. It binds it all beautifully together and even though the movie does take some big leaps in time and gets located at different locations throughout the world, throughout the entire movie, the movie always keeps flowing very well with a real steady pace.

The family and basically all of the character have to go through some great ordeals. This means that characters keep developing throughout the entire, which is most notable with the Al Pacino character. His character goes through a great transformation, from being a polite, quite and perhaps also soft guy, to a tough and commanding crime boss, who doesn't back off for violence or any killings.

In its essence it's a movie about tight bond of a family and what it means to stay loyal and stick together through tough times. Even though you know that all of these people are big criminals and even killers, the movie at all times keeps giving them a very human face by showing what makes them tick and it also isn't afraid to show the character emotions.

It's of course also thanks to the many great characters of the movie that the characters develop so well and work out on basically every level. It features a still quite young Al Pacino in his break through role and the already more experienced and better known actors James Caan and James Caan, among many others, in important supporting roles. But it is of course Marlon Brando who gives the movie its most body. He plays one of the most memorable movie characters of all time and it was also basically this movie that made him immortal as an actor. The movie only won 3 Oscars but it's no big surprise that one of those 3 went to Brando, who himself of course refused to accept it and instead let faked Indian Sacheen Littlefeather pick it up, as a sign of protest against the treatment of native Americans. The other two Oscar's that the movie won were for best motion picture and best writing.

It deserved to win way more of course and the movie was also nominated for 7 more (not counting in the withdrawn nomination for best music). But one of the Oscar's the movie really deserved to win was for a category it wasn't even nominated in. I was surprised how great the cinematography of the movie was and it truly deserves some more credit. The movie often picks some long shots, in which it isn't always showing a lot. The movie often chooses to show a minimum of things and only chooses to show what the characters also see, so we get more close to the characters and their feelings and thoughts. Truly some effective cinematography throughout, though Francis Ford Coppola directing also needs to take lots of credit for that.

Simply THE crime epic of the 20th century.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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