The Godfather is a 1972 American film of the crime genre, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on a screenplay written by Mario Puzo and Coppola himself. The film is based on Puzo’s homonymous novel from 1969 and it was among the first of its genre to create such hype. The Godfather stars Marlon Brando in the leading role and Al Pacino, both of whom play bosses of New York’s crime world. Though the making of the movie was encumbered by several issues, not counting the director’s own imperial personality, they managed to pull through and though they expected some success, no one thought it would create such hysteria among viewers.
The story of The Godfather spans from 1945 to 1955 and it focuses on the rise of Michael Corleone (Pacino) whom, though reluctant towards his family’s way of making business in the beginning, ends up being a ruthless and cruel Mafia boss. A side story also presents the evolution and history of the Corleone family, under the leadership of Vito Corleone (Brando), godfather for many. The Godfather received good critical acclaim and managed to receive three Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Actor (for Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was also the highest grossing film ever to be made and remained top leader in box office that year, bringing some $ 280 million.
As mentioned above, the story follows the rise and evolution of Vito’s youngest son, Michael, whom had been in the Marine Corps and thus for a while spared of his family’s illegal activities and crime. The movie starts with the legendary wedding scene of Vito Corleone’s only daughter, where minions and acquaintances come and ask him for favors and help in the hope that his moods are good for the special occasion. Reluctantly, Michael lets the family pull him in and starts handling business.
The Godfather was such a success that two sequels followed: The Godfather Part II in 1974 and The Godfather Part III in 1990. However, as is the case with many sequels, they were not so well received by some of the original movie’s fans. Nevertheless, the original movie is considered one of the greatest films in world cinema and most influential for the crime and gangster genre. The American Film Institute named it the second greatest film in American cinema, right after Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. Luckily for future viewers, the movie is preserved for posterity by the United States’ National Film Registry.