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on May 3, 2015
What a great movie this is. It never gets old. The Corleone family's struggle for respect and recognition in modern America, and their attempts to hold on to their family values in the land of dog-eat-dog free enterprise, carries a universal message for all Americans. We all come from somewhere ethnically speaking, and we all need to question how much we have sacrificed our family heritage and origin in exchange for material comfort and upward mobility.

That said, the Blu-ray revision has lots and lots of grain in spots. For about 60 percent of the movie's running time, the grain creates a soft look that mixes well with the dark, saturated colors and dark tones. But at times you could probably watch the Blu-ray and DVD side by side and not be able to notice a difference. However, those dark and saturated colors pop like never before. Those dark tones, furthermore, are better balanced. Instead of a dark murk with medium tones, you can usually make out lots of details in shadow areas. When DP Gordon Willis intends large areas of his images to go completely black, the blacks are dark, rich, and even--as they should be.

If you love this movie--as so many of us do--you owe it to yourself to buy the Blu-ray version. My worry is that many consumers under the age of 30 will buy this cinema classic expecting bright, saturated color and razor-sharp detail and feel disappointed.
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on March 9, 2014
I have seen The Godfather 1 and II so many times. It never gets old or boring. Finally forced a friend to watch it. It's a bit unnerving there are people who have never attempted to watch at least Part I. He thanked me.

This is a story. You connect with the characters. Cold blooded murders, extortion, etc....you still end up feeling respect for Michael Corleone. The Italian culture, the way they eat, think, their entire mindset. Dead on. I would know, my husband is off the boat, so to speak. The parts I didn't understand, he explained. He translated. Now I can watch it alone.

Anyone who watches this movie, and doesn't like it, no taste in movies. None.
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on March 23, 2011
The merits of the film are well covered. I simply want to add that this Blu-ray transfer is stunning. It is gorgeous in its slightly sepia-toned elegance. Right from dark scenes like the undertaker's forehead in the first scene to the meeting of all the families or bright scenes from the wedding to Santino's demise, this film looks amazing. It is a marked improvement over the Coppola Restoration DVD version, which was itself a big leap ahead of the previous DVD release. If you love The Godfather, you need it on Blu-ray. If you're being selective about which DVDs you upgrade, pick this one. You won't be sorry.
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on January 30, 2014
Just in case you've been living in a cave the past 50 years and have never seen this film, it's widely considered to be the best American gangster film, and one of the best all-around films ever created. But be warned: there is no happy ending. The story follows the descent of Michael Corleone from a WWII hero to a ruthless mob boss. He's ruthless, he's heartless, and he lies to his own wife to her face.
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on September 30, 2013
Along with Gone with the Wind and Casablanca, this is a quintessential American movie, and it's one of the greatest. Coppola's version of Mario Puzo's historical novel about a New York gangster family's rise and fall is a landmark, and it has become so famous it probably needs no introduction or description. If you haven't seen this one, you're woefully lacking in movie background. But just as a brief introduction, it's the saga of the fictional Corleones, the most dominant of five New York crime syndicates in the 1940s. All of the major male characters engage in criminal activities, including murder, but following a mutually acknowledged code of behavior, the most basic of which is based on the law of the animal world: Show weakness or carelessness and you risk assassination. That message is brought home time after time, by spectacularly violent means. Yet for all the monstrous behavior you can't resist caring about - and even admiring - these characters. That's a triumph of storytelling. With Marlon Brando in the title role and relative newcomers Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton on their way to stardom. Nino Rota's score and title theme are now immortal, as are so many pieces of dialogue, including: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse," and "Leave the gun; take the cannoli." Maybe its most amazing aspect, however, is although it won the Best-Picture Oscar, the motion-picture academy gave it only two others: best actor to Brando (who refused to accept it) and best adapted screenplay to Puzo. That means this classic is among the least-honored Oscar winners, despite its iconic status in the culture. Phil's Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime (2014 edition)
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A host of factors make this one of the greatest American films. First, the directing is impeccable. Coppola allows the story to unfold simply, employing for the most part a static, immobile camera, allowing each scene to unfold like a series of tableaux. Second, the cinematography. Most of the craft of the cinematography went into the lighting, which generates some of the greatest use of light and shadows since the demise of black and white film noir. Coppola also intensifies each scene by using surprisingly little music in the film. Although the film is famous for its outstanding score by Nina Rota (later discovered to have been partially reused from an obscure film he scored in the late 1950s in Italy, which led to his nomination for an Oscar to be withdrawn, an award he certainly would have won), the fact is that the music is used selectively and comparatively rarely. Silence engulfs most of the scenes. And although there are many famous lines in the film, it is driven as much by the silence between the characters as by what they say. Also accounting for the brilliance of the film is the script, which is brilliant for its simplicity. Coppola distills the tale down to only the most essential elements, with nearly every shot moving the story along or imparting a crucial piece of information to the viewer, allowing the crucial tensions of the story to unfold early on. The enormous simplicity in the telling of the tale makes the more complex moments�for instance, the crosscutting during the baptismal scene�all that much more effective. And any listing of all the reasons for the brilliance of the film leaving out the extraordinary art design would be woefully incomplete. This was one of the first films made that made historical accuracy a high art form, and has exerted a profound influence on any historical film since then.
Of course, one of the main reasons this is a great, great film is the acting. Few films have ever featured so many memorable performances, and no film had featured so many performances by so many actors who were explicitly Italian. In fact, the film was a �coming out� for one aspect of Italian culture in the United States. Even in films that were fairly transparently about the Mafia and crime families in New York and Chicago, ethnicity was completely left out of the picture. After THE GODFATHER, everything changed. The film was Marlon Brando�s triumphant return to star status after a series of failures, garnering a well-served Oscar that he turned down. The quality of the acting is shown by the fact that no less than three of the other actors�Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and James Caan�received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey won for CABERET, in what might have been the greatest group of performances in the history of Oscar for the award).
There are a million stories that whirl around THE GODFATHER. My favorite, and one of the happier accidents in casting history, was that originally Robert De Niro was cast in a small part in THE GODFATHER. Al Pacino, on the other hand, was wanted for the part of Michael Corleone, but was already obligated for the film BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY. Francis Ford Coppola worked out a deal whereby De Niro would replace Pacino in the one picture. Unfortunately/fortunately this meant that De Niro was unable to be in THE GODFATHER, which meant that he was free to appear in THE GODFATHER II as the young Vito Corleone. THE GODFATHER was a film where just about everything seemed to work out best for all involved, and this illustrates this perfectly.
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on January 31, 2014
This is the Best Saga Ever! I read this book @ 12 yrs old in NY NY, went to the movies for a double feature, Lady Sings the Blues & The Godfather, ratings didn't mean crap @ that time.
I spent 6 hours in the movies, & it was WONDERFUL!
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on September 14, 2015
I suppose if you are young you might not have seen "The Godfather". I advise anyone who has missed this to watch it immediately!! Then watch it again! (Then watch it the other two---#2 is especially awesome) . I am not a fan of many, well, most mafia-type movies. This is SO much more! Seriously, WATCH THIS ASAP!! I have watched it numerous times over the years and it never gets old, never disappoints. I would suggest buying it.
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on June 3, 2015
Writing a review on The Godfather is like walking down the tracks after the train's left the station. There's nothing I can say that anyone not living under a rock doesn't already know about this top 10 movies of all time (in my humble opinion). Actually, top FIVE. But that's another story. Very few Directors of modern times (being the last 40 years of the Film industry's 90 year existence) can be called prodigies. Most of the great directors we have, who have carved their own style and name in history were the product of evolution, hard work and lots of experience. The good old formulas for success (usually). But then there are a few, of a very, very short list, who were BORN with all the tools of pioneering cinematography innately in their soul, which oozes out through their pores as naturally as sweat on the beach. Coppola is one such being. Godfather 1 and 2, along with Apocalypse Now are eternal milestones that will be a gold standard for film study for many generations. Unfortunately, Godfather 3 left the planet with a complete reversal of all the natural laws of film making physics, natural and supernatural. Even more surprising, was Pacino's going along with the morphed aberration his character grew into for Godfather 3, which Michael Corleone would NEVER have done, while a great opportunity for Michael's character to atone for the murder of his brother was miss. But I digress. THIS film, and its successor are MUST HAVE, for any reason worth watching films for.
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on June 13, 2013
Need help with life? Then this is the movie for you. Every social concern is addressed.- concerned about what to take with you? "Leave the gun - take the canoli", need to know how to make some spaghetti sauce? The recipe is simply given as the group waits to hear of the Don's condition.
Seriously though, this is a wonderful movie. The cast of characters has been perfectly matched for this movie. Marlon Brando does a brilliant job as the Don and Al Pacino is wonderful as Michael Corleone. The story of how Michael tries to stay out of the family business yet is slowly drawn in is so poignant and touching. The loyalty of family and friends, something that seems to be lost in today's world, is highlighted in this. Family is the most important and that is something that shines in this movie.

A classic movie that should be watched by generations to come.
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