The Godfather (1972)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* * * *

DVD In Association with
Rent DVDs online!
In the USA:
Try Netflix For Free.In the UK:

Synopsis & Analysis
Few movies have been as excessively lauded as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather has been, but, while there is no denying that the director has created a good film, it simply does not warrant the extreme praise it so frequently receives.


The violent story the director tells in the movie revolves around Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), the head of a powerful Mafia family, and his three sons, Sonny, his heir, Fredo, who is inept and largely excluded from important aspects of the family business, and Michael (Al Pacino), who wants out of the world of organized crime.


The various conflicts, troubles, and joys of these men are well presented, and The Godfather is filled with memorable moments. At one point in the film, for example, an uncooperative Hollywood producer awakens to find a horse's severed head in his bed. Later, a dead fish is delivered to Sonny to tell him that he will be "sleeping with the fishes" (i.e., dead), and, in another noteworthy scene, Michael kills his family's enemies in a restaurant and so commits himself to living as a member of the Mafia. Although the film's visual style is uninteresting, many individual scenes, as those just mentioned, are well crafted and remarkably emotive. Coppola is, as a consequence, able to captivate the viewer and keep him immersed in the story being told through much of the movie's duration.


The Godfather's enjoyableness is generally complemented by the skills of its actors. Although Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone is exaggerated and tiresome, most of the other players acquit themselves well. Pacino, in particular, demonstrates considerable talent and, of all the members of the cast, surely gives the best performance.


As a consequence of the engaging events depicted, of the tension, drama, and the like elicited by the director, and of the abilities of most of the cast, The Godfather is an entertaining film. It simply is not the masterpiece it is so often described as being.

Review by Keith Allen

Home Page / Alphabetical List of Films
List of Films by Star Ratings
Aesthetic Principles / Guide to Ratings
Criteria for Inclusion / DVD Stores / Blog

© 2004 Keith Allen. All rights reserved.
Revised 2005

Click Here

banner 2