Best Picture Winners Part 45 (of 89): The Godfather


Title: The Godfather
Year: 1972
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duval
Runtime: 2 hrs 55 mins

What It Is: Don Vito Corleone (Brando) is the “Godfather” and patriarch of his organized crime family. As a man known as Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) tries to bring narcotics into organized crime it is Don Vito who says “no”. This leads to his attempted assassination and a realization that he is but a man. As his adopted son Tom Hagen (Duval) and real son Sonny (James Caan) deal with the aftermath. However, it is his son Michael (Pacino) who not only takes vengeance on Sollozzo but takes the reigns despite wanting nothing to do with this.

Memorable Quote: Don Corleone: Some day and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.

Competition: Decent, but not contenders to this throne. To start Cabaret this adaptation of the Broadway musical takes place in 1930’s Berlin. It chronicles Sally Bowles’ journey at the sleazy Kit Kat Club. Deliverance was adapted from James Dickey’s novel. This film sees city boys go on a rough journey in the backwoods of Georgia. One that will challenge them physically and psychologically. Telling a story of Swedish immigrants moving to Minnesota following a famine The Emigrants is one of only a few foreign films to earn a Best Picture nomination. A true triumph of the human spirit and its willingness to never give up. Lastly, Sounder focuses on black sharecroppers in the depression era struggling to survive. As the bills pile up the husband Nathan, played wonderfully by Paul Winfield, is sent to jail after stealing leading to even more issues. As good as all these films are they pale in comparison to the cinematic brilliance of Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus. There aren’t many films better and one of them is coming very soon and may feature similar characters.

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