As with large wine crops, the valuation of The Godfather (1972) improves over the years. Just turned 40, there is no list of the ten best films in history that does not include it, whether by popular or specialist vote. Some critics have labeled her, perhaps rightly so, of overly academic, not very innovative, but even they have not hesitated to appreciate her formal beauty and her tremendous dramatic strength. If the purpose of the cinema is to catch the viewer and immerse it from beginning to end in the story that is told on the screen, Francis Ford Coppola got a masterpiece with The Godfather.
Nothing foreshadowed it during the preparations of the film. The legendary independent Paramount producer Robert Evans had bought at the end of the 60s, for a ridiculous price ($ 12,500), the cinematographic rights of a Mario Puzo novel not yet published, which bore the tentative title of "Mafia" and that little later it would become a best seller under the heading "The Godfather". The mafia cinema had recorded some recent failure, so Paramount distrusted the project and was inclined to produce a low-cost film, to which he finally allocated a million dollars that would rise to six at the end of the film, watch online the film and see what's all the fuss about.
After the liturgy, there is still a double adjustment of accounts, with the former partner of his father Tessio and his brother-in-law Carlo Rizzi. Her sister Connie accuses her of being a monster and having waited for her father's death to kill her husband. Kay Adams attends the terrified scene and asks if the accusation is true. After an outburst of anger he says no, with a look of ice difficult to forget. The last plane records the kissing hand of the new godfather that Kay watches at a distance until one of the lieutenants closes the door of the office.
The young Michael Corleone, whom his father wanted to become a senator, governor or, who knows, something else, assumes the paternal inheritance as an inexorable obligation after the murder of his brother Santino. He had previously had to flee to Sicily after personally executing a police captain and the gangster Sollozzo, involved in the attack on his father. The family's code of honor would have forced him to appeal the crime to defend himself when even the police conspired against them.
The film received numerous criticisms for the moral ambiguity of a story whose protagonists, surrounded by a certain heroic halo of tragic opera, were but the patriarchs of a criminal gang. The first principle of the Hays Code said: “No film will be authorized that can lower the moral level of the spectators; the spectator will never be led to take sides for crime, evil, sin. ” Fortunately for movie lovers, the Hays Code had been repealed five years before and in fact the studios had been raffling it since the late 50s.
The Film Academy awarded The Godfather the Oscar for the best film of 1972, but he rewarded Bob Fosse as the best director, who had directed Cabaret, the great winner of that year, watch now the movie and experience the masterpiece for yourself. Coppola had to settle for the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, shared with Mario Puzo. Brando would reject the best actor and instead sent an American actress of Indian origin to express her rejection of the events of Wounded Knee. Luis Buñuel would obtain that same year the Oscar for the best non-English-speaking film for "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie."
It would take two more years for Hollywood to finally surrender to Coppola's virtuosity with the second part of The Godfather, who would get six Oscars (best film, best direction, best supporting actor for Robert de Niro, best adapted screenplay, best music band, best artistic direction). Never before has a second part obtained the top prize of the Academy, which curiously opted for another Coppola film: The Conversation (1974).