The following is a review by Peter Bradshaw in association with The Guardian Online.
Francis Ford Coppola’s first Godfather from 1972, now rereleased, looks more than ever like a measured, deathly serious epic – without the comic or ironic relief that might make it ”Shakespearean”.
This is the top-down theory of the mafia: a capo’s-eye view different from the chaotic, venal lives of other ranks in GoodFellas or The Sopranos. It permanently introduced into the genre the scene of the mafia don inscrutably receiving advice whispered into his ear; Marlon Brando made this gesture his own, receiving the murmured attention of consiglieri with a raised, almost papal forefinger.
He is the ageing Don who in 1946 loses his grip on the business by fastidiously refusing to handle the lucrative new narcotics trade; Al Pacino is the adored youngest son and straight-arrow army veteran who coldly accepts his destiny when an attempt is made on the life of his beloved papa. A big-screen must.
Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of The Godfather!