2 – THE GODFATHER (1972 – 1990)
I’m going to be cheeky and include all three films as one entry, mainly because whenever I watch the first, then I always end up watching the next two as well, so for me this is just one big story.
I love the look of the films, dark, grainy, infused with a sepia tint, and laden with menace. There are so many wonderful scenes in these films, many of them so tense it’s almost unbearable: the meeting in the restaurant where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) leaves behind his life as an American hero at the expense of drug lord Virgil Sollozzo and corrupt police Captain McCluskey. Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro)’s scorpion dance with dandified extortionist Don Fanucci in the sequel. The final scene in The Godfather III when Michael Corleone is stalked at the theatre. Object lessons in pacing.
The films are shot through with marvellous performances from Pacino, James Caan, De Niro, Marlon Brando, John Cazale and Robert Duvall. A woman’s world this is not, but Talia Shire has a few powerful cameos. This is yet another Coppola release that charts the long-term destruction of a human soul. Beautiful and brutal in equal measure. Sublime film-making. Watch out for those oranges…