4.6 56
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Cast: Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan


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Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael, respectively. It is the late 1940s in New York and Corleone is, in theSee more details below

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Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael, respectively. It is the late 1940s in New York and Corleone is, in the parlance of organized crime, a "godfather" or "don," the head of a Mafia family. Michael, a free thinker who defied his father by enlisting in the Marines to fight in World War II, has returned a captain and a war hero. Having long ago rejected the family business, Michael shows up at the wedding of his sister, Connie (Talia Shire), with his non-Italian girlfriend, Kay (Diane Keaton), who learns for the first time about the family "business." A few months later at Christmas time, the don barely survives being shot by gunmen in the employ of a drug-trafficking rival whose request for aid from the Corleones' political connections was rejected. After saving his father from a second assassination attempt, Michael persuades his hotheaded eldest brother, Sonny (James Caan), and family advisors Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) and Sal Tessio (Abe Vigoda) that he should be the one to exact revenge on the men responsible. After murdering a corrupt police captain and the drug trafficker, Michael hides out in Sicily while a gang war erupts at home. Falling in love with a local girl, Michael marries her, but she is later slain by Corleone enemies in an attempt on Michael's life. Sonny is also butchered, having been betrayed by Connie's husband. As Michael returns home and convinces Kay to marry him, his father recovers and makes peace with his rivals, realizing that another powerful don was pulling the strings behind the narcotics endeavor that began the gang warfare. Once Michael has been groomed as the new don, he leads the family to a new era of prosperity, then launches a campaign of murderous revenge against those who once tried to wipe out the Corleones, consolidating his family's power and completing his own moral downfall. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards and winning for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay, The Godfather was followed by a pair of sequels.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
No. 1 with a bullet on many favorites lists, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather -- which is available, together with its sequels, in the deluxe Godfather DVD Collection -- revitalized the gangster film when it premiered in 1972. Even though it employed familiar character types and situations, Coppola painted a more vivid, realistic, and compelling portrait of Mob life than had ever been seen on screen before. Mario Puzo's pulpy, best-selling novel provided Coppola a broad canvas to work upon, but it was the director's embellishments that made the picture so vibrant. Marlon Brando, in his last truly memorable performance, assayed the role of aging, soft-spoken Mafia patriarch Don Corleone. And Al Pacino became an international star thanks to his portrayal of Michael, the youngest Corleone, a returning war hero reluctantly drawn into the family business following the brutal slaying of older brother Sonny (James Caan). Although epic in scope, The Godfather endures in part through throwaway lines that became part of the popular lexicon, such as, "We'll make him an offer he can't refuse. Images from the film linger on, such as the Hollywood producer awakening to find the severed head of his favorite horse in bed with him, a "message" one never forgets. The Godfather eschewed simplistic genre stereotypes in favor of naturalistic characterizations, thanks in great part to the film's extraordinary ensemble, including Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and Talia Shire. The director used violence sparingly, but was unstinting in depicting its savagery, and he orchestrated the operatic plot complications masterfully. Nearly three decades after its initial release, this unforgettable film remains the preeminent gangster film of the late 20th century.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
"I believe in America" -- and America embraced The Godfather, turning it into a landmark artistic triumph and blockbuster hit. The movie was initially planned as a low-budget adaptation of Mario Puzo's Mafia family best-seller, and young director Francis Ford Coppola was hired because Paramount thought he would be easy to control. Instead, he fought the studio to cast little-known Al Pacino as Michael Corleone and foundering Marlon Brando as Don Vito, and he turned The Godfather into an operatic period epic about family, honor, and American economic success (the word "Mafia" is never used); in return, he was almost fired during production. The finished film's narrative drive and imagery were astonishing. Beginning with the opening sequence intercutting Vito's sepulchral study with the bright wedding outside, Coppola renders the Corleones threatening in their business and appealing in their closeness as they negotiate the legacy of Vito's prosperity. Gordon Willis' shadowy cinematography infused the film with shades of black, brown, and gold, contrasting bleak Family dealings with warm family loyalty. The famously extreme violence, particularly the horse head and Sonny's tollbooth demise (echoing 1967's Bonnie and Clyde), revealed the cost of protecting the family honor; the baptism montage elevated Michael's corruption to diabolical proportions as he consolidates his business power. Highly anticipated and critically revered, The Godfather became one of the biggest box-office hits of all time, adding several catchphrases to the cultural lexicon, revitalizing the gangster genre, turning Pacino into a star, and reviving Brando's career. Nominated for 10 Oscars, The Godfather won Best Picture, but Brando snubbed his Best Actor prize and Coppola lost Best Director to Cabaret's Bob Fosse. Willis' cinematography wasn't even nominated, and although Nino Rota's memorable music did initially receive a nomination, the Academy rescinded it when they discovered that Rota included material in the score from one of his earlier compositions. In 1998, the American Film Institute named The Godfather one of the three greatest American films ever made, testifying to its enduring artistic legacy.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; The original, provacative director's commentary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marlon Brando Don Vito Corleone
Al Pacino Michael Corleone
James Caan Sonny Corleone
John Cazale Fredo Corleone
Robert Duvall Tom Hagen
Diane Keaton Kay Adams
Sterling Hayden McCluskey
Richard Conte Barzini
Talia Shire Connie Corleone
Al Lettieri Sollozzo
Martino Johnny Fontane
Lenny Montana Luca Brasi
John Martino Paulie Gatto
Sofia Coppola Baby (uncredited)
Joe Spinell Willy Cicci (uncredited)
Richard S. Castellano Clemenza
John Marley Jack Woltz
Abe Vigoda Tessio
Gianni Russo Carlo Rizzi
Rudy Bond Cuneo
Morgana King Mama Corleone
Richard Bright Neri
Alex Rocco Moe Greene
Tony Giorgio Bruno Tattaglia
Vito Scotti Nazorine
Jeannie Linero Lucy Mancini
Julie Gregg Sandra Corleone
Simonetta Stefanelli Apollonia
Angelo Infanti Fabrizio
Corrado Gaipa Don Tommasino
Franco Citti Calo
Saro Urzi Vitelli
Victor Rendina Phillip Tattaglia
Tere Livrano Theresa Hagen
Salvatore Corsitto Bonasera
Ardell Sheridan Mrs. Clemenza
Carmine Coppola Piano Player (uncredited)
Carlo Savina Conductor

Technical Credits
Francis Ford Coppola Director,Screenwriter
Paul R. Baxley Stunts
Sass Bedig Special Effects
Michael Chapman Camera Operator
Warren Clymer Art Director
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
A.D. Flowers Special Effects
Gray Fredrickson Associate Producer
Fred T. Gallo Asst. Director
Louis Di Giaimo Casting
Charles Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
Marc Laub Editor
Joe Lombardi Special Effects
Christopher Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Mario Puzo Screenwriter
William H. Reynolds Editor
Philip Rhodes Makeup
Fred Roos Casting
Nino Rota Score Composer
Albert S. Ruddy Producer
Carlo Savina Musical Direction/Supervision
Philip Smith Set Decoration/Design
Murray Solomon Editor
Dean Tavoularis Production Designer
Gordon Willis Cinematographer
Peter Zinner Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Godfather
1. I Believe in America [:24]
2. The Wedding [:42]
3. Johnny Fontaine [6:25]
4. Tom Hagen Goes to Hollywood [1:06]
5. Meeting With Sollozzo [7:33]
6. Shooting of Don Corleone [1:52]
7. Luca Brasi Sleeps With the Fishes [5:37]
8. Michael at the Hospital [3:21]
9. It's Strictly Business [4:25]
10. How's the Italian Food in This Restaurant? [2:50]
11. The Don Returns Home [4:47]
12. The Thunderbolt [1:09]
13. Sonny Gives Carlo a Warning [6:21]
14. Michael Marries Apollonia [2:13]
15. I Don't Want His Mother to See Him This Way [5:25]
16. Apollonia's Murder [4:00]
17. We Are All Reasonable Men Here [3:46]
18. The Don Puts Michael in Charge [6:39]
19. I'm Moe Green [1:03]
20. I Never Wanted This for You [6:00]
21. Baptism and Murder [1:56]
22. Don't Ask Me About My Business, Kay [7:34]
23. End Credits [4:39]


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