The Godfather (1972), from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes in white:

You don't need us to tell you that The Godfather is not only a part of cinematic folklore, but deeply ingrained into popular culture. Thirty years later, even casual film fans understand references to Fredo and Luca Brasi; they know the meaning of toll booths to the family; they know what it means to make an offer one can't refuse. The movie was a mammoth popular success, with a $134 million at the box office, equivalent to $347 million in today's dollars. It's difficult to find someone who has not seen it. It is unanimously praised. It made Coppola a rich and powerful man. 

So who won Best Director that year at the academy awards? Mr Coppola? Uh, no. The Godfather did win Best Picture, but the award for Best Director of the year went to - Bob Fosse, for Cabaret.

I know that sounds crazy, but there is some logic behind it. Coppola might have taken home the statuette if he had been the driving force behind the film but, as most people have forgotten, Coppola was not the auteur behind The Godfather. He was a merely a hired gun on a project developed by various others at Paramount Pictures. In fact, Coppola only got the job because several other directors, including Peter Bogdanovich, refused the project when offered it by Robert Evans, the head of Paramount. Coppola himself demurred originally because he wanted to develop his own projects, and because the book was a best seller, and therefore beneath his artistic dignity. When he finally took the job, the actual filming process turned out to be a semi-disastrous experience for him. During the production he was almost fired, then he almost quit. Even after he finished cutting the film, he thought the final product would be a flop - "Well, I guess I failed. I took a popular, pulpy, salacious novel, and turned it into a bunch'a guys sitting around in dark rooms talking".

I guess we know he was wrong.


The Godfather did win several awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Brando). Maybe you remember the award ceremony that year. It was one of the all-time classics. That was the notorious year when Brando's Best Actor statuette was picked up by "Sacheen Littlefeather" (real name Maria Cruz, an actress), who used Brando's acceptance speech to agitate against America's treatment of Native Americans. In case you weren't aware or had forgotten, the award shows in the 70s and 80s were highly politicized. Many performers, on both sides of the political spectrum, used the spotlight to make speeches on behalf of their pet causes.

Many years later, comic Tim Allen delivered a memorable Oscar-night line regarding this trend. "I thought I'd take this opportunity on worldwide television to promote my personal political causes. Sadly, I have no personal political causes." 

Tuna's comments in yellow:

The Godfather is the number 1 film of all time at IMDb. Is the film that good? Maybe. I would agree that it is an A, very well done, and of interest to nearly everyone, even if they hate the genre. I don't think I could chose a single favorite film because I like different films for different reasons, and my enjoyment of a film doesn't necessarily correlate to the quality of the film, but The Godfather is probably as good a choice for #1 as any of 30 or so great films.


DVD Info:

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola
  • 5-disc Box Set
  • "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" Making Of (73 min.) plus original 1971 featurette
  • Deleted Footage, including the additional scenes originally contained in the re-edited 1977 "The Godfather Saga"
  • "Francis Coppola's Notebook"
  • Production Stills and storyboards
  • Segments on Gordon Willis' cinematography, Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola's music, Francis Ford Coppola, Locations and Mario Puzo's screenplays
  • Rehearsal footage
  • Academy Award acceptance speeches


The only exposure is by Simonetta Stefanelli, Michael's Italian bride who dies in a car bombing that was meant for Michael. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: four stars. Ebert 4/4, Berardinelli 4/4, Maltin 3.5/4

  • It won Best Actor (Brando), Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated for 6 other Oscars.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 9.0, #1 of all time.
  • With their dollars ... made for "only" $6 million dollars, it grossed $134 million domestically. It is #22 of all time in inflation-adjusted gross (modern equivalent: $347 million)
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is an A. Despite a lengthy running time of 2:55, there are not many people who find fault with this film.

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