40th anniversary of film "The Godfather"

These three are my favorite movies of all time. My favorite characters are Vito and Michael-as far as quotes…I really love the whole ‘I’m German Irish’ comment from Hagen. I use it often, being German Irish and all…haha!

But my absolute favorite is:
Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.

Michael Corleone: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

Good timing on all this, I just picked up ‘The Godfather Returns’ by Mark Winegardner-pretty good so far. I think it does Puzo’s work justice.

I would say that the baptism scene is one of the most powerful moments in the history of the cinema. It is where we really begin to see the evil within Michael and sets him up perfectly for Part 2. Hardly sacrilegious in my mind.

I must admit to a morbid fascination with that segment of Italian culture. I thought Part 2 was particularly fascinating with its flashback comparisons of the career of the father with the career of the son. Also, Part 3, with the family donating a large sum of money to the Vatican, has an unintended parallel with the current supposed money-laundering scandal surrounding the Vatican bank.

Nope. IMO he still ends up non-remorseful at the end of the 2nd movie. He might be losing his wife and brother, but he still isn’t repentant about any of his actions. We see him remorseful and somewhat repentant about his sins in 3, and in the end he’s a broken man for having lost his daughter and finally having some of the evil he perpetrated touching his life. All that money and power and he dies a broken old man in a courtyard with the dogs. IMO that’s pretty powerful.

Interesting interpretation. I always thought that the end of Part II, with Michael sitting in solitude, implied that the enormity of what he had done (killing his brother,widowing his sister, alienating his wife and children, etc.) was beginning to sink in. Maybe not. It’s a good excuse to re-watch the trilogy, anyway.

I enjoyed the first film quite a bit. The second one was a bit long for me. I’ve only watched them once and that was about two years ago I think. Does anyone think the baptism scene in the first film is sacrilegious? That is really the only thing that keeps me from watching it again.

To me, the movies aren’t sacrilegious at all. In fact, they’re about the nature of sin. At the beginning of the movies, Michael has a strong attraction to the Mafia, to the sins of murder and dishonesty, because of his family origins–just as we all have a strong attraction to sin because we’re a part of the human family, and original sin is in our natures. Michael clearly knows right from wrong and is trying to live a legitimate lifestyle by serving his country and dating an honest, pure girl, a girl who represents a different kind of life. Unfortunately, his sinful nature, his family history, pull him into the Mafia and overwhelm that natural sense of right and wrong. Even as he is allowing himself to be corrupted, salvation is always possible–he always has the free will to turn his back on sin and to admit what he’s doing is wrong–but sin so darkens his heart that it becomes easy for him to deny such an impulse.

That’s powerfully conveyed in the baptism scene. He’s right in front of a sacrament that confers forgiveness, and yet he doesn’t even feel the need to ask for such forgiveness–instead, his sins only multiply.

Most of us face more mundane sins, but I think we can all identify with Michael.

The main contrast to me was between Don Corleone and Michael. The former is a criminal but he still has elements about him you can respect and he never descend down the winding stair to the extent Michael does. He starts from nothing and although that does not absolutely excuse him from his criminal choices by any means his end characterises that he is a man who still has some innocence and gentleness about him and is not totally darkened. Whereas Michael starts from a moral plateau higher (or apparently so) than his father but descends to a level his father might not have been able to envisage. Additionally the seeds of Michael’s fall as Diotima pointed out are apparent if you watch closely from early on.

The main contrast to me was between Don Corleone and Michael. The former is a criminal but he still has elements about him you can respect and he never descend down the winding stair to the extent Michael does.

Yeah, Vito Corleone believes that he can exercise violence against other Mafia men while still maintaining traditional values such as keeping his word, loving his family, defending the innocent and helpless, etc. He believes he can use evil for the sake of good. But chickens always come home to roost in the end. The evil enterprise begun by Vito becomes, in Michael’s hands, a weapon that destroys what it was originally meant to protect.

Forty years ago (yeah, Luna, I’m getting old, too!), my girlfriend and I went to see Godfather I because we were so crazy in love with Al Pacino (who could resist those big brown eyes???). Also, being Italian-American, even though the movie was about the Mafia, I found a lot of satisfaction having other Italian-Americans playing the leading roles. It was like we finally arrived in Hollywood.

I think Godfathers I and II are great, especially the parts in G. II about the young Vito in NYC. Stealing the rug and killing “Il Mano Nero” during the procession were terrific. And, in G. I, the baptismal sequence, where Michael is “renouncing Satan” while having all his enemies whacked at the same time, is priceless.

Favorite quotes:

Michael (Pacino): Fredo? Well, he’s got a good heart but he’s weak, and he’s stupid.

Vito Corleone (DeNiro): Mio padre si chiamava Antonio Andolini… E chistu è pi tia!
(My father is Antonio Andolini and this is for you!)

Oh, BTW, PoliSciProf, it’s “gravy” not “sauce”! :rotfl:

Just for fun (and contrast) you can check out Ford’s first film Dementia 13, avilable on YouTube.

Good Sicilian there! But I never call it gravy – it’s sauce or ragu’ (not the jarred stuff)

Gosh and he made the “Outsiders” as well. I can’t imagine anyone other that a 13 year old girl in 1982 liking it.

Gangsters who love sunsets…Windricksville being an 8 hour train ride away, but is still close enough that an ambulance would rush the victims of a fire back to the small town of origin.:confused:

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