Favorite Movies Countdown — No. 3
3. The Godfather (1972)
Starring: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, James Caan, and Talia Shire
About: "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." Michael Corleone, "The Godfather."
This is the ultimate "guy" movie, and I will always remember watching it for the first time with my dad and the bonding that provided. I love the story, the performances, and the way that Francis Ford Coppola put it together. There is a reason that "The Godfather" is on everyone's short list of the greatest films ever made, and is at or near the top of the IMDb list of fan favorite films.
Pacino gives an incredible performance in this film, as does Brando, who won the Academy Award. The classic lines and sections in this film are incredible. It is easily one of the most quoted films of all time.
I also love the novel, by Mario Puzo, that served as the inspiration and basis for this film. The novel expands on the story (some of it is featured in "The Godfather, Part II"), and it expands on some of the key themes of how people give over to the power of evil.
I covered this film for my first Faith in Film class for this reason. It is a fascinating character study as you see Michael Corleone faced with a divergent path. He wants to pull away from his family and its illegal enterprise, and he puts himself on that path. He recognizes that as the path that he needs to be on. Yet he is attacked in his weak spot — his love of family.
That is the way sin works in our lives. Satan always seeks to attack us where we are weakest, and we are all forced to choose which path we will take. In the case of this film, you see Michael Corleone slip further into the path of darkness and, essentially, lose his soul to the dark side.
When I watch it, I can't help but think "There but for the grace of God go I."
It's also an incredible dramatic film that has some powerful scenes. There is a reason it is an iconic classic, and why it remains one of my all-time favorite films.