Movie classics – The Godfather (1972)
Moody, dark and downright sinister, The Godfather gave us all a peek into the murky dealings of the mob and inspired a genre of copycat gangster flicks. Based on Mario Puzo’s bestseller, Francis Ford Coppola’s meisterwerk spawned Hollywood’s modern obsession with guns, grit and gore.
A word of warning before you slide the Blu-ray in and get comfy on the couch: The Godfather is long. Back in 1972, filmmakers still knew how to edit, so it was off the scale at nearly three hours, but nearly every one of those 175 minutes was cinematic history in the making.
The film starred a bulldoggish Marlon Brando in the definitive mobster role (Don Corleone) alongside a young and relatively unknown Al Pacino. As father and son, their relationship had its ups and downs, but it was to be a legendary screen partnership.
There’s some disagreement over which of the Godfather films is the best in the trilogy. Admittedly, moviegoers are of one voice on the third instalment being the worst, but parts I and II continue to fight for supremacy, and both occupy a top-ten spot in most best movie lists.
We’ve gone for the first. It doesn’t pull any Hollywood tricks to keep you in your seat. Instead, it relies on good old-fashioned storytelling – and paints a picture that hasn’t faded even after decades of imitation.
Godfather Trilogy (4-disc Coppola restoration), £38 from Play.com