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Author Topic: The Godfather Thread  (Read 11331 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: March 02, 2012, 09:53:38 AM »

AMC has been playing The Godfather films all week, in honor of The Godfather's 40th anniversary.

So I was thinking it would be nice to have Godfather thread here, there's lots of stuff to talk about across the 3 films.

I'll start it off by asking a few questions here, just as a way to kick off what I hope will be an interesting thread. Here goes:

A) I believe that as great as De Niro was (in an Oscar-winning performance) in GFII, Lee Strassberg was even better as Hyman Roth. Anyone agre?


B) GFIII is not very well-liked, compared to the first 2. Does anyone believe that GFIII is up there with the first 2?


C) One of the many amazing things about GF & GFII are all the characters: many movies have one or two great leads, but what separates the really awesome  movies is how unbelievable the acting is, across the board. Of all the great actors in GF & GFII, the only one I did not like was Diane Keaton as Kay. I enjoy watching her less than any other characters. What do you think of Keaton's performance, and are there any other characters that you did NOT like?


D) GF and GFII are on so many people's lists of the greatest movies of all time, often together as one entry. But if you had to choose, which do you think is better, GF or GFII?

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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 11:20:40 AM »

A) I think Moschin is better than both.
B) Not me. Though I do not think is so bad. I am among the few who like Coppola's daughter.
C) I do not like Russo as Carlo. But It's Caan that I could never figure as Sonny: he looks Irish like hell. Keaton is alright.
D) I never liked so much the flashback part in GFII except for the Moschin's parts and especially after I heard De Niro speak in that strange half-dialect instead of being greatly dubbed. But I like all the modern story and the fact that you can't figure out what's going on until almost the end.

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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 11:29:29 AM »


 I am among the few who like Coppola's daughter.

C) I do not like Russo as Carlo. But It's Caan that I could never figure as Sonny: he looks Irish like hell. Keaton is alright.


I only saw GFIII once, but I agre with you about Ms. Coppola; I did not think she deserved all that criticism. She was alright.

Carlo has such a small part, I don't really care either way. yeah, he is not nearly as memorable as the other 20 characters, but I don't have a real problem with him.

It's true that Caan doesn't look like he has even an ounce of Sicilian blood in him. But he is so awesome as Sonny, that that doesn't bother me.

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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 01:50:29 PM »

Apparently, there were anniversary screenings of the film in select theaters last night. Not much prior warning was given for some reason, but I guess they will rescreen it later (I'm not clear about when--maybe on the actual anniversary, Mar. 24?). The Godfather 2 will get a screening in April. Weirdly, if you live in NY or LA you're out of luck on these.

UPDATE: I found the date on the Cinemark website: it's Mar. 22 (why all the Thursdays?)

« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 02:02:30 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 01:54:34 PM »

Casablanca will also be playing in theaters on March 21, 2012  Afro

« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 03:02:09 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 04:48:15 PM »

Schematics, must we?

A. I liked Michael V. Gazzo better than Strasberg; he took a throwaway replacement part and made it something special. No problem with De Niro.
B. It's not terrible but definitely suffers in comparison to the first two. The main issues are an overly complex plot and some awkward casting (not only Sofia Coppola but George Hamilton, Raf Vallone and Bridget Fonda).
C. Keaton's fine. Talia Shire is terrible.
D. I think the second one has more depth and tragic pathos, and builds on the original film. I'd rate the two films so closely it doesn't make much difference.

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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 01:05:42 AM »

I don't know if I have written this already or somebody else did (not only on this board) but I'm certain that Moschin's treatment of his coffee was taken up and amplified by Leone in OUTA.

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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 12:17:05 AM »

Schematics, must we?

A. I liked Michael V. Gazzo better than Strasberg; he took a throwaway replacement part and made it something special. No problem with De Niro.

C. Keaton's fine. Talia Shire is terrible.

D. I think the second one has more depth and tragic pathos, and builds on the original film. I'd rate the two films so closely it doesn't make much difference.

A. Indeed, Gazzo was also awesome. It's just incredible how many amazing performances there were. Between the two films  there are about 15-20 memorable characters (counting those who appear in both films only once).
I have no problem with De Niro's performance either; I just think Strassberg's performance was even better. If I can pick a small nit with the writing for Strassberg: by the time you watch the movie over and over (as I did last week on AMC), it starts tio grate on you how in every scene in which Hyman Roth appears or in which Michael is talking about him to others, they go on and on about is health and longevity. There must be like 5 references to that and it really gets annoying after repeated viewings; I think they could have gotten the point across with only 2 or 3 mentions of his health.


C. I thought Shire was good is fine (But if you don't like her, luckily for you, she's only in like 3 scenes anyway -- the opening scene, the very brief part where she tries pushing Keaton out of the house before Pacino arrives, and the one long speaking part is where she begs him to forgive Fredo).

D. Interesting you say that, cuz indeed, so many "lists" do rate the films so closely together, or as a single  entry on the list. ( A notable exception being AFI, which rates GF #3, but GFII # 32). I wonder if it's really that they are that close, or if it's cuz it's just so hard to separate them and not to think of them as one long film.

While the modern-day sequences of GFII are equally awesome with those of GF, I find that it's hard to sit through repeated viewings of some of the flashback scenes.  I find myself forwarding many these scenes now.  I know the point of those scenes was to contrast Vito's career with Michaels's, but it's still hard to watch some of those scenes, not leats cuz they are interrupting serious action in the 1950's

« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 12:27:26 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 03:03:11 AM »

I must be in a minority, I've watched the whole saga maybe at most once or twice, and its never really resonated with me. Growing up in an Italian neighborhood in the city I never met any Italians remotely like those depicted in the film.

BTW I have it on as background noise as I type.

But I suppose shit happens. It was only later in the early 70's that I knew some "wizeguys" (these guys weren't the brightest bulbs BTW) and saw an incident where someone was thrown out a window. Azn

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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 03:23:31 AM »

I must be in a minority, I've watched the whole saga maybe at most once or twice, and its never really resonated with me. Growing up in an Italian neighborhood in the city I never met any Italians remotely like those depicted in the film.

BTW I have it on as background noise as I type.

But I suppose shit happens. It was only later in the early 70's that I knew some "wizeguys" (these guys weren't the brightest bulbs BTW) and saw an incident where someone was thrown out a window. Azn


I grew up in Bensonhurst, supposedly the epicenter of it all, though I guess a few years past its "heyday" (but supposedly they've always said  it ain't around anymore -- till it's discovered again, right?) Anyway, I love GF & GFII cuz they are great movies, even though I don't know people like this; that has nothing to do with loving a movie (I don't know men with no name who wear green ponchos either  Wink)

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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 03:29:48 AM »

As we know, Leone was offered The Godfather, but declined.

How would a Leone-directed [i Godfather [/i] saga have looked?

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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 05:54:11 AM »

While the modern-day sequences of GFII are equally awesome with those of GF, I find that it's hard to sit through repeated viewings of some of the flashback scenes.  I find myself forwarding many these scenes now.  I know the point of those scenes was to contrast Vito's career with Michaels's, but it's still hard to watch some of those scenes, not leats cuz they are interrupting serious action in the 1950's
That's a pretty good point. The 50s scenes are the ones I like re-watching as well. But Crapola wasn't thinking about the home video market in 1974.

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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 05:55:39 AM »

How would a Leone-directed [i Godfather [/i] saga have looked?
Twice as long (and with a lot more food).

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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 06:58:53 AM »

I must be in a minority, I've watched the whole saga maybe at most once or twice, and its never really resonated with me. Growing up in an Italian neighborhood in the city I never met any Italians remotely like those depicted in the film.

BTW I have it on as background noise as I type.

But I suppose shit happens. It was only later in the early 70's that I knew some "wizeguys" (these guys weren't the brightest bulbs BTW) and saw an incident where someone was thrown out a window. Azn

Well I don't think you're supposed to take The Godfather at anything like a realistic level. At the risk of infuriating Jenkins it approaches the Mob as a metaphor for big business/the US government/whatever respectable institution Coppola and Puzo wanted to tear down. It's definitely not pitched at the level of Goodfellas, for instance, which is probably closer tot he real thing.

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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2012, 09:01:34 AM »

weren't Leone's Westerns also supposedly a metaphor for American capitalism?

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