"The Godfather" and American Film History, development of film

Essay by lisa_003High School, 11th gradeA, April 2006

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

"The Godfather", which was released in 1972, was the first of a three part series. The movie was about the life of an Italian mob "family". It was set in New York in the 1940s after the war had ended. This movie is considered to be a significant contribution to the history of film, and re-invented the "gangster" film. The movie won many awards for its great actors and director. The film was also the highest grossing film of its time and contributed to the recovery of the American film industry.

Gangster films are one of the oldest film genres, which became popular in the early 1930s. This film, about an Italian mobster family, re-invented the gangster genre. They brought this type of movie to a higher level, by portraying the mobsters, particularly Don Corleone, as a tragic hero. "Don" Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) was the head of the family, and one of the most notorious mobsters in New York at the time.

"Don" and some of the other men in his family lived very dangerously, and eventually their violent and illegal empire catches up with them, killing many members of the family. The movie paints a chilling picture of the family's rise and near fall from power in America, and the passage of business from father, "Don" Vito Corleone, to son, Michael Corleone. All other "gangster movies" that followed The Godfather, have been compared to this one. Not only did the film re-invent the "gangster mob" genre, but it also helped in the recovery of the American Film Industry, after a decade of competition with international cinema.

The one thing that sets this film apart from all other gangster films is that it intertwines several different stories into one. Any of its individual issues could have been...