The Godfather: A Summary and Review

Essay by Lollygagers15Junior High, 7th gradeA+, September 2004

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Rarely can it be said that one movie can define a genre, but never is that more true than in the case of The Godfather (1972). The film acquired ten Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture. Since it's release, gangster movies have been judged by the standards of this one, unfair as the comparison may be. It is an exquisitive Mafia classic that constructs a compelling saga from outstanding performances.

This epic story traces the history of the close-knit Corleone Mafia Family and organization over a ten-year period. Family loyalty and blood ties are juxtaposed with brutal and vengeful blood-letting and the inevitable downfall of the family. Romanticized scenes of the domestic home life of members of the family - a family wedding, shopping, a baptism, kitchen cooking, etc., are intertwined with scenes of horrific violence and murder contracts - a total of 23 deaths litter the film.

Over 50 scenes involve food and drink.

The film opens in the study of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), the Godfather, who is holding court. He is the spider at the center of the web of deceit, murder, and larceny. It is the wedding of his daughter Connie (Talia Shire) and while guests eat, drink and dance on the lawns of his spacious estate, Corleone grants an audience to people who want something from him - a service that no one else can provide. It is said that on the day of a wedding, no Sicilian can refuse a request on that day. So the supplicants come, each wanting something different - revenge, a husband for their daughter, a part in a movie. His visitors range from the lowliest undertaker to the most famous singer, Johnny Fontane (Al Martino), but they all have something in common. After Corleone has granted...