"The Godfather"...is it the perfect movie?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by scottWI, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. scottWI

    scottWI Agent

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    I just watched the dualogy (I only consider 2 films) back to back after a long hiatus. From what I remembered I liked Part II more, but not this go round, even though II was great there were some parts (albeit very small instances) that I could see weren't quite perfect.

    As I was watching Part I, I was just in awe at the marvel that is this masterpiece. I turned on some Francis commentary at key scenes to hear what he was thinking. I haven't read the Puzo book, but from what FFC says it seems pretty faithful.

    I asked my mom if she even saw "The Godfather" and she exclaimed that she loved I & II. She is very traditional and didn't even think she would go for the violence and carnage of this, but then it dawned on me that this one must have universal appeal with many generations and many creeds and sex.

    The performances were incredible, the emotions ran the gambit, the story and direction just seemed flawless. I loved every aspect of the film. I am by no means an expert, but I think I can tell what makes a good movie from a bad one.

    This is not nearly just a "guy's movie", but a masterpiece of cinema. It seemed so flawless in my viewing that I couldn't pick apart a bad scene or stitch of dialogue. It was just awesome in every regard. I love this movie and wonder...

    is it a perfect movie?
     
  2. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    No movie is perfect, and even with "The Godfather" I can think of little flaws that are pretty much meaningless, like the visible 70's guys walking around the background of Vegas and that weird ghostly reflection of Mama Corleone that is visible in the funeral scenes.

    If any movie comes close to perfect, it's "The Godfather", but a movie simply cannot be "perfect" or "flawless".
     
  3. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    No. Brando's absurdly theatrical performance, and the frustratingly inert nature of Michael's metamorphosis into a vicious mob boss are at least two critical flaws that bring it up well short of perfection.

    Nonetheless, The Godfather cherishes more quality cinema than about fifty other current films put together. Undeniably an excellent film (although I advocate The Godfather, Part II as its absolute superior).
     
  4. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    It's as close as you can get. I don't even have any minor nitpicks that come to mind.
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    ?? It's a trilogy. You can't wish away the 3rd film, just because it didn't meet some expectation you might have had. I don't understand this logic that keeps creeping up on the forum.

    Godfather has pacing issues for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie, but it feels long, part 2 even more so. The 3rd feels right to me, but is hollow compared to the other 2. All in all, the series is just okay for me. My favorite Coppola is still "Apocalypse Now", which plays on more levels for me mainly because it is such a flawed ramshackelled work. I like ti's obssessive quality, compared to the more classical/literate adaptaions of Godfather.
     
  6. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    No its not. A perfect movie would be liked by everyone. I recognize the craft of this series but the story arc - as with the gangster genre - bad people doing bad things and meeting bad ends, does not interest me in the least.

    My vote would go to Shawshank Redemption.
     
  7. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    How about Casablanca as the perfect movie? [​IMG] It's definitely got some flaws, but the movie's so entertaining, you really don't care.

    I actually read the Godfather book by Puzo a few months ago and I watched the movie shortly thereafter. I was surprised by how faithful the film is to the book. Some scenes play line for line and beat by beat. I noticed that some lines of exposition, lines, gestures, etc. that came off as natural before seem sort of forced now. It's as though they had bulleted cue cards of things they liked from the book and points they needed to get across in each scene and made sure that they did with little regard for subtlety. Still, it's an excellent movie and I always prefered the first film to its second generally because I found it more entertaining. I loved the Don Vito stuff in Part II, but most of the Michael stuff was fairly hard to sit through in comparison.
     
  8. scottWI

    scottWI Agent

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    well, it's not just me...Coppola himself doesn't consider it a trilogy. he considers it 2 sequels and an epilogue.
     
  9. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I recall reading that Stanley Kubrick was hugely impressed with THE GODFATHER, and considered its casting impeccable. He would watch the movie often.
     
  10. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    Yup. I agree totally. The Godfather holds up well, it has a great cast and even better direction, but the movie is a little too long and the characters are hard to identify with.

    Shawshank Redemption is just superb in every way. The pacing and direction is impeccable, the cast wonderful and the theme universal to all. It has characters you really care about. The last shot in the movie of Red running towards Andy is the most sincere and heartfelt moment in movie history. IMHO, of course.
     
  11. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Very important. Plus a story that is uplifting. That is my definition of a perfect movie.
     
  12. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Are you sure you're not talking about Chariots of Fire or Midnight Cowboy?

    The Shawshank Redemption is a terrific film but in my version he's walking ... but the walk does seem sincere and heartfelt. [​IMG]

    Seems to me we should just be thankful for the great films we do have and not worry a bit about perfection.
     
  13. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    Well, it depends on how you watch it. [​IMG]
     
  14. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Perfect? No. But I like it. One of my favorites of all time.
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    That's an impossible standard to meet. Nothing is liked by everyone. In fact, I think that some of the qualities great movies have that makes them great are the very things that will cause them to be disliked by some people.

    I call a movie "perfect" when changes to it wouldn't make it better--just different.
     
  16. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    citizen kane, imho, was closer to perfection than godfather. godfather's cinematography was no citizen kane, that's for sure.
     
  17. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Believe it or not, that's actually pretty much what happened.

    If you have the 5-disc DVD boxed set, check out the "Francis Ford Coppola's Notebook" piece (or something close) on the supplements disc...essentially, Coppola took a massive binder, pasted every single last page of Puzo's original novel into it, and then annotated the hell out of it with dialogue cuts/additions/thematic scene-notes, etc.

    In the interview, he says that it ultimately was more important than the actual script, was used during each and every day's shooting, and ended up steering the project almost exactly along those lines you describe. It was so valuable to the production that there was a big "Please Return For Reward -- [American Zoetrope's Office Address]" blurb splashed right on the front cover.
     
  18. Josh.C

    Josh.C Second Unit

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    There is no such thing as a perfect movie, but some movie's leave us with a perfect feeling.

    Godfather 1 & 2 are on my top ten list. Both incredible films. Shawshank is in the top ten as well.

    Braveheart and Tombstone are my favorites, and while I'm not going to argue that they are perfect, they are as close as you can get for me.

    JC
     
  19. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Can you expand upon this for the Godfather movies. I am sincerely curious. Is that feeling for the technical/artistic merits of those films? The story? Or both? I can see it for the films's merits but for the story genuinely puzzles and intrigues me.

    I find the Godfather plot deflating and depressing.
     
  20. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    I agree.

    My preference would be for a movie that leaves me with a positive rather than a negative feeling regardless of how well the movie is done. Hence, my choice of Shawshank.
     

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