Sucked back in

Twenty-five years later, The Godfather's deal is still too good to refuse

The film begins with a trumpet solo that sets off sad, comic, and heroic vibrations. You may doubt a movie could live up to the music and create a resounding mixture of its own. But as the brass flourish turns into a waltz, Coppola and his coadapter, Mario Puzo, set inexorable dramatic rhymes to it. Courtship strolls and wedding scenes, church rituals and ritual murders match up and enter into a brew that's heady, true, and devastatingly shocking. Part of the black magic of The Godfather is the way it depicts how Catholicism operates in the Corleones' world--as salvation from and cover for evil. When Coppola intercuts a christening with a mass assassination, The Godfather brings us into the world-view of the wicked, where there is no God (only godfathers) and the men who rule in His stead camouflage brutality with the rites of church and family.

The Godfather.
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Richard Castellano, Sterling Hayden, and John Cazale. Written by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, from Puzo's novel. Directed by Coppola. Now showing.

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