As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the release of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather in 1972, the entire trilogy had been remastered and released with 4K resolution! This is a wonderful treat for movie fans as they are now able to watch this series in an immaculate condition. These films have never looked or sounded better!
The Godfather has a running time of 3 hours and often takes its time in creating the mood, or simply capturing the moment. Not something that the current generation of movie goers may have the patience and appreciation for. This is never more evident than in the film’s opening with the elaborately staged wedding celebration of the daughter of Don Vito Corleone, the head of a mafia family in New York. In between showing the joyous celebrations that were taking place outside the garden of the family’s mansion, we are privy to the secret meetings that the Don had with a stream of visitors of fellow Italian emigrants, mostly seeking his support and advice on all sorts of matters. Francis Ford Coppola’s directorial skills immediately grabs your attention here with the way he carefully positions the camera in a dimly lit room to slowly reveal and introduce us to the Godfather. Marlon Brando demonstrates to us why he is regarded as a legend in his portrayal of the Don. His understated demeanor projects an underlying strength and wisdom that we can almost feel.
It is hard to imagine that this film is 50 years old as its theme and impact feels just as relevant today. The only constant reminder of this is how young its cast of famous faces looked. James Caan, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, and Robert Duvall were all at the prime of their lives and it was a treat to see them all so young and giving such great performances. While one can argue that the level of violence depicted here is mild compared to today’s standards, I feel that the film’s portrayal of violence still leaves an impression. This is because of the realistic way they were depicted. Who can forget the discovery of a blood soaked severed head of a prime horse left as a warning? Of the brutal and relentless gunning down of Sonny, done Bonny and Clyde style?
Watching The Godfather again in this remastered format is the most fitting tribute to a movie that can truly be called a classic. I dare say that Hollywood has lost the touch of being able to produce a movie of such calibre and scale today.