May 15: The Godfather | A Mob/Mafia/Crime Movie
I know you are preparing for a difficult summer filled with unoriginality, uninspired franchise films, and blaming RottenTomatoes for your movie bombing (that’s why you were CC’ed Brett Ratner), but I thought this letter might inspire you. You may have also seen the Blu Ray I enclosed of The Godfather; it seems most of you have lost sight of what makes us come to the theater and this should help.
You see, I just watched The Godfather for the first time. That’s right, I’ve seen Suicide Squad, Master of Disguise, and The Time Traveler’s Wife before I saw The Godfather. Perhaps that’s what made me want to write this. Every year there are dozens of films that come out that inspire me as a cinephile, but The Godfather has done more than inspire me as a cinema fan. The Godfather is such a triumph of storytelling, craftsmanship, and art, that it puts other movies in perspective. Sure, I knew that The Godfather had made a big impact on it’s genre; every crime movie to come out since then from The Departed to The Town is heavily influenced by The Godfather of them all. Heck, that colloquialism is influenced by The Godfather.
It’s not just the iconic moments that make The Godfather what it is. We all remember the horse head, “leave the gun, take the canoli”, the offers that can’t be refused; but it’s the space between these moments that makes it so good. Each scene is crafted so carefully, from the music and the sound effects, to the framing, color, and cinematography. The craftsmanship of the film just elevates it’s incredible story from memorable to beyond compare. Ad it’s all so good because the story it tells is outstanding and told perfectly.
So why am I writing you, Hollywood, to tell you about The Godfather? I’m sure you’ve seen it by now. I’m writing because it’s hard to tell if you have. Let’s take a look at the summer slate: safe franchise films like Spider-man: Homecoming and Alien: Covenant, boring retreads of franchise films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Cars 3 and Transformers, and uninspired garbage like The Emoji Movie. Movies should be made because they have stories that deserve to be told; maybe one or two of these have some inspiration in them, but money has corrupted production studios and infected our box office.
Look at this bullshit: on a $6 million dollar budget (roughly $34 million in today’s dollars) The Godfather made probably the best movie of all time. On a $100 million dollar budget, Paramount had the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter remake Ben-Hur into an action movie and made Morgan Freeman wear a stupid wig. That’s what today’s cinema is. It’s not a lack of creative inspiration, we see beautiful movies on small scales but nothing like The Godfather.
Want to keep up with the rest of our scavenger hunt? Check out the rest of our May Movie Challenge here.