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May Movie Challenge

May 15: The Godfather | A Mob/Mafia/Crime Movie

Scott Tennant May 15, 2017
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In the category of A Mob/Mafia/Crime Movie Scott has chosen The Godfather (1972), written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall.

 

In lieu of a true review of The Godfather, Scott has decided to write a letter to Hollywood

Dear Hollywood,

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.

The Godfather is clever, it doesn’t pander, it’s enthralling, and it’s brilliant. A movie can have a good story and treat it poorly, squandering it’s potential. The Godfather does not look down on the viewer; there are no kid gloves, no exposition, and no needless scenes. The Godfather respects the audience and let’s the audience put the pieces together, then lands it’s punches satisfyingly. It deftly handles a wide ensemble cast and develops the characters and their relationships again, without wasted energy or slowing the pace down. The movie is three hours long but flies by because each moment builds on the last.

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.

Just watch it again. I’m about to watch it again. Maybe you’ll be inspired. Sony, maybe you’ll cancel that Love in the Time of Dick Pics movie you’re developing. Just strive for The Godfather, don’t strive for cash grab franchises and merchandising. I still love you, and now that I’ve seen The Godfather, I love you even more, but I also expect more of you.

Sincerely,
Scott

Grade: A+

Want to keep up with the rest of our scavenger hunt? Check out the rest of our May Movie Challenge here.

Scott (or Uncle Scootz) is a business analyst in Charlotte, NC. After graduating from Clemson University and enjoying some time in Atlanta, Scott has embraced the Queen City. He likes basketball, board games, Back to the Future, and his Baby Little Pug named Mickey. Yell at him on instagram at breakdown_scott!