Francis Ford Coppola turns 81. The film master, who has been more of a protagonist lately for his controversial statements than for his work, continues to be one of the most admired directors worldwide. One of those filmmakers who, whatever time passes and whatever happens – except in very extreme cases – will continue to maintain his privileged position, which he has earned on his own merits. Not even tastes enter here, there is no discussion that is worth, whether you like their stories or not, it is undoubted that what the American has done for the cinema is something that only a few geniuses have achieved.
Perhaps the closest test we all have, due to the impact of the film and what it meant and means, is ‘The Godfather’. They say about this feature film that it is the film that saved the cinema, the one that made, in the worst context, people return to theaters and feel that passion that had always been felt for the seventh art. This resulted in the recovery of the industry and, of course, in numerous accolades. Almost half a century later, it has also resulted in the film being considered one of the best films in cinema’s history, a must-watch cult feature film.
Titles that come not only because of the impact it had on its day but also because of what we see on the screen. Dialogues that alone are worth an Oscar, scenes that move for their beauty and for the care of each and every detail and, ultimately, a work in which everything fits and everything takes us to the same point. A round creation, which is in itself a tribute to cinema itself. As a celebration of the life of its director, Francis Ford Coppola, we remember 5 of the most mythical scenes from ‘The Godfather.’
An unforgettable wedding
I can’t think of a more beautiful and shocking start. In which passages from the celebration itself are interspersed with some encounters between Don Vito Corleone and his protégés, the wedding scene is simply perfect, above all to get the viewer into the story and to place them within it. The plans of the wedding, bathed in pastel colors and a soundtrack that takes us directly to southern Italy, I find a total enjoyment for the senses. An unbeatable reflection of Italian manners, in which we already clearly see the power and importance of the family and the great leader’s figure.
Giving up the witness
They say that this was the scene that saved ‘The Godfather’. The one that made the difference between the utter failure of a soulless film and success and glory. The conversation that Michael and Vito have in the garden of their house, already in the last bars of the film, is one of the script’s pieces that deserve an Oscar in itself. In these few minutes, the whole essence of the film is summarized and, above all, we are given the reasons that allow us to empathize with one and the other. We know the background of a Vito who sought the best of his family in a society in which he understood that he could not climb legally, that he hoped that little Michael could lead a life outside the shadows and achieve success and that he loved and loves his own enormously. Also, Michael moved by love for his father and his family, able to put aside his dreams and ideals to save his own and make the same decision as his father before a corrupt society, in which few puppeteers and many puppets.
The great betrayal
I remember that the first time I saw ‘The Godfather,’ one of the scenes that struck me the most was the attack on Vito Corleone. He did it for his strength and for his beauty, for the contrasts of color, for those oranges running on the ground. But also because of what it meant. At the time, I believed that the character played by Marlon Brando was untouchable and invincible, and in just an instant, Coppola showed me that life puts us in the opposite position. Nobody is essential, and nobody is untouchable.
The beginning of the war
Another scene that remains with the viewer is that of Sonny’s death. We see it coming, among other things, because the increase in the narrative rhythm anticipates it. Precisely in this gradual increase in the narrative rhythm, until it reaches an almost agonizing climax, is one of the aspects that make ‘The Godfather’ a masterpiece. This scene is almost magic for the senses and represents the definitive beginning of a war that seemed to be cold. From that moment on, we understand that fire is always present when it comes to the Mafia.
A new godfather in town
Impossible not to end with the scene in which, after his father’s death, we see Michael taking his position. It is the event to which all the events in the film have led us, in the same way, that all roads lead to Rome. This is probably not the most shocking scene of the brilliant Al Pacino, who freezes our blood when he murders for the first time, for example, but it is one of the most significant. Goodbye to the American dream, hello to the family. There is a new Don in town.
Image Source: IMDb