Al Pacino’s Most Epic Movie Wins Streaming Competition

By Micheleen Martin | 11 hours ago

It probably doesn’t seem like a particularly new idea that if you get the right director and the right cast together, you can turn a crowd-pleasing movie into an acclaimed hit. But just as James Gunn noted back in 2019 When the debate raged over the artistic merit of superhero movies, there was a time when the most discerning critics and moviegoers considered gangster movies to be gratuitous trash. One of the main reasons that changed is the years 1972 The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The 3-hour epic established Coppola as a powerful director and catapulted the careers of many of his stars, including that of 32-year-old Al Pacino. No doubt partly because of the series on the making of the film — The offerwith Miles Teller as Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy — The Godfather finds new life on Paramount+, where it’s cracked top 5 streaming movies.

Based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo, The Godfather opened in 1945 at the wedding of crime boss Don Vito Corleone’s daughter. But the film does not begin at the ceremony or the reception, but in the Don’s office. “I believe in America,” is the film’s first line of dialogue, spoken by the vengeful undertaker Bonasera (Salvatore Corsitto), who wants the men who beat his daughter to be murdered for their crime. Marlon Brando plays the thoughtful but intense Don Vito, who eventually agrees not to murder the men but to have them beaten, but not for money – for the promise of a favor and for respect.

al pacino the godfather
Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972)

If you have never seen The Godfather, then the Al Pacino you meet in the movie probably won’t be familiar to you, and not just because he’s younger. Despite the louder characters for which he is known as The scent of a womanis Frank Slade or HeatLt. Vincent Hanna, as Michael Corleone, Pacino speaks softly with all that fierce energy the actor is known for simmering beneath the surface. When we first meet him at his sister’s wedding, Michael is a war hero who still insists on staying out of the family business. This all changes after an assassination attempt on Don Vito. A sprawling and brutal conflict ensues whose reach stretches from New York to Las Vegas to distant Sicily.

The cast of The Godfather all by itself should make you want to watch it as soon as you can. With Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, Robert Duvall (Revelation now) plays the consigliere of the Don and his adopted son, Tom Hagen. James Can (Misery) is Michael’s older brother, Sonny, and Talia Shire, better known as Adrian, wife of Rocky Balboa, is his tragic sister, Connie. First oblivious and later a prisoner of her own marriage – in the literal sense of the word – is Michael’s lover, Kay, played by Diane Keaton (Annie Hall). Tessio, portrayed by the late Abe Vigoda (Barney Miller).

Salvatore Corsitto and Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)

If you like gangster movies, The Godfather is absolutely at the top of your list for mandatory watches. It creates the vocabulary for more contemporary gangster fare. Without it, there could be no Freedmen or Casino. Perhaps the biggest difference between The Godfather and more modern gangster stories is that he looks at things from the top down. While characters like Freedmenis Henry Hill or The Sopranos‘ Tony Soprano faces more powerful forces, when The Godfather starts, the Corleones are the powerhouses of the underworld, and that’s part of the problem. The Godfather is a tragedy in the classic Shakespearean sense in that it chronicles not just the slow fall of a Mafia man or even a family, but of the Mafia itself.

The Godfather is currently streaming on Paramount+ and it’s the perfect time to check out Al Pacino and the other amazing actors. If you like it, be sure to make time for the 1974 follow-up too. The Godfather: Part II. The last chapter of the saga – 1990s The Godfather: Part III — isn’t on Paramount+ and really, it’s okay. You don’t have to see this one. Nobody does.

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