In March 1972 The Godfather was released in American cinemas. It’s a film so classic and ingrained into pop culture that it feels like audiences have been watching it for longer than the 50 years it’s graced the silver screen and to celebrate its anniversary it has returned to cinemas.
To say that this is one of my favourite films is an understatement. I first watched it when I was 14 years old and it opened up the world of cinema to me, introducing me to filmmakers and actors that go beyond legendary and it inspired me to pursue my passion in life. So I was more than happy to be able to watch it in the cinema this weekend.
To me there is no better way to watch a film than in the cinema, especially one that you’ve watched before and know you love. With the big screen and dark lighting you get to appreciate every detail of a film so much more, especially with one like The Godfather. Whether it’s the darkly lit Don offices, the busy streets of 1940s New York or the gorgeous Sicilian landscapes, you just get to soak in the atmospheres so much more vividly, with no distractions. Not to mention getting to hear the film’s iconic score with Dolby surround sound, it’s an experience I won’t forget.
The film helped to establish and sky rocket the careers of many of those involved. The Director Francis Ford Coppola went on to direct classics such as ‘The Godfather part II’, ‘The Conversation’, ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Dracula’ (1992). While stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, and Robert Duvall have all become household names.
Unfortunately in the 50 years since it’s release not everyone involved is still around to celebrate. Marlon Brando, who was only 47 when he played the ageing Mafia Don, died in 2004. He won the Oscar for his part but famously refused it due to how the film industry depicted native Americans. John Cazale, whose part as Fredo is often overlooked, sadly died in 1978 after giving profound performances in films such as ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and ‘The Deer Hunter’- every film he was a part of was nominated for best picture. And of course Mario Puzo, who wrote the book that the film is based on and succeeded as a screenwriter, died in 1999.
Although there seems to be no plans to reunite the remaining cast and filmmakers to celebrate the occasion, they did have a reunion in 2017 for the 45th anniversary of the film, sharing memories of the production of both part I and part II, which was released in 1974.
However, this year will still see a number of tributes and celebrations to the Italian American drama such as an upcoming mini series about the making of the film starring Miles Teller and Dan Fogler titled ‘The offer’. Similarly there is a film in production titled ‘Francis and the Godfather’ starring Oscar Issac. The Godfather’s Director Francis Ford Coppola also recently appeared on the GQ youtube channel breaking down his most iconic films and also discussed his upcoming film ‘Megalopolis’.
All 3 films will also be released on 4k in a new 50th anniversary box set which releases in late March.
If you’ve never seen The Godfather, now is the time to do so. Even if you’ve seen all of the shocking scenes or watched the countless parodies, it’s a film so rich that it deserves to be seen. So if you can catch it in the cinema, I highly recommend it. But even if you can’t, watching it at home on an uneventful Saturday night for the first time might be just as rewarding, it was for me.
Feature Image Credit: Paramount Pictures