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The Godfather

Should The Godfather remain on the AFI list?  

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  1. 1. Should The Godfather remain on the AFI list?

    • It made an offer I couldn't refuse.
      10
    • It sleeps with the fishes.
      1

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  • Poll closed on 10/25/19 at 07:00 AM

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No topic yet, so thought I'd start one!

Amy & Paul pay tribute to 1972’s mobster epic The Godfather! They praise the film’s incredible rich cinematography, wonder if Michael makes his character turn too quickly, and debate whether this is truly the second greatest American film ever. Plus: Gianni Russo, who plays Carlo Rizzi in the film, shares stories from the set.

Next week is Godfather Pt. II – tell us one of your deepest secrets! Don’t worry, you can use a fake voice, just call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824. 

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(Technically that last one there is from Godfather Part II, but otherwise they are all from the first movie.)

 

(A familiar tune at 0:56.)

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I was with Paul on this one.  It's one of my favorite films and will almost certainly make my top 10 of films covered by the pod (and would probably make my top 10 in general), but I see it as more in the #5-#10 range than #2.  I thought Amy and Paul did a great job pinpointing the movie's only weakness in my opinion, which is the discontinuity in Michael's emotional arc, particularly when it comes to his feelings about Kay and Apollonia.  I've always vastly preferred this to the sequel, so I'm interested in seeing if that holds up on rewatch.

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Aw I'm very sad because the one time I get over my phone anxiety and decide to call in I was not chosen 😭

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2 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

Aw I'm very sad because the one time I get over my phone anxiety and decide to call in I was not chosen 😭

I called in a few times, and was selected only once, and not for what I thought was my better effort. And I sounded awful.

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I'm in the group of people who likes Apocalypse Now and The Conversation more than The Godfather movies. However, as stated in the American Graffiti thread, I don't have time to watch these movies in October as I really need to revisit this one and the sequel to see how it works for me now (maybe my opinion will change on it).

However, back in the Lawrence of Arabia thread I joked to bleary about it making his top 100 of the top 100 movies watched from the AFI list, and it might be interesting for people to do a top 25 ballot of what's currently on the AFI list and take a poll of those. And for me, both Godfather movies made that cutoff.  So... my vote is still "yes."

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Even if you personally can't stand mob movies, there really isn't an argument for keeping The Godfather off any list of the greatest American films. It's clearly one of the most successful, most critically lauded, most influential movies ever. I wouldn't say this about too many movies, but this is one of those where if it's not on the list then the list loses credibility.

Anyway, as to the complaint about Michael's arc not quite tracking . . . I'm not sure this is actually a problem. Part of what I love about The Godfather is how much it plays like a Shakespearean tragedy. In those plays, there's always a lot of ambiguity as to what really drove the main character to his fall. For example, did Macbeth become a bad guy because of the witches' prophecy raising his jealousy and ambition, or was it because he was always violent by nature and was going to do it anyway? The answer isn't in the play, it's the thing you puzzle over. I think there's something similar with Michael Corleone: did he transform into a cold mob boss because of circumstance (his father being hurt and no one else being good enough to take charge, finding potential happiness in Sicily but having it ripped away, etc.), or because that coldness was always in him?  The movie purposely leaves this open to interpretation.

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2 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I think there's something similar with Michael Corleone: did he transform into a cold mob boss because of circumstance (his father being hurt and no one else being good enough to take charge, finding potential happiness in Sicily but having it ripped away, etc.), or because that coldness was always in him?  The movie purposely leaves this open to interpretation.

I can only speak for myself, but for me, the problem isn't with the ambiguity over why something is happening, it's with the unevenness with which it happens.  Why does Michael propose marriage to Apollonia before he even knows her name?  It's not about ambiguity in plotting, it's about the emotional truth of that decision not matching with what we've seen from the character.

Again, this is a minor quibble, and I agree with most of what you said.  It's a remarkable film, and I currently have it as #4 in my list, though it'll probably end up at #5 or #6 when all is said and done.

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On 10/18/2019 at 1:24 PM, Cronopio said:

I called in a few times, and was selected only once, and not for what I thought was my better effort. And I sounded awful.

I got chosen on this one (asked to pet the kitty). It was my first attempt, but I did indeed sound terrible.

They cut out a part of me excitedly cooing over the cat, and that's fine.

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12 minutes ago, CaptainAmazing said:

I got chosen on this one (asked to pet the kitty). It was my first attempt, but I did indeed sound terrible.

They cut out a part of me excitedly cooing over the cat, and that's fine.

I probably did something only Paul would've enjoyed and he wasn't even there for that portion so I honestly get it

(I said the only thing I wanted on this the day of their daughter's wedding was for How Did This Get Made to cover Queen of the Damned lololol)

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Oxford English Dictionary credits the stand-up comic Pat Cooper with the 1st documented use of "bada-bing" in 1965: "P. Cooper Italian Wedding in Our Hero (transcription of sound recording of comedy routine) (O.E.D. Archive)    They never let go the envelopes. Ya gotta pull—bada-bing-a-bada-bang-a-bada-bing!""

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https://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/257595

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Haven't seen this movie (or its sequel) in like 20 years and have no desire to revisit it. I know my take is totally subjective, but I just remember not giving a fiddler's fart about any of the people in it or the things that they did (though the DeNiro stuff was kind of interesting). In fact, with the exception of the tropes that have saturated our culture, I realized while Paul and Amy were jogging my memory that these movies had no impact on me. 

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