If you make a habit of watching popular movies, chances are you will have heard of The Godfather and or its many famous quotes, but with the film having been released in November 1972 it is reasonable enough to say many cinema-goers now haven’t seen this masterpiece.
I have good news however for any younger cinephiles asking themselves if they want to spend three hours watching such an old movie, not only is the movie considered one of the greatest films ever made, it remarkably stands the test of time even for today’s standards.
Some of the reasons many films from the seventies and onward end up failing the test of time is due to the special effects, the settings, and the technology used in their creation. One of The Godfather’s strengths is being based in a real 1940’s America. Focusing around Italian mafia families and their interactions keeps the setting, characters, and story believable and devoid of any embarrassing special effects. Save for the genius practical effects used for shootout scenes, this great film didn’t need any great explosions, or of course any CGI.
Sometimes when we look back at a film that left a positive impression on us, we are shocked to find even though the film may have been groundbreaking in any number of ways, the story, characters or performances turn out to be far less compelling than the way we remember.
Many movies, new and old fall into this category, but I am impressed to say this masterpiece of cinema holds some of the most compelling characters, a classical tale that carries you along with ease, and performances by an all-star cast consisting almost entirely of award winning actors.
Besides the movie’s quality, the debatably largest factor in how a film survives through the years, is by stimulating an audience’s memory, and if there is any movie whose legacy is held onto in culture, it’s this timeless tale.
“What makes movies timeless are audiences, they are the custodians of these visual memories, these stories. And by holding onto a film, or a fragment from a film, that marks a time in your life that will always be a part of your life.” -Steven Spielberg
With quotes like, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” The Godfather has transcended its own story and cemented itself deeply into pop culture so new filmgoer’s can quote its lines without even knowing sometimes where they’re from.
Not only will filmmakers recommend you watch The Godfather, for it being a compelling and historical piece of film history which exemplifies cinematic art, they should recommend it because it doesn’t rely on its own time of release to be great, and because it’s just a wonderfully innovative movie!