Film Review- The Godfather

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Film Review: The Godfather



Sophia Halkias
Film Review: The Godfather
1. Relate what was discussed in class or text to the screening: The Godfather, a film
directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972, is a classic film that paved the way by
influencing on every mafia story since. This film revised the gangster genre and has had a
tremendous impact on other films, like Goodfellas, and hit television series, like
Sopranos. The Godfather was nominated for 11 awards, and won three: Best Picture, Best
Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay. Prior to our film screening, the
discussion touched up on various topics, including the director, actor, awards, and
themes. Themes typically provide the viewers (students) with the framework needed to
understand the major ideas in the film. In this case, family is a tremendously important
theme. This is a different kind of family—they pride themselves on respect and loyalty.
The story in the film is told from within the family, as opposed to the society examining
the mafia. In a sense, we are provided with a perspective from the inside looking out.
Family values are portrayed in the film during celebrations, like a wedding, baptism, and
countless scenes in which the actors are surrounding the center of food. Other themes
include the anti-hero—the bag guys are really good guys. We want them to come out on
top despite the fact that they are criminals and murderers because we are looking from a
different perspective. Additionally, violence/murder is another theme in the film—there
are 23 on-screen deaths. This film was one of the highest grossing films of all time—
bringing in 244 million from all over the world, which is absolutely mindblowing!
2. Find a related article and summarize the content: “The Role of Food in The
Godfather,” an article written by Nicole Smith, summarizes the importance of food in the
culture of this family and throughout the film. In addition to actual food scenes, there are
persistent references to food that suggest a deeper symbolic meaning. Throughout each
stage and major plot of the film, food is visibly in the backdrop or center of the film. In
this film, food is symbolic of personal honor, ethnic authenticity, and family relationships
(Sutton & Wogan, 155). Additionally, food is a symbol of accomplishment and security,
and also serves as a representation of how traditions are maintained and adapted in this
family from the Old World to the New World. Most importantly. The food in this film
always suggests the Corleone family to be warm and loving family men, who despite the
crimes they commit, appear to be quite normal and not as bad as we would assume them
to be from the outside looking in. The movie impacts shows like The Sopranos, where
food is used as a way to represent Italians because it is a means of bringing family
together and sharing commonalities with ethnic roots and family ties. Lastly, food is an
affirmation in the family as a degree of economic security and success—they are able to
provide food for all their family because they are economically comfortable.
3. Apply article to film screening in class: In The Godfather, there are 50 scenes that
center around food. That is a significant amount of food in one film. This simple fact
shows us the importance of food in the Italian culture, more specifically, for the Corleone
family. I appreciate the food scenes from a personal perspective because my Greek
family is constantly focused around food and a large spread on the table. Family recipes
are important to most families, and sometimes portrayed as “secrets” because of the
significance it has from each family to themselves. Although we are amongst mafia
members, the food scenes remind us that from the perspective that we watch the film
(from the Family), these men are family people despite their shady choice of work. Dr.
Mirrer commented on the culture of Italian-Americans and the cultural importance and
significance that food has. Food is not only something they eat, but it is extremely
symbolic of the family. One unforgettable line in the film involves Clemenza, who says,
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” One thing is for sure, the Corleone family knows how
to set a table and eat.
4. Write a critical analysis of the film: The Godfather is one of my favorite films of all
time. Watching The Godfather as a young girl with my family opened my eyes to a
completely different type of film: the gangster genre. This film impacted the genre
significantly, and I can easily spot similarities between the other films in this genre in
which I love (like Goodfellas). I enjoy watching films from the inverted perspective of
the anti-hero; I find it astonishing that we root for the bad guys because of the perspective
we are seeing things from. Sometimes, a point of view can change your complete opinion
on something or someone. Again, the food in the film incorporates a culture that is
incomparable to other films for the simple fact that Italian-Americans truly do define
their success, loyalty, and honor to their families and guests with food. If you are
respected, you will be presented with a set table and lots and lots of food. This film,
although extremely violent, is dramatic and interesting from all aspects of film. Al Pacino
and Marlon Brando are outstanding and have been my favorite actors since the first time I
viewed this film as a high-school student.


1) (X) I have not handed in this assignment for any other class.

2) (X) If I reused any information from other papers I have written for other classes, I clearly
explain that in the paper.

3) (X) If I used any passages word for word, I put quotations around those words, or used
indentation and citation within the text.

4) (X) I have not padded the bibliography. I have used all sources cited in the bibliography in the
text of the paper.

5) (X) I have cited in the bibliography only the pages I personally read.

6) (X) I have used direct quotations only in cases where it could not be stated in another way. I
cited the source within the paper and in the bibliography.

7) (X) I did not so over-use direct quotations that the paper lacks interpretation or originality.

8) (X) I checked yes on steps 1-7 and therefore have been fully transparent about the research
and ideas used in my paper.

Name: Sophia Halkias ______________________ Date: May 5, 2014_____________________

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