The Godfather, which is not only one of the greatest mob movies ever made but also one of the greatest American films ever made regardless of genre, celebrates its 45th anniversary this week.
Premiering only in New York City on March 15, 1972 and then opening nationwide on March 24th, 1972, The Godfather remains a true bonafide classic in every sense of the word. The film’s rich storytelling, which is based on the original story by famed literary scribe Mario Puzo, almost borderlines on pulp fiction, yet is raised to a level of fine art by the surefooted and sharp and watchful eye of director and mastermind Francis Ford Coppola. Add to that the cinematography by Gordon Willis, which put blacks and whites and shades into a pioneering new light; the memorable, sweeping music, led by the iconic theme song; the acting by an ensemble cast led by Marlon Brando and supported by actors who wound up becoming legends in their own right, The Godfather is many things to many people and a masterpiece of a film to all.
If you are bored by the constant stream of sequels and superhero movies, and yearn to see the classics of yesteryear, Fathom Events is there for you. Thanks to the good people at Fathom, 2016 was a great year at the movies for me and my family. I was able to recreate a monumental moment of my childhood, that of my dad taking a 13-year old me to see From Dusk Till Dawn, by taking my 12-year old son Brandon to see the 20th Anniversary showing. We also took in the 20th anniversary of Space Jam, as well as other classics like Planet of the Apes. My wife and I used Fathom Events for date nights, catching several classics throughout the year, like the 40th Anniversary of Taxi Driver and a near Halloween showing of Kubrick’s The Shining.
Abe Vigoda, best known to audiences as the backstabbing Tessio in The Godfather and as Fish, the world weary yet witty and haggard cop on television’s Barney Miller, has died at the age of 94. Vigoda died at his daughter’s house in Woodland Hills, California in his sleep.
Because of such two high profile roles in his career, it seemed as if Vigoda had done a lot more than he actually did, but it was on the strength of those two aforementioned roles and also a memorable stint in the 1980s cult classic Joe Versus the Volcano, that made Abe Vigoda a household name. He also had obvious elements that helped create his legend, his colorful name for one and then his rubber faced, tall and limber physicality, with a voice straight out of Italy’s old country mixed in with that New York kind of flavor.
The Gold Box spotlight deal of the day today over at Amazon is The Godfather Collection: The Coppola RestorationBlu-ray Edition on sale for only $16.99 (that’s 71% off the list price of $57.99).
The 4-disc blu-ray box set includes all three films in the epic cinematic saga of the Corleone crime family, from the groundbreaking 1972 Oscar-winning classic original, The Godfather, to the much-maligned 1990 third chapter, plus a fourth disc containing hours of bonus features including extensive documentaries, deleted scenes (many of which were reintegrated into the first two films when director Francis Ford Coppola was preparing The Godfather: The Complete Novel for Television back in 1977), vintage featurettes, photo and storyboard galleries, theatrical trailers, and much more.
Today is the birthday of the late Marlon Brando, one of the great American actors in the entire history of cinema, who crafted a kind of acting style based on a term called method, and wound up parlaying that boundless craft into some of the biggest and renowned Hollywood films of all time, like On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1978’s Superman, where he played the biological father of the Man of Steel, and of course the larger than life titular character of The Godfather, a film that has as much iconic status as the man himself, still has a influential shadow and presence over any actor who pushes himself to limits no acting schools could have ever have taught them.
There’s definitely two kinds of Marlon Brando that most people remember. One is a mumbling and reckless outlaw style figure, an original bad boy who later contemporaries like Mickey Rourke and Brad Pitt would attempt to emulate in their worlds away from the Hollywood soundstage, who sported a voice that was endlessly imitated, but with a passion that ran as high as the peaks of Mount Everest; then there’s Brando the actor, who went to areas in his acting styles where he literally morphed into his characterizations, with a brash, bold, fearless ego that ran to the rafters, kind of like from the camp of a Richard Burton, but without much of that man’s excess. Marlon Brando almost blended the raw nerves of the most naked theater portrayals of honest, anguished characters and fused them with a verve and confidence that made anything he did, especially in his early years of his career, so magnetic and powder keg rich, that he stood way above a Golden Age of actors pack.