We should despise the characters in THE GODFATHER, but the story is told so subtly and without multiple perspectives that we instead care for them. Without multiple perspectives meaning that the only real perspective is of the Corleone family and the members of the mob. When *SPOILERS SPOILERS* Vito Corleone passes away, we care about this, and we are saddened and coveted with disbelief. We understand when Michael is treated with only the utmost respect at the end when he is the new don, and do not consider it odd. The opening scene may be my favorite; I love how Vito almost refuses to help an associate in need (though he can't refuse in his daughter's wedding day) because he acknowledges that his associate and himself are not close enough. My favorite quote in this scene, however, is after he feels disrespected by his associate going to the police first "like a good American", and Vito says, "Bonasera... Bonasera... What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? Had you come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And that by chance if an honest man such as yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you." We understand the world and dark shadows these characters reside in, even if we can't relate to them in any way. The story and screenplay is mind-blowing truly fantastic beyond belief. There are so many layers and countless classic moments. This is the power of Coppola's directing and mostly stellar performances. Seriously, this film has the greatest cast of all time, even triumphing The Godfather Part II, which substitutes De Niro for Brando. I think De Niro is one of the greatest actors ever, but older Vito is better than younger Vito to me. The cast's ability to follow a character and have a bond like mob members would is nothing short of miraculous. Pacino should've won Best Actor at the 1973 Oscars, not Brando. The three hours watching this film went as fast as 2001: A Space Odyssey. There's nothing this film misses in regards to where it tries to hit. The film's score is ridiculously great, and you're better off listening to this score than many others that are called "best-ever". Rota uses every aspect of the Italian-American gangster lifestyle to create a truly mind-blowing score, a work of art regardless of its appearance in the film or not. The visuals and cinematography are some of the best I've ever seen. The way Coppola and his director of photography utilize lighting in this film, as well as Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW, is revolutionary. So many films approach The Godfather's cinematography methods for guidance that can still be seen today. There is nothing like the cinematography in this film, and cannot be matched in the gangster genre. This movie is a landmark visually. Francis Ford Coppola directs this with sincere confidence and innovative precision, there isn't a single wasted moment in this film at all. There's an unspoken rarity in this film; there are no flaws I have found while watching this, especially with the performances. Not a single actor goes under or over a said radar during the runtime of this film. The Godfather is the only film I have ever given a perfect score, and is undisputedly the greatest motion picture ever made.
STORY AND SCRIPT- 20/20
OVERALL: 100/100 (A+: The Greatest Film Ever)
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comments on the screen by nolan lampson.