Francis Ford Coppola’s seminal epic drama screens at UW Cinematheque on March 25 in a new 4K digital restoration.
Reviving cinematic magic is one of the many things UW Cinematheque does best. Not only do they bring rare screenings to our increasingly small film market, but they present unique opportunities to see classics on the big screen—like Francis Ford Coppola’s seminal epic, The Godfather (1972), screening here in a new 4K digital restoration.
A cherubic Al Pacino stars as Michael Corleone, the youngest son of the Corleone mafia in New York City in the mid-1940s. Having just returned home from WWII as a decorated vet, Michael has rebuffed a great deal of his father Don Vito’s (the brilliant Marlon Brando) guidance through the years and never really considered himself the type to take over the family business. His oldest brother Sonny (James Caan) is next in line, or so he believes, to take over. But after an attempt on the Don’s life, Michael is forced to show his gall and mettle, and has a chance to run things his way for the extended crime family.
Coppola adapts the essence of the Mario Puzo novel, with its prevalent themes of loyalty, love, sibling rivalry, and unfiltered violence. Watching Pacino struggle internally between his personal and family values demonstrates what Coppola saw in him after his daring performance in The Panic In Needle Park (1971).
The Godfather ended up garnering numerous nominations for its cast and crew, and won Oscars for Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. Consistently in top-10 lists for the greatest films of all-time, The Godfather is a masterstroke in the categories of writing, editing, acting, and production. The film remains one of the most influential of the “gangster” genre, spanning over 50 years. Once Upon A Time In America (1984), Goodfellas (1990), and The Sopranos (1999-2007) all imitated its exploration of how the business of la cosa nostra and big business in America are often two sides of the same coin.
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