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The Godfather Presentation

The American University, Survey of American Cinema
by

Anedra Edwards

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of The Godfather Presentation

Social & Cultural Context
1970s returns the mob film
Gangster's perspective of the mafia
Paramount Pictures needs a box office hit
Major changes to the studio system
U.S. cracks down on mafia pre-novel release
Mario Puzo is a reporter for major case
The American Consciousness
The American Dream Characters The American Immigrant Experience
The Sicilian Experience
Family, Tradition, Values

History of Crime for the 20th century
Is this the model for organized crime?

The different worlds of men and women
Respect vs. Legitmacy
Corruption is Everywhere Themes "I'm Gonna Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"

GENERAL MOVIE INFO Movie Released: 1972, Paramount Pictures
Novel Published: 1969

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Produced By: Albert S. Ruddy

Writing Credits
-Francis Ford Coppola
(Screenplay)

-Mario Puzo
(Novel & Screenplay)

Run Time: 175 minutes

Synopsis: The Godfather is the story of Don Vito Corleone, the head of a powerful New York Mafia family, and the rise of his youngest son Michael in the "family business". Genre: American Gangster/Mob
subgenre of American crime films
overlaps with film noir
roots in silent films but defined in 1930s
Great Depression = social & economic instability
Height of the Production Code
Reality of Crime
Criminals = creation of society > Rebels Cinematic History Narrative Structure Act 1: Introduction of the Don, "Godfather" to the people, and fellow characters with the wedding reception of Vito's daughter Connie Corleone. Who the Corleone family is, what they do and how they do it.

Turning Point 1: Don Vito Corleone is shot but not killed by rival mafia families associated with a drug dealer named Sollozzo

Act II: Michael, Don Vito's youngest son flees to Sicily. War breaks out between the rival mafia families and the Corleones

Turning Point II: Sonny, Don Vito's eldest son, is gunned down.

Act III: Michael returns from Sicily assuming his place as head of the family business

Climax: Michael exacts revenge for Sonny's death during his nephew's baptism with mass assasinations.

Conclusion: Defining moment of Michael as the new Don Corleone, powerful mafia chief. Scene closes with his wife glaring with realization that her husband has fully changed. Don Vito Corleone – Head of the Corleone family, the Godfather
Michael Corleone – Vito’s youngest son, once legitimate but becomes corrupted
Kay Adams Corleone – Michael’s girlfriend, ignores the violence but slowly it starts to get to her.
Tom Hagen – Family lawyer, typically voice of reason
Sonny Corleone – Vito’s oldest son, the hot-headed reckless one
Fredo Corleone – the insecure middle son Mis-en-scéne Style of performance
Intense, Stern, Confrontational, Familial, Respectful, Masculine

Lighting
Mostly low key with few high key moments

Set Design
Period style (1945), Sicilian influenced, Dark colors

Camera
Static, Eye level with characters

Costumes
(Men) Dark formal wear
(Women) brighter colors Imagery Role of the Family
Traditional family & Business Family

Doors & Windows
Signs of division

Chairs & Tables
Image of the throne
Round table meetings Takeaways Budget: $6.5 million
Box Office: $286 million

Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated for 8 other Academy Awards

Won 5 Golden Globes

AFI records it as the #1 gangster movie of American Cinema
Full transcript