Monday, August 1, 2011

The Godfather Commentary - Part 1

First saw The Godfather at the El Grande Theatre when I was in the 7th grade.  Even read the book a couple of years ago (maybe the worst book I’ve ever read). 

7:03 Bonasera and the tension between law and justice.

7:06 “Bonasera, Bonasera”

7:09 Warm summer day and all the men are in suits with plenty of dress hats.  Wouldn’t want to go back to that formality but it’s undeniably more adult than what we have now.

7:10 Sonny: smash the guy’s camera, drop a few bills, and walk away.  The appeal of mob life in a nutshell.

7:16 What a sweet family.  Like a Nature Channel show, our rooting interest has been established.

7:23 Johnny Fontane sings to Connie.  I’m of the rock’n roll generation--I make no apologies--but that’s a nice song.

7:24 Michael tells Kay the band leader story.  Her moral culpability goes way, way up. Must’ve been an interesting night for Kay, reflecting on that little family detail.

In the unedited version the wedding party ends and the Corleones go to the hospital to pay their last respects to Don Vito’s consiglieri.  The consiglieri begs the Godfather to stay by his bedside so that death will see him and leave scared.  Kind of puts the wholesome wedding scene in perspective, doesn’t it.  I mean if a close associate thinks the grim reaper will be afraid of you, you’ve probably done a few things. Bad cut.

7:45 The meeting with The Turk.  The Godfather’s suit and shirt being a little off is a nice touch. A hint perhaps that he’s slipping.

7:48  So the Don wants some inside information and his choice is Luca Brasi?  That has to be the worst personnel decision of all time.  All the families are in N.Y City, so they have to know the other families reasonably well.  You think the Tattaglia’s aren’t going to see Luca coming from a mile away?

Snickers commercial where the sharks are saying that Steve was delicious.  Kind of apropos

7:54  I hear The Godfather-- Have Yourself a Merry Christmas-- in my head every Christmas season.
7:58 The first attempt on the Godfather.  The hitmen come running around after he’s gone over to buy some fruit.  So the whole plan is to take him out and it’s dependent on the target buying fruit on his way home?  On the Corleone side, they’ve messed up Solazzo’s plans and Sonny has made it clear he’d go for it.   And then they let Fredo be the Don’s  bodyguard?  Not good thinkin’.  Can’t anybody play this game?  Still it’s nice to see the first rule of Hollywood movies observed, the bad guys can never shoot.

8:07  “This is almost 1946, nobody wants bloodshed any more.”  Great line.  We always think we’ve reached some sort of pinnacle of enlightenment.  Hagen thinking that the mob has left its killing days behind is hilarious.

8:15  Clemenza is in front of Paulie who is being shot from behind at close range.  Isn’t that rather dangerous? 

8:19  Second attempt.  Corleone guards are ordered to leave the hospital and they don’t call it in?  Starting to think they deserve to lose.

8:22 Nice hat Enzo.  The men are looking sharp in this movie.

The cars are looking good too.

8:33  Hagen always wants to negotiate.  Apparently he’s training for foreign policy role in a Democratic administration.

8:42 Clemenza and Michael in the basement.  Best scene in the movie.  Richard Castellano is great as Clemenza.

8:45 “SOLLAZZO MIGHT NOT BE IN THE CAR, SONNY” .Whoa, whoa calm down Tom.  Have some decaf.

8:47  They pick Michael up in front of Dempsey’s.  Did I say how much I like the cars in this flick?

8:49  Sollazzo’s driver looks exactly like one of my former bosses.  Not one that I remember fondly.

8:51  You can’t complain about the service at Louie’s.  McCluskey gets his veal faster than I normally get served at McDonalds.

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