‘I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse’


Fourth warmup before the Oscar awards: The Godfather. The 1972 motion picture about the struggle for survival of a New York Mafia family is regarded as one of the greatest films of world cinema. It won Oscars for best picture, best actor (Marlon Brando, seen in the photo above) and best adapted screenplay.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the Corleone family, and the viewer comes to understand, even condone, the terrible activities of Don Corleone and his sons.  The only character who is seen as truly corrupt is the bent police officer McCluskey. What the viewer remembers about the Corleones is the closeness, the warmth of their family ties: festive weddings and funerals, the rich flavor of Italian home life. Vito Corleone is the epitome of a good family man.

Director Francis Ford Coppola called the story a metaphor for American capitalism. “…the tale of a great king with three sons: the oldest was given his passion and his aggressiveness; the second his sweet nature; the third his intelligence, cunning and coldness.”

Memorable lines from The Godfather:

  • “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
  • “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
  • “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
  • “If I wanted you dead, you’d be dead already.”
  • “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

Francis Ford Coppola directs the opening wedding scene in The Godfather.

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About rosemarymccracken

Rosemary McCracken is a Toronto-based journalist and fiction writer.
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