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The Godfather Trilogy

Discussion in 'Italian Music, Film and TV' started by Negi Springfield, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. I know it's not from the country of Italy, but it deals with something that DID come from there. The so called Mafia aka Cosa Nostra. One of the weird art imitations of life was the American mobsters who used the movie as a role model for how to behave, rather than go to their roots in Sicily.

    It fascinates me the way the different criminal organizations behave and operate. For me it's almost like government and society in a smaller micro world. You see similar problems with people, but in different situations. I think the Godfather movies did a lot of backpedaling for the "American" family based Mafia. What a lot of people don't realize is that there are more groups in Italy, like the Camorra and the SCU. Some people who have looked into the "Mafia" find that it blends with the shadowy world of Freemasonry, which is a well known Italian institution. If you watch the Godfather movies, this is obviously left out in favor of romanticizing the Mafia. The real life Cosa Nostra was nothing like the mobsters in the movie, but they were brutal and crude people who harmed communities. What I want to know is if anyone thinks this movie trilogy really did influence anyone, or is that a misunderstanding of what happened?
     
  2. This is a quality film, good actors, good directing, as well as music.
    But the mafia is not interesting to me, I'm sorry;)
     
  3. I've actually seen the movies just recently, and yeah, I agree, they do seem to romanticize the mafia :)
    However, they are just movies! Sure, based on real life facts, but it's impossible to conduct real research on real mobsters and come up with a movie with real facts! I don't think any member of the real "cosa nostra" will first, easily admit to be part of it and second, spill their guts on what they really do :D

    So, The Godfather is mostly, fiction. Good fiction, might I add, I really enjoyed the trilogy!

    It sure did! I'm almost positive that this very trilogy has influenced people's opinions about Italy and Italians around the world. When anyone hears the word "mafia", they instinctively think about Italy.
     
  4. The Godfather trilogy does romanticize the mafia it's true but they are very worthwhile films. Godfather 1 and 2 regularly appear in the top ten films of all time, they are classics that will live forever. They starred Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, two of the finest actors ever to have lived and one of the finest directors in Francis Ford Coppola. The purpose of the trilogy was to entertain not to educate so it's obvious that it would romanticize the mafia to a certain degree.

    If you want a more realistic portrayal then the Sopranos does a good job of showing the more mundane aspects of the mafia and the enormous stresses that go hand in hand with that way of life.
     
  5. I must have watched the godfather trilogy about 50 times at least. While it does make the mafia look glamarous, they are brilliant films from the directing, location, cast and the acting.
    Gangster films is a genre that I like to class myself as an expert in I have to admit to having a bit of a facsination with organized crime in general, not just the mafia.
    For those who havent watched any of them, i highly recommend that you do.
     
  6. They are great films but, yes, they do glamorize what effectively is vicious crime. It's funny how the whole mafia culture has a degree of respectability on the back of the films, and yet we know how brutal that world is. Still, as films go they are pretty good.
     
  7. I think the mafia is a pretty popular topic with many people as they are still seen a criminal organization but one that still lives by traditional values. Honour, loyalty and respect are probably the key words when people think of the mafia this is why as crime organizations go, they are still looked at fondly by many.
    Its true that films have had a large part to play in this, but when reading books on the subject also, there does appear to be a set of values there that no other crime syndicate can match.
     
  8. Undoubtedly, The Godfather trilogy has been the pinnacle of the modern day movie industry. Just mentioning "modern" says a lot, given that the movie first hit the cinema screens around 45 years ago. To still reap success even after such a significant amount of time has passed, is remarkable in itself. Although there might have been some slight exaggerations in the movie, it left a permanent print on the way viewers perceived the Italian mafia back in the day. Perhaps nowadays as well.
     
  9. While a lot of mafia and mob movies have been made since, and also before it came out, the godfather is certainly seen as the...well, the godfather I guess you can call it! of the genre.

    I've also read the book, and I have to say although the book is better than the film (aren't they always?) The film is pretty close to recreating what Mario puzo intended when he first wrote it.
     
  10. And having thought about all of this, I realize that the Godfather I and II are still not my favorite mafia movies, high up on my list as they are. I still rate Goodfellas above them. Brilliant film that touches a lot of the same criminal space, albeit without any direct connection with the old country.
     
  11. Goodfellas is probably my favourite movie of all time, either that or casino. They are certainly in the top 10 films though.

    Youve also got movies such as the untouchables, theyre not directly related to the mafia but the film is heavily influenced by them.
     
  12. I wonder what the actual mafia families think of these movies themselves. They would probably say they have very little bearing on reality and are far fetched and full of inaccuracies. Of course a good element of artistic licence has to be added to a movie to make it watchable and profitable, but do the real mafia guys rate them?

    I would imagine there is an element of self glory for some of the mafia guys that they are being portrayed and glamourised on the big screen by famous film stars. Some of these guys must get an immense sense of pleasure from that, others may take a different view and be unhappy that the movies are drawing a spotlight on their activities and would prefer a low profile. Whatever the viewpoint, the fascination with this famous organisation will long continue.
     
  13. People have often said that these films, in fact most film DO glorify the life of organised crime. Apparently the series the soprano's is supposed to be a lot more true to life. It doesn't focus on certain aspects, the excitement if you like but more the day to day running of a mafia family.

    I agree though, I'd be fascinated to know what they think of the way they come across on the screen...and just how close to reality it really is.
     
  14. These are classic films and perhaps they are based on real life events. The mafia have never denied they are nothing like what is portrayed in the books or films and instead they have inspired many other movies. It maybe that the mafia don't mind people knowing they have control and not to mess with them. Things have changed now with more laws and any such activity is legitimized, but I think the films were probably watered down.
     
  15. There certainly two different sides to the Maria, the glamorous side, the money, cars and lifestyle that people often think of but also the darker side. The things they have to do in order to maintain that lifestyle. While I'm sure people often dream of living that life, I very much doubt if people would be willing to take the risks that go along with it.
     
  16. The Godfather Trilogy is not a docudrama, so you can't try to compare it's realism to the actual Mafia in Italy. It is a film that used the Italian Mafia in the USA as its muse and took its ideas from the violence that actually did occur in the United States such as The Bloody Valentine's Day Massacre. It has never been said to be a true story and the three films follow the "fictional" Corleone Mafia family through the course of its history in the United States and their homeland Sicily. I thing 29 academy award nominations hardly classifies it as unrealistic or glorified. The mafia is still prevalent in places like Las Vegas as the film realistically depicted in its third part.

    Those looking for some realism of the American Mafia in real times that look to the Sopranos. It is a good show. The series has ended but you can binge watch the whole thing.
     
  17. I'm just going to rant a little over it!

    In my personal view, a lot of mobster films and television shows are being kept afloat by the fact that there seems to be a lot of viewers who are head over heels in love by the subculture and have an inherent interest in the allure of the life. Since I was little I wasn't naturally interested in gangster life. That's not to say I don't really like gangster movies (I loved Miller's Crossing and The Departed), but they need to offer more than just a view into the life. The Sopranos, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco, Godfather, they don't reach out and grab me and the reason I feel like they don't is because I don't bring any inherent interest to the subject matter. Bad dudes can be interesting, but they're not interesting to me because they're bad.

    In addition, I'm not a film historian. I don't give any extra weight to a film based on how influential it was to other films, and a film's place in history is completely irrelevant to how much I'll enjoy it. I simply don't care. From an academic point of view I care a little because I think things in general are interesting, but I'm not going to claim to enjoy one movie over another because it was influential.

    As a side note, I wouldn't really call the Godfather Trilogy a bad movie, but I wouldn't really watch it again.
     
  18. While everybody will have their own opinion an the godfather films, I wonder how much research the director or in fact the author, Mario Puzo did on the mafia before they wrote and directed the story and film.

    A lot of the film is shot on location in Italy, would they have been welcomed or would the locals have been a bit wary of the fact that Americans were making a mafia movie?
     
  19. My guess would be that Mario Puzo did tons and tons of research among this. You don't just wake up in the morning and decide to make a movie related to all things mafia.
    I've found this interesting read on the official Wikipedia page of the Godfather:

    "Peter Bogdanovich was then approached but he also declined the offer and made What's Up, Doc? instead. Robert Evans, head of Paramount at the time, specifically wanted an Italian-American to direct the film because his research had shown that previous films about the Mafia that were directed by non-Italians had fared dismally at the box office, and he wanted to, in his own words, "smell the spaghetti".[8]"
    (http://godfather.wikia.com/wiki/The_Godfather)
     
  20. To smell the spaghetti, that made me laugh. I'm thinking though that, that terminology might be frowned upon if it was used these days!

    End of the day, wether your a fan of the films or not, they have certainly carved out out a genre in the movie industry that I don't think was there before.
     

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