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The Godfather's Impact is Pervasive in Culture

By Michael Mejia
On January 27, 2009

There are many good films out there, even iconic films. But it is rare to find a film that can gracefully stand the test of time and endure changing fads and fashions. No, I am not talking about Animal House; I am talking about The Godfather, coming soon to Cinestudio. Even if you have not seen it, surely you can come up with a few quotes on the spot. Do not deny it: you have quoted "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" a least once in your life. Such a film that has reached even those who have not seen it or do not like it should be regarded as very important (it is ranked number two on, so it must be special). Practically everyone I know who has seen it loves it or, at the very least, likes it. One person was borderline angry when I said, before I saw it in full, that I was not really looking forward to the film. She immediately brought up a quote ("Leave the gun, take the cannolis"), and I thought she might just slap me for my slight. The fact that many people can agree on The Godfather's greatness in and of itself makes it special.

I admit that before I saw it, I did not think it was worth my time. I will admit that even now I am not the biggest fan. But I can appreciate the impact The Godfather has had on pop culture without being in love with the film itself. It is kind of like appreciating Nirvana and the impact they had without loving their music. The reason I wanted to write this article is actually because I am not the biggest fan. If somebody who has watched it hundreds of times wrote this article, it would sound as if The Godfather is the best thing since the dawn of time. I apologize in advance for however self-serving this might sound, but I figured I could write about it from a distance, because it does not occupy any special place in my heart.

Nobody can really agree on one thing that sets this film apart. Is it the dialogue? Is it the acting? Is it the directing? Or is it Marlon Brando's charm? I vote for the latter (anyone who is willing to stick cotton balls in their mouth for a better effect is a dedicated actor), but ask ten people, and they will most likely give you ten different reasons, if not twenty. All of them are probably going to be legitimate. The dialogue is endlessly and shamelessly quoted, the acting is great (Brando won an Oscar), the directing is superb, and the list could go on and on.

Whatever the reason, The Godfather has always been on everybody's list of top movies. Still today, the film influences pop culture. Without The Godfather and its in-depth look at crime families, Goodfellas, an iconic film in its own right, would likely not have been made. Without The Godfather's emphasis on family, the The Sopranos would not have been created, and a generation of Italians would not have a show to call their own, no matter how stereotypical some might think it is. Without the sympathy shown to Don Corleone, Analyze This would not have been made, not that I would be too sad about that. There have been homages to The Godfather in other places; I have noticed three in different episodes of "The Simpsons". I have even heard of Mafia families nowadays actually kissing the Don's ring, as they do in the last scene.

When The Godfather arrives at Cinestudio, I suggest you go check it out if you have not seen it. Hardcore fans will probably go drool over it, but if you have not seen it, go. This is not a plug for Cinestudio. Go pick it up at Blockbuster. Download it. I do not care how you see it, just see it. It is about three hours long, but it is worth it. If you want to go into the film industry, then you can see it and pay attention to the cinematography and the directing. If not, go for the experience, and to see a great movie. If you end up not liking it, you will still be able to fully appreciate the impact it has had on pop culture. Don't worry; you do not have to check out Godfather III. Sure, check out Godfather II, but I would draw the line somewhere.

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