The excellent, three-part gangster saga was inaugurated with this film from Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola, “The Godfather” (1972). Many film critics believe that the second part of “The Godfather” was a lot finer than the first part, although the first part did great business on the box office. This mythic, tragic film contributed to resurgence in the American film industry, after a decade of competition from cinema abroad.
The almost three hours, R-rated saga film of violence and graphic language won three Oscars: Best Actor (Marlon Brando refused to accept the award), Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola). The other seven nominations included three for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino), Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Costume Design.
The story begins as Don Vito Corleone, the head of the mafia family in New York is supervising his daughter’s wedding. His son has just arrived from war and has no intentions of contributing to the dirty work his father does. Through Michael's life the nature of the family business becomes clear. The business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and compassionate to those who give respect, but given to cold blooded violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family. Don Vito lives his life in the way of the old country, but times are changing and some don't want to follow the old ways and look out for community and "family". An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start a business of selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don's persuasion to further his plan. The clash of the Don's fading old world values and the new ways will demand a terrible price, especially from Michael, all for the sake of the family.
Vito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII just in time to see the wedding of Connie Corleone (Michael's sister) to Carlo Rizzi. All of Michael's family is involved with the Mafia, but Michael just wants to live a normal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo who has just started up a drug businezz in New York is looking for some protection and security from any of the Mafia families to keep his business running in exchange of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but, much against the advice of the Don's lawyer Tom Hagen, the Don is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by some of his hit men. The Don hardly survives which leads his son Michael to begin a violent multitude war against Sollozzo which tears the Corleone family apart.
This epic story revolves around the world of Mafia and the people who own this world. Family loyalty and blood ties are put adjacent to brutal and vengeful blood-letting and the inevitable downfall of the family.