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"Kill Your Idols" series: "The Godfather"

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    As some of you may recall, a year or so again, I started a few threads in which we deconstructed some classic movies, and perhaps some classic novels or albums along the way.

    Anyway, I thought for the new year, I'd try to fire it back up again. (It's unfortunate that Double Down seems to have left us once again, as his sister series on great pieces of sports writing was a nice addition to these parts.)

    Anyway, in the past, we've just kind of batted around thoughts on these films, with the idea that nothing is sacred. We can talk about plot points. Editing decisions. Acting. And on and on.

    Some thoughts on "The Godfather" to get us going:
    • Did there need to be a "Godfather II"? At this point, it's tough to think of one without the other, of course, and I like knowing the back story of these characters, as it gives this world a mythology. On the other hand, upon watching I a couple weeks ago again, I thought, "This would be no less great as a stand-alone movie about a person's descent/ascent." I don't think it left me wanting at all, as far as a sequel being necessary.
    • I have never understood the Woltz sequence. He has a hissy fit at Tom Hagen. Then he kisses his ass when he finds out the Don sent him. And then he has a second hissy fit about Fontaine. So what the hell was the purpose of the niceties in the middle of it all?
    • To me, one of the most goose bump-raising moments in movie history is when Michael comes out of the bathroom at Louie's. Everything is dead silent, and the camera focuses on him, looking out at McCluskey and Sollozzo. There's no turning back. It's like Alice through the looking glass, you might say. It's the turning point of the entire series, even moreso than when he actually shoots them.
    • Abe Vigoda is still alive.
    All right, that's just a little start. Hope some others chime in. It's always interesting to hear what people here have to say about the classics.
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    The Woltz sequence. I think it was because he didn't know who Hagen was and thought he was just another shakedown artist. Then he finds out he's with Vito, and that gives him acceptance.

    However, he loses it again when Fontaine is brought up because he doesn't want Fontaine. To me, the second tantrum is more inexplicable since he knows that Hagen represents Vito, even if he was pissed about Fontaine and the actress. Knowing who Hagen was connected to, he should have just explained calmly that he had previous problems with Fontaine and couldn't use him any more. I wonder if the horse retaliation was done because he had exploded against Tom, who was like a son to Vito, the second time.

    One other reaction that I've never quite figured out was in II, when young Vito tries to get the landlord to not evict the widow. The landlord is stubborn, but finally agrees to allow her to stay. Then Vito, to me, pushes it too far by insisting the dog stays as well. He knew the landlord had a legitimate issue with his other tenants over the dog, and then the widow lied to him over getting rid of the dog. The landlord had to save face with his other tenants, so he evicted her. Vito should have just convinced him to let her stay, without the dog. Instead, the landlord gets antagonized, leaves, and ends up frightened later on.
  3. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I haven't watched it in quite some time.

    I agree that the sequel wasn't necessary. The original was great.
    That said, the sequel didn't hurt the standing of the original, and the sequel is also great, although it could not stand alone.
  4. El Guapo

    El Guapo New Member

    Naturally, the book better explains how the Woltz sequence fits in to the bigger scheme. The Don is sending Hagen not just to score the role for Fontane but to size up the movie "big shots" and vet a possible entry into the entertainment industry.

    Woltz's fickle temperament convinces The Don that he could easily intimidate him, which he does. That paves the way for the move to Vegas and kickstarts his quest for legitimacy.

    I've seen the film enough that I feel the sequence is necessary to show the extent of The Don's reach beyond the mob underworld, although I agree the lack of background leaves a lot to be desired.
  5. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Review the deleted scenes in the DVD on The Godfather. Wolz was screwing that little girl who was having the birthday party at the studio. In the undeleted scene you could her mother staying at the mansion and can almost make out the girl in the room.

    Genco makes an appearance in the deleted scenes too. He is dying in the hospital and the Don, Mickael and Sonny visit him in the hospital on the evening of his daughter's wedding. He's The Don's original consilg.. before TOm. He's the guy in Part II with Vito at the show when they first meet The Black Hand.

    Fontaine, according to a chart in the DVD extras is really the Don's illegitmate son, hence the intense interest in him.

    The prequel I want to see is from the time they open the Genco Olive Oil Company until the wedding. The Prime of Vito.
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