Anyone tired of Godfather being #1?

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The trick is not minding
My only problem with Stairway to Heaven is that I was forced to hear it over and over again by every boombox toting guy in my neighborhood.



I came to appreciate the beauty of Page's guitar solo years later when I went through a classic rock phase.
Stairway to Heaven was always the final song played at my HS dances. Nothing like slow dancing for 7 minutes straight while trying to concentrate on not stepping on my dates feet. Which I always seemed to do at least a few times.



...
It can be hard to get through the looking glass, but it is possible to have a partial fusion of horizons (as Gadamer calls it) with the past. For just a small example, I didn't really appreciate just how good 60's television was until I started doing fan edits of the original Star Trek. It was only then that I realized that there was no fat on the bone. The camera angles were right (blocking actors in 4:3 is a real trick, but they had it down to a science and very often Trek will have three people in the frame talking), the dialogue advanced the plot, the audience was shown neither too much nor too little. Televisions were smaller. Color was new. Suddenly, I realized that these people making what I thought was bland television were master craftsmen. And when you calibrate yourself for moral and political sensibilities (for what could be said and shown at the time) of the time, your realize that they were doing it quite well (for their time and place). If you can calibrate yourself to the old taste palate, there is a whole world of content waiting to be enjoyed. But you can't simply get there by viewing it with modern eyes and expectations. You have to do a little work to read Beowulf, Chaucer, Boccaccio, and Shakespeare, and guess what? You have to do a little work for old movies too.
Good points. There were some excellent series in the mid '70s as well. I've just recently been re-watching Harry O with David Janssen and Anthony Zerbe (2nd season). Although I watched it a lot in the '70s I'd forgotten how good it was. I expected that it wouldn't age well but it did. It's available for free viewing on The Internet Archive.

It spawned some other series that weren't as good, although enjoyable in their own rights, like The Rockford Files.

The acting and the stories were first rate, and it was likely Janssen's best portrayal ever. Harry O was one of the most well done series on TV at the time. Then ABC replaced it with Charlie's Angels!..



The trick is not minding
Here are a few that come to my mind:
  1. It wasn't groundbreaking.
  2. It didn't push cinema forward. (Or worse yet, if it did, it did versus being so special it didn't but should have!)
  3. It looks great but the aesthetics are not "pure" (Not in the artistic sense of the utmost standard of saintly beauty.)
  4. It doesn't lift your soul, meaning it's not spiritually enriching.
  5. It's not metaphysical, transcendental, or mystical, ergo it offers the same "materialistic" qualities most movies do.
  6. It's restrained by the classical American boundaries of filmmaking. (Forget any avant-garde boundary-pushing!)
A few counterpoint's, if I may:

1. It was absolutely groundbreaking, in that it it gives us a pov of the Mafia in a manner which hadnít been really done before.

2. Iím not sure how you think it didnít ďpush cinema forwardĒ, as it was highly influential.

3. Its aesthetics are quite fine. Maybe it just doesnít fit what you want, which is fine, but that doesnít mean it doesnít has great aesthetics.

4. It isnít meant to ďliftĒ oneís soul, but show how easily oneís soul can be corrupted. Itís almost Shakespeare like its tragedy.

5. Doesnít have to be transcendental, as this is a rather arbitrary (as are most of these issues, really).

6. Restrained? How? It actually is unconventional it itís structure and themes for itís time.



Spread Hope and Joy :)
1. It was absolutely groundbreaking, in that it it gives us a pov of the Mafia in a manner which hadnít been really done before.
You might be right, but to actually prove that, you'd have to prove that there were no other movies with the POV of gangsters. Like, there was no Scarface or The Public Enemy. And no movies on the Mafia specifically. Like Mafioso, which is specifically on the Sicilian Mafia, and it came out in 1962. And if you emphasize "in a manner that hadn't been really done before", then I can say this: The gist of it is still the same. There had never been movies like Indiana Jones before. But there were old adventure films whose quality varied but whose purity of vision was not soiled by Spielberg's quasi-revisionist approach that traded dignity for two-bit scraps of entertainment. It's not to say there's no value in entertainment, all the more entertainment that poses meaningful questions about our nature, but for a film to be groundbreaking it has to significantly expand the map of the medium, be it innovative visual/sound, technique, or experimental approach. Attempts at adding variety to the medium are worth noting, too. But they're for the most part insufficient to hail a film the greatest of all time.

2. Iím not sure how you think it didnít ďpush cinema forwardĒ, as it was highly influential.
I actually explained this in the brackets: "Or worse yet, if it did, it did versus being so special it didn't but should have!". Singular, sublime works of art are that for a few reasons. One of them is, nobody can repeat these feats, sometimes including the very auteurs. Hence the suggestion that movies that are truly the best are those whose influence was, paradoxically, smaller. Or, even if it was great, nobody managed to achieve the same results. Notwithstanding, I believe you overrate the influence The Godfather had, which would actually align with my point and promote The Godfather as truly great, oh the irony. After all, even Coppola himself couldn't make the third Godfather film as great as the previous two. So yes, this is a double-sided issue. I can see why people who don't know any better would see The Godfather as truly the best film in existence. And maybe that's good. After all, there has to be a film that has to be seen as the best. And The Godfather is a more fitting candidate than The Shawshank Redemption.

3. Its aesthetics are quite fine. Maybe it just doesnít fit what you want, which is fine, but that doesnít mean it doesnít has great aesthetics.
I literally said that it looks great. And again, I described in more detail in the brackets: "Not in the artistic sense of the utmost standard of saintly beauty.". I don't think aesthetics are dogmatic at all but I believe that one who dabbles in the highest echelons of cinematic art does sooner or later develop a certain taste for a higher level of aesthetics that The Godfather does not embody. It's another thing to accept another sort of visual flair. But recognizing ascetic, spiritual beauty when you see it is paramount to truly start the "best ever" debate. When you think about the best movies, go for the "archaic" definition of the word sublime and see if the film fits the criteria: "elevate to a high degree of moral or spiritual purity or excellence".

4. It isnít meant to ďliftĒ oneís soul, but show how easily oneís soul can be corrupted. Itís almost Shakespeare like its tragedy.
I agree that not all films set out to achieve such a commendable goal. (If anything, only a select few ever attempt this!) But this is even more the reason to promote those that do and succeed! It's not sufficient for a film to express principles applicable to all members of society, though that's an excellent start. The movies that are truly the best are the most sublime and IRRATIONALLY so. I think it's natural we apply standards that are realistic and allow us to enjoy most movies. But this isn't the reason to forget about the ideal of beauty. No doubt there is more than one ideal, and which one is superior, and if any, is up for debate. But if our standards are so low that we refuse to look for or admit there is an ideal, oh how low our souls have sunk.

5. Doesnít have to be transcendental, as this is a rather arbitrary (as are most of these issues, really).
I'm sure you'd agree that in order to be called "the best of all time", a film has to be something. It has to stand out in at least one way if not many ways. Ideally, it has to be an ideal, a film that sets fire to life. Now the question remains, how does the film achieve this? By merely being good craftsmanship without a soul? Surely not. So there's a need for something more. Something beyond its "materialistic" nature.

6. Restrained? How? It actually is unconventional it itís structure and themes for itís time.
If so, it isn't unconventional enough. Think of a work of art that attempts to totally change the way we think about movies. That seeks to change our way of seeing. And notice that The Godfather isn't one of them. Sure, there's a lot of value in movies that are perfectly balanced. Think Sansho the Bailiff and how well every element of the film works towards the ultimate goal of the film. Or Parsifal, what a Gesamtkunstwerk it is! I'd say The Godfather is relevant, too. Just not an exemplar.
__________________
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The trick is not minding
You might be right, but to actually prove that, you'd have to prove that there were no other movies with the POV of gangsters. Like, there was no Scarface or The Public Enemy. And no movies on the Mafia specifically. Like Mafioso, which is specifically on the Sicilian Mafia, and it came out in 1962. And if you emphasize "in a manner that hadn't been really done before", then I can say this: The gist of it is still the same. There had never been movies like Indiana Jones before. But there were old adventure films whose quality varied but whose purity of vision was not soiled by Spielberg's quasi-revisionist approach that traded dignity for two-bit scraps of entertainment. It's not to say there's no value in entertainment, all the more entertainment that poses meaningful questions about our nature, but for a film to be groundbreaking it has to significantly expand the map of the medium, be it innovative visual/sound, technique, or experimental approach. Attempts at adding variety to the medium are worth noting, too. But they're for the most part insufficient to hail a film the greatest of all time.

I actually explained this in the brackets: "Or worse yet, if it did, it did versus being so special it didn't but should have!". Singular, sublime works of art are that for a few reasons. One of them is, nobody can repeat these feats, sometimes including the very auteurs. Hence the suggestion that movies that are truly the best are those whose influence was, paradoxically, smaller. Or, even if it was great, nobody managed to achieve the same results. Notwithstanding, I believe you overrate the influence The Godfather had, which would actually align with my point and promote The Godfather as truly great, oh the irony. After all, even Coppola himself couldn't make the third Godfather film as great as the previous two. So yes, this is a double-sided issue. I can see why people who don't know any better would see The Godfather as truly the best film in existence. And maybe that's good. After all, there has to be a film that has to be seen as the best. And The Godfather is a more fitting candidate than The Shawshank Redemption.

I literally said that it looks great. And again, I described in more detail in the brackets: "Not in the artistic sense of the utmost standard of saintly beauty.". I don't think aesthetics are dogmatic at all but I believe that one who dabbles in the highest echelons of cinematic art does sooner or later develop a certain taste for a higher level of aesthetics that The Godfather does not embody. It's another thing to accept another sort of visual flair. But recognizing ascetic, spiritual beauty when you see it is paramount to truly start the "best ever" debate. When you think about the best movies, go for the "archaic" definition of the word sublime and see if the film fits the criteria: "elevate to a high degree of moral or spiritual purity or excellence".

I agree that not all films set out to achieve such a commendable goal. (If anything, only a select few ever attempt this!) But this is even more the reason to promote those that do and succeed! It's not sufficient for a film to express principles applicable to all members of society, though that's an excellent start. The movies that are truly the best are the most sublime and IRRATIONALLY so. I think it's natural we apply standards that are realistic and allow us to enjoy most movies. But this isn't the reason to forget about the ideal of beauty. No doubt there is more than one ideal, and which one is superior, and if any, is up for debate. But if our standards are so low that we refuse to look for or admit there is an ideal, oh how low our souls have sunk.

I'm sure you'd agree that in order to be called "the best of all time", a film has to be something. It has to stand out in at least one way if not many ways. Ideally, it has to be an ideal, a film that sets fire to life. Now the question remains, how does the film achieve this? By merely being good craftsmanship without a soul? Surely not. So there's a need for something more. Something beyond its "materialistic" nature.

If so, it isn't unconventional enough. Think of a work of art that attempts to totally change the way we think about movies. That seeks to change our way of seeing. And notice that The Godfather isn't one of them. Sure, there's a lot of value in movies that are perfectly balanced. Think Sansho the Bailiff and how well every element of the film works towards the ultimate goal of the film. Or Parsifal, what a Gesamtkunstwerk it is! I'd say The Godfather is relevant, too. Just not an exemplar.
I can see you have different values in what makes a film art or not, and of course itís going to subjective and different from others. Iím not sure how one can come away from The Godfather and think it didnít change the way we look at movies. I know you donít value the acting or script or even themes as much as I do, but it was completely different in its view point from the original Scarface or even Little Caesar.
Now, does this mean I think The Godfather is the best film of all time? Nope. But I do think itís a masterpiece, and Coppolaís crowning achievement. And thereís a reason for this.
Now, will my opinion change as I continue to wade through the various films that preceded it? Maybe. I canít know for sure, until I get to that point, if ever. After all, tastes should never remain stagnant and one should continue to challenge themselves as they continue on watching all forms of cinema.
However, thereís a good chance itíll remain in the discussion simply because it really was an amazing film.

Parsifal, is that the German opera film from 1982? Iíve not seen that one yet.
But I can concur that Sansho the Bailiff is indeed a masterpiece.



Wow lots of words here.. makes me wonder.. What's the most 'word generating' , 'discussion evoking', 'talked about' film of all time..? Just wondering out loud.. I know the question can't be answered..





The way I always describe my hestitation to truly love The Godfather is probably exactly what others love so much about it. It doesn't have a wasted moment. Every element of it, from its technical elements to its character arcs, all have a purpose in clarifying its underlying themes and, as a result, nothing about the film breathes. It's all pushing me towards the one conclusion it has preordained. I don't feel like I'm discovering anything in the process of watching it. It's too purposeful. It has too much meaning. It doesn't feel alive. It's, to put in my verbage, 'shackled to its storytelling'


Now this is obviously what makes it so appealing to so many others. We can articulate very clearly what makes it such a great movie. We can write compelling explanations of its genius that are very clear and obvious and pretty much impossible to refute. And that not only leads to a film that is clearly very entertaining and great to look at, but it also is very comforting for us to know precisely why it works so well. It has a built in road map that points directly in the direction of 'classic movie'.



It's very much like Casablanca in this way (which, as an aside, I prefer by a wide margin). They are both the gold standard of how to tell a story properly through film, and they both do it in ways that are very engaging and tragic and beautiful and technically impressive. Almost no other movies have done this better. It achieves exactly what it sets out to do. It is, by pretty much any definition, perfect.



But ugh to perfection. To me that's a condition that seals itself off and leaves it air tight so that there is no room for the audience in it. I have never found any space to wonder within its windowless walls. There is no space for really anything beyond witnessing the arc of Micheal's slow and unavoidable corruption. Even the fates of all of its other characters are inextricably linked to this overriding purpose. And, as immaculate as it may do this in its execution, I always feel I'm left wanting by its end. Like I watched greatness, without it actually touching me. I was only there to bear witness. And, for me, that's just not enough.



The way I always describe my hestitation to truly love The Godfather is probably exactly what others love so much about it. It doesn't have a wasted moment. Every element of it, from its technical elements to its character arcs, all have a purpose in clarifying its underlying themes and, as a result, nothing about the film breathes. It's all pushing me towards the one conclusion it has preordained. I don't feel like I'm discovering anything in the process of watching it. It's too purposeful. It has too much meaning. It doesn't feel alive. It's, to put in my verbage, 'shackled to its storytelling'
...
One of the things I loved about TG is that it closely followed Puzo's novel. I had read and loved the novel, so I was extremely excited when the movie came out. Stood in line in the winter in NYC for 30 minutes to see the first run. I loved it then, and still like it mucho. As you say, the film really had no weaknesses.



It is considered one of the greatest films of all time if not the greatest because it is the complete package. Too many on here are focusing on the story itself, which is important, but isn't everything when evaluating a film. The story is not just great, but the acting is flawless. It is like the dream team of actors assembled together with excellent direction. It also is edited perfectly, has great cinematograph with a an incredible score. Few movies truly check all the boxes like The Godfather did.



It is considered one of the greatest films of all time if not the greatest because it is the complete package. Too many on here are focusing on the story itself, which is important, but isn't everything when evaluating a film. The story is not just great, but the acting is flawless. It is like the dream team of actors assembled together with excellent direction. It also is edited perfectly, has great cinematograph with a an incredible score. Few movies truly check all the boxes like The Godfather did.

One COULD say that most of the characters don't get enough development, but gangsters surround themselves around too many people when they got the cash to do so. Realistically, that flaw probably shouldn't even be considered. We got little but powerful hints of everyone else and just enough of what we need to see Michael become what he never wanted to be.



My sole consolation is that I don't bear the ignominy of having said that I am "glad" that the man who killed his employee by recklessly handling a gun won't face criminal justice.
Yeah should have been a manslaughter charge



One COULD say that most of the characters don't get enough development, but gangsters surround themselves around too many people when they got the cash to do so. Realistically, that flaw probably shouldn't even be considered. We got little but powerful hints of everyone else and just enough of what we need to see Michael become what he never wanted to be.
That's the thing with how great it is. It is a 3 hour movie yet it would have worked as 4 hours too. You can say it is lack of development, but I see it as the film doing such a good job that you want to see more even with as much as you got.



Many movie enthusiasts and critics that reviewed movies from the 70's are male American baby boomers who are particularly interested in the tropes/themes of The Godfather.

It came out in the 70's, when movies were realizing their directing and storytelling potential. And it hit the right audience at the right time.

If it's your favorite movie, that's fine. But if you say it's the universal best movie of any era and culture. Just keep in mind that a 27 year old woman from Singapore might not necessarily be as fascinated with it as you are.



Psychopathic Psychiatrist
Never understood what made this movie so good.

("GOODFELLAS" now THAT is a movie!)

The only scene from GODFATHER i remember, was when he putted on those "dracula-teeth" chasing that kid while having that stupid laugh and making those "dracula" noises LMFAOROFL! That scene was as WEIRD as it was funny to me.



The way I always describe my hestitation to truly love The Godfather is probably exactly what others love so much about it. It doesn't have a wasted moment. Every element of it, from its technical elements to its character arcs, all have a purpose in clarifying its underlying themes and, as a result, nothing about the film breathes. It's all pushing me towards the one conclusion it has preordained. I don't feel like I'm discovering anything in the process of watching it. It's too purposeful. It has too much meaning. It doesn't feel alive. It's, to put in my verbage, 'shackled to its storytelling'

Now this is obviously what makes it so appealing to so many others. We can articulate very clearly what makes it such a great movie. We can write compelling explanations of its genius that are very clear and obvious and pretty much impossible to refute. And that not only leads to a film that is clearly very entertaining and great to look at, but it also is very comforting for us to know precisely why it works so well. It has a built in road map that points directly in the direction of 'classic movie'.

It's very much like Casablanca in this way (which, as an aside, I prefer by a wide margin). They are both the gold standard of how to tell a story properly through film, and they both do it in ways that are very engaging and tragic and beautiful and technically impressive. Almost no other movies have done this better. It achieves exactly what it sets out to do. It is, by pretty much any definition, perfect.

But ugh to perfection. To me that's a condition that seals itself off and leaves it air tight so that there is no room for the audience in it. I have never found any space to wonder within its windowless walls. There is no space for really anything beyond witnessing the arc of Micheal's slow and unavoidable corruption. Even the fates of all of its other characters are inextricably linked to this overriding purpose. And, as immaculate as it may do this in its execution, I always feel I'm left wanting by its end. Like I watched greatness, without it actually touching me. I was only there to bear witness. And, for me, that's just not enough.
Yeah, I agree with you 100% here, since, in the immortal words of Peter Griffin, The Godfather has always felt like a movie that insists upon itself too much, and tries to force itself to try to be a great movie, rather than letting that greatness happen more "naturally" (yes, I know great movies can be self-conscious in their higher ambitions, but it's always possible to force that too much, and Godfather does so, IMO). I mean, like the way in the "take the canoli" scene where the Statue Of Liberty is in the background of the shot...






...which lingers on it for such a length of time to make it impossible for us not to notice it, as if the movie's trying to shove the shot in our face, and go "Hey, don't you notice this rich, ironic visual symbolism of the freedom the statue represents contrasting with the violence of the gangland hit going on in front of it?". I mean, yeah, we got that; the very first line of the movie is literally "I believe in America", so I think we've understand that the movie's main theme is about the dark side of the American dream. We didn't need the point driven home any further, Francis...



Shhh. The mafia is going to hear you. Just smile and pretend it's the best film ever made.



Pauline Kael's Hideous Mutant Love CHUD
Art isn't here to reflect morality back to us. It is to speak about the human condition, of which there are immoral elements.

Eloquently and concisely stated.
__________________
"If it was priggish for an older generation of reviewers to be ashamed of what they enjoyed and to feel they had to be contemptuous of popular entertainment, it's even more priggish for a new movie generation to be so proud of what they enjoy that they use their education to try to place trash within the acceptable academic tradition." -- Pauline Kael



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
Anyone tired of Godfather being #1?
YES

Does it bother me?
NO
I found the Godfather to be somewhat boring and I thought it was way too long. The Godfather 2 seemed really messed up going back and forth between Michael and a young Vito. I think they should have stuck the young Vito in the first Godfather and shaved off an hour. Too long and it's a genre I have little interest in. I prefer horror movies.



I found the Godfather to be somewhat boring and I thought it was way too long. The Godfather 2 seemed really messed up going back and forth between Michael and a young Vito. I think they should have stuck the young Vito in the first Godfather and shaved off an hour. Too long and it's a genre I have little interest in. I prefer horror movies.
Yeah I'm not interested in mafia/organized crime movies at all, I prefer old sci-fi films.