As he sits in an orange grove, Mafia supremo Godfather Don Corleone thinks back to his days when he was the head of one of the five Mafia families in New York and New Jersey, and the actions of his two sons, Michael and Sonny. Advised by Tom Hagen, Don's right hand man, Michael is studious, studying business and planning to accede to higher things, while Sonny is a hothead with a wild side and an eye for the ladies. After a rival family attempts a hit on Don Corleone, Michael extracts his own revenge on the corrupt police chief and rival mob boss who sanctioned the attempt and has to retreat to Sicily. The families' war follows him, resulting in the murder of his bride and the killing of his brother Sonny. Michael realises that, even though Don Corleone wants him to go straight, he has to avenge the killings and risks an all-out war between the families on the streets of New York.
A sprawling three hour epic taken from the novel by Mario Puzo, The Godfather
is a towering achievement, engrossing, tense, filled with tremendous performances and superb period detail, the script (which never actually mentions the Mafia or the Mob by name) allows some superb character portrayals from Brando (in one of his last great roles) and Al Pacino (in one of the first of his). The believability of the families and their influence is total, and summed up in the famous sentence 'I'll make him an offer he can't refuse', uttered by Don Corleone when he has to persuade a movie producer who refuses to cast a crooner (Al Martino) in his latest film. Violent, profane, complex and never less than totally captivating, this is stunning film making. Winner of Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars.