** I have some miscellaneous thoughts about the charming old devil Vito
and his charming devilish son Michael … lol … and I thought I’d post them
just for fun. I think some folks might find them a tad interesting. **
First I would say that, in a sense, there are no such creatures as Vito and Michael Corleone,
instead there are the very charismatic actors Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. These two men, with
their magnetic personalities captivated audiences as they magically forever imprinted their very
appealing personalities into the very concepts of Vito and Michael Corleone. All this Brando-Pacino
magnetism would have been impossible to convey to the mere reader of the novel and screenplays,
but the magic of the audio-video in living color on the screen did perform actual “magic” in the hearts
and minds of millions of people worldwide.
We can add Robert De Niro (as Vito Corleone in GF II) to the charisma-magic pot. De Niro’s personality
is charismatic-enough to join Brando and Pacino in the Brando-Pacino-De Niro Club Of Very Magnetic
When some people (perhaps most) say “I like the character of Vito Corleone” they are really saying they
were drawn to the personalities of Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Robert De Niro in The Godfather II.
My view is that it’d be impossible for anyone to separate the text-characters in the novel and screenplay,
from the real life actors that appeared in the 3 films. In the minds of untold millions of viewers of the 3
Godfather films, Vito Corleone is Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro and Michael Corleone is Al Pacino
and the personalities of these 3 actors will be forever imprinted upon the minds of the Godfather watchers
as well as imprinted upon the text characters in the novel and screenplays.
**My main point in this section: **
The point is these 3 Hollywood actors pumped tons of their own charm, charisma, magnetism, appeal,
personality, smoothness, suaveness, glamor, romance, enchantment, pleasantness, and pleasing aura into the
characters Vito and Michael Corleone. All this made it almost humanly impossible NOT to like the characters of
Vito and Michael Corleone and find them delightfully charming.
If 3 totally uncharismatic male Hollywood actors had (somehow) been cast as Vito and Michael, then I would in all
probability not be writing this post because the first Godfather would have been a great big flop, and there would
most likely never have been a GF II and III.
I have the impression that The Godfather series is, in the popular culture, considered a “guy flick.” That means
that a significant number of males in America, with their testosterone in high gear, consider the characters of
Vito and Michael to be admirable because they see them as powerful males who are glamorous, wealthy, and
who can get things done.
I remember watching the highly popular “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The main male character
in the movie Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) kept talking positively about The Godfather being a guy flick and about how all the
guys knew what “going to the mattresses” meant. The Godfather’s characters were presented in the movie as being
the kind of males one ought to admire and emulate because they would fight for what they wanted.
I think RET’s summation of why the 3 Godfather stories ended up as they did, is an super excellent right-on-target
summation, but sadly I do not think millions interpret the films that way. I think millions, perhaps tens of millions
worldwide, never even think seriously about the truth of RET’s summation. I think, rather, they isolate the charismatic
characters of Vito and Michael and view them as somewhat heroic powerful males who fought hard to get what they
** I Think The Mob Liked The Godfather movies. **
I remember reading some articles and hearing some news reports that said the actual mobsters went to see The Godfather
and liked it because they interpreted it as Hollywood presenting them in a way they wanted to be presented, which was as
I described above: powerful men, wealthy, glamorous, and hard fighters for what they wanted, etc.
The point is that the actual mobsters did not interpret The Godfather in a negative light at all, they were proud and glad to
be presented like that.
… Give me a minute to go googling for maybe a tidbit of evidence to support what I remember reading and hearing about.
Be right back ,
, moments pass ,
The Godfather epic, encompassing the original trilogy and the additional footage Coppola incorporated later, is by now thoroughly integrated into American life, and the first film had the largest impact. Unlike any film before it, its depiction of Italians who immigrated to the United States in the first half of the twentieth century is perhaps attributable to the director, himself an Italian-American, presenting his own understanding of their experience.
Setting aside the stereotypes of the criminal element and the simple peasant, the films explain through their action the uneven integration of a particular population into a new milieu.
Ironically, The Godfather increased Hollywood’s unsavory depictions of immigrant Italians in the aftermath of the film and was a recruiting tool for organized crime.
Still, the story is of a piece with all immigrant experience as much as it is rooted in the specific circumstances of the Corleones, a family of privilege who live outside the law, are not robbed of their universality
yet assume a heroic aspect that is at once admirable and repellent.
Released in a period of intense national cynicism and self-criticism, the American film struck a chord about the dual identities inherent in a nation of immigrants.
The concept of a mafia “Godfather” was an invention of Mario Puzo’s and the film’s effect was to add the fictional nomenclature to the language. Similarly,
Don Vito Corleone’s unforgettable “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”—voted the second most memorable line in cinema history in AFI’s 100 Years…
100 Movie Quotes by the American Film Institute—[highlight[was adopted by actual gangsters.
In the French novel Le Père Goriot, Honoré de Balzac wrote of Vautrin telling Eugene: “In that case I will make you an offer that no one would decline.”
According to Anthony Fiato, Patriarca crime family members Paulie Intiso and Nicky Giso modeled their speech on Brando’s portrayal. Intiso would frequently swear and use poor grammar; but after the movie came out, he started to articulate and philosophize more.
On the other hand, Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, the former underboss in the Gambino crime family, “left the movie stunned … I mean I floated out of the theater. Maybe it was fiction, but for me, then, that was our life. It was incredible. I remember talking to a multitude of guys, made guys, who felt exactly the same way.”
An indication of the continuing influence of The Godfather and its sequels can be gleaned from the many references to it which have appeared in every medium of popular culture in the decades since the film’s initial release. [highlight[That these homages, quotations, visual references, satires, and parodies continue to pop up even now shows clearly the film’s enduring impact.
The Godfather - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I think its safe to say, sadly, that America and the world, did not interpret The Godfather I, II, III correctly as did RET in his excellent summation, rather
they saw what they wanted to see and ignored the rest (not surprising, that’s typical of fallen human nature.)
Oh I also found a quote from You’ve Got Mail:
In You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks) quotes The Godfather, positing:
“The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should
I pack for my summer vacation? ‘Leave the gun, take the cannoli’. What day of the week is it? ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday’.”
The Godfather - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Edit: I just remembered. I read an article on the impact of the movie Scarface on the young hoods in the neighborhood who
went to see the film. They took Scarface as their hero and started acting and talking like him. They totally ignored how their
hero ended up, which was they turned him into hamburger meat by passing an endless number of pieces of hot lead through
his body. The ending scenes looked like a butcher’s shop, but the young punks did not choose to see that, even though they
did see it with their eyes. They saw only what they wanted to see, and that was Scarface as a tough guy, glamorous, successful,
wealthy, powerful, a fighter, and an all round heroic guy. Much of America and much of the world saw The Godfather movies
that way too, in my opinion. They simply chose not to see it the correct way RET summed it up. Not all, but I think millions
worldwide chose to see all 3 Godfather films that way. /sad to be sure!