The Godfather Trilogy (Francis Ford Coppola)
The Godfather (1972); The Godfather Part II (1974) & The Godfather Part III (1990)
Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm
Chicago Reader review of The Godfather:
The ultimate family film. Francis Ford Coppola gives full due to the
themes of clannish insularity that made Mario Puzo's novel a best
seller, though his heart seems to be with Al Pacino's lonely, willful
isolation. This 1972 feature is sharp, entertaining, and
convincing—discursive, but with a sense of structure and control that
Coppola hasn't achieved since.
Here is the trailer.
Chicago Reader review of The Godfather Part II:
Three hours and 20 minutes of Al Pacino suffering openly, Robert Duvall
suffering silently, Diane Keaton suffering noisily, and (every so often)
Robert De Niro suffering good-naturedly is almost too much, but Francis
Ford Coppola pulls it off in grand style. This 1974 sequel never bores,
though Gordon Willis's lights-in-your-face cinematography (with its
heavy overhead lighting and all those browns and yellows) gets to you
after a while, and Coppola's preoccupation with religious ritual almost
spoils some quietly effective scenes.
Here is the trailer
Chicago Reader review of The Godfather Part III:
Francis Ford Coppola's tragic and worthy (if uneven)
conclusion to his Godfather trilogy (1990), which he wrote in
collaboration with Mario Puzo, represents a certain moral improvement
over its predecessors by refusing to celebrate and condemn violence and
duplicity in the same breath, or at least to the same degree. Michael
Corleone (Al Pacino at his best) seeks absolution for his past sins, and
although a cardinal grants it at one point (in a powerful confession
scene), the film itself refuses to. While some of the allegorical
implications persist (crime equals capitalism, Mafia equals family, both
equal America), the decline of America in a world market where both
European money and the Vatican are made to seem as corrupt as the
Corleones leads to an overall change of focus. The episodic construction
yields a strong first and third act and a sagging middle, and one
regrets the absence of Robert Duvall, whose character provided a crucial
link between crime and business in the first two parts.
Here is the trailer.