The Gist: Don Vito Corleone is the head of a powerful mafia family in New York City. He helps those who respect his power and wishes, but is ruthless to those who cross him, and the family's welfare is paramount to him. With different degrees, everyone in the family is involved in the mafia business, except for his younger son Michael, a decorated WWII Marine who longs for a normal life with Kay Adams, who is only tangentially aware of the truth about Michael's family. A drug kingpin wants to move into the NYC market, but the Don refuses to lend his support. The ensuing war among the different families will force many changes on the Corleone family.
The Godfather is Francis Ford Coppola's opening chapter of his famed trilogy and is revered as one of cinema's masterpieces, with good reason.
Impeccably directed, anchored by an excellent and engaging script by Coppola and Mario Puzo, who authored the Corleone character, it features a stellar cast that includes Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, John Cazale, and Abe Vigoda.
The Bottom Line: The Godfather is a film that one really cannot miss if he cares about movies. Brando and Pacino are simply magnificent.