Al Pacino Godfather
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The Godfather, considered to be the greatest movie of all time, turns 50 this year. The Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece redefined the crime and Mafia movie and launched the careers of a bevy of stars. One of them was the great Al Pacino, who played reluctant family head Michael Corleone.

In a recent interview, Pacino reflected on the fame of the iconic role.

Pacino: “The Godfather gave me a new identity that was hard for me to cope with.”

Before The Godfather, Pacino was primarily known for his theatre work. He had already won a Tony Award and was a regular staple on Broadway.

However, he had only one film credit to his name, the lead in the critically acclaimed The Panic In Needle Park. Pacino thought Coppola was crazy when he offered him the role. 

He wasn’t sure if the movie would be a hit, but when he saw Coppola crying because he couldn’t get a scene correct, something clicked in the Oscar winner that this would be a great film. 

Pacino is known for being press-shy and was especially so when he was thrust into the spotlight and nominated for an Academy Award.

“I felt like, all of a sudden, some veil was lifted and all eyes were on me. Of course, they were on others in the film. But ‘The Godfather’ gave me a new identity that was hard for me to cope with.”


Related: Burt Reynolds Offered Michael Corleone Role, But Brando Loathed Him

The Godfather At 50 – Does It Still Hold Up? 

Yes, The Godfather, is 50. Which means 1972 was 50 years ago. I’m not even 50, and that makes me feel old. The film is a classic, but does it hold up today? 

Yes, I think it does. Coppola’s technique was so ahead of its time. Combined with the incredible writing of Mario Puzo, you have a film that has stood the test of time and should be required viewing for anyone who considers themselves a film buff.

The Godfather was revolutionary not just for its acting, writing, and filming but also for portraying gangsters and Italian-Americans.

Previous mob movies portrayed mafioso as greedy, cold-blooded killers. Puzo and Coppola created what many consider the first “ethnic” drama in America, representing a stereotyped group with enormous depth and thought. 

If you have three hours to spare, I recommend giving it another view. Why not make a whole weekend out of it and check out Part II as well?

You can skip Part III, but I recommend you supplement your viewing with The Conservation, another Coppola classic that the director made between Parts I & II.

What do you think about The Godfather? Does it stand up? Let us know in the comments below.

Next, Read This: Sophia Loren Remembers What It Was Like To Work With John Wayne

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