Crime Film: The Godfather

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As a crime film, The Godfather contains numerous violent, sexual and profane scenes as its plot centers on the Corleone family and their criminal business. However, despite its genre, Nino Rota’s score for the film is generally calm, elegant and operatic. For instance, the main theme of the film is a waltz called the “Godfather Waltz,” which counterpoints the horrible images presented on the screen. As a mournful waltz with a melancholic vibe, the “Godfather Waltz” serves as a leitmotif for Don Vito Corleone. In The Godfather, the “Godfather Waltz” is repeatedly used throughout the film. In total, it is played sixteen times. For each scene, the theme continually modifies in terms of its tempo, a few notes and the musical instruments that are …show more content…
Since most of the characters who appear in The Godfather are Italian-Americans, the Paramount product casted an Italian director, Francis Coppola and an Italian composer, Nino Rota. Accordingly, such reasons explain why the “Godfather Waltz” has Sicilian folk tune to it. Prior to The Godfather, Rota has several experiences of composing scores for movies with Italian settings such as Romeo and Juliet (1968). However, The Godfather has unique scores as it consists of a blend of American pop music and Italian folk music. This is because the characters in The Godfather are Italian immigrants settled in America. Moreover, although some people including the editor, Robert Evans, have criticized Rota’s score as being unsuitable with the content of the film, his music fulfills the requests made by Coppola. This is because Coppola wanted Rota to “underscore the continuous string of murders occurring in the film with a waltz, a leitmotif signifying a recurring cycle devoid of closure.” Also, most of the themes created by Rota are in minor keys, which set up gloomy mood. Finally, Rota has created the underscore for The Godfather by “utilizing a symphonic structure to comment on characters and situations” and thus, his score fits well with the

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