The Influence Of Film: The Godfather

1717 Words 7 Pages
“Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli”
Film influences our lives in multiple aspects. New films are released every day; however, only a great film can make a lasting impact on society. In 1972, America was faced with national cynicism and an ever-changing cultural view, due to the Watergate Scandal, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Equal Rights Movement for women. Francis Ford Coppola made a bold move by producing a film called The Godfather, which detailed the inter-workings of the Mafia in a romanticized way. The Godfather has impacted the world since its birth. I will discuss how The Godfather influenced other films and television shows, real-life gangsters, and Italian-American culture.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all
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Movies like Little Caesar and Public Enemy, emphasized the criminal activities of the Mafia (Davis). Italians were criminals. They were apprehended by law enforcement, then charged with money laundering or murder. The Italians were the bad guys, and the cops were the good guys. However, The Godfather depicted mobsters as wealthy men who cared about their family. Don Corleone spoke with sophistication. Michael is college educated and a veteran. The audience sympathizes with Michael’s struggles between good and evil in the film. The new way of presenting the “bad guys” prompted changes in other films and television shows, real-life gangsters, and Italian-American …show more content…
Many Italian-Americans portray The Godfather as the first film to properly depict Italians. It focuses on the American Dream and codes of honor pertaining to family. “I believe in America,” is the first line in the film. This line symbolizes the ambiguities of immigrants. All immigrants face the same hardships; they should not divide themselves by stereotypes (Martynuska). In the film, mob leader, Don Corleone, refuses a million-dollar deal with a drug lord. Don believes that drugs hurt children and does not want drugs to become part of his business or community. This scene in the movie allows viewers to slowly accept the criminal lives of the Corleone family because they stick to an honor code. The film has been shown with a disclaimer stating, “The Godfather is a fictional account of a small group of ruthless criminals. It would be erroneous and unfair to suggest that they are representative of any particular ethnic group”

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