“I’ll Make Him an Offer He Can’t Refuse”ūüźī

 

IN THEATERS JUNE 4th and JUNE 7th

TCM Big Screen Classics Presents

“The Godfather”

A Special 45th Anniversary Event

 

The Godfather

 

This iconic film about a New York mafia family‚Äôs rise to power in the years following World War II stars Marlon Brando as the family‚Äôs patriarch, Don Corleone, and features career-making performances by Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it’s based on Mario Puzo‘s best-selling novel. This searing and brilliant film garnered seven Academy Award nominations and won three, including Best Picture of 1972.

 

 

I’ve stated for years that if you want a blueprint for the rules of life, a screening of “The Godfather” is mandatory. In an interview about the making of the film, Coppola revealed that his idea was to approach the Corleone family like a king and his sons. I believe focusing on the family dynamics versus “the mob” gave more depth and layers to the characters and the audience’s involvement¬†in the film.

 

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Cinematographer Gordon Willis initially turned down the opportunity to film The Godfather because the production seemed “chaotic” to him.¬†After Willis later accepted the offer, he and Coppola agreed to not use any modern filming devices, helicopters, or zoom lenses. Willis and Coppola chose to use a “tableau format” of filming to make it seem if it was viewed like a painting.¬†He made use of shadows and low light levels throughout the film to showcase psychological developments.

Willis and Coppola agreed to interplay light and dark scenes throughout the film.¬†Willis underexposed the film in order to create a “yellow tone.”¬†The scenes in Sicily were shot to display the countryside and “display a more romantic land,” giving these scenes a “softer, more romantic” feel than the New York scenes.¬†(Wikipedia)

 

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Although many films about gangsters preceded “The Godfather”, Coppola’s heavy infusion of Italian culture and stereotypes, and his portrayal of mobsters as characters of considerable psychological depth and complexity was unprecedented.

 

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Coppola took it further with The Godfather Part II, and Part III. The success of those films, critically, artistically and financially, opened the doors for numerous other depictions of Italian Americans as mobsters, including films such as Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas and TV series such as David Chase‘s The Sopranos.

Goodfellas 1990

Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

“Goodfellas” (1990)

 

“The Godfather” is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema and one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1990, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and is ranked the second greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute. (Wikipedia)

 

So, whether this would be your first viewing or you’re a lifelong fan, get your tickets here and check out “The Godfather” on the big screen for this special, limited-time performance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most Quotable Films ūüé• ūüó£

As I write on my About page, I’ve loved movies ever since I was a kid at the Saturday matinees. When the VCR was developed, I was in heaven. The ability to view my favorite films whenever I wanted was a day I had envisioned since childhood.

I have two children and raised them to be movie junkies, as well. We frequently have conversations laced with film quotes like – “It doesn’t have to be gold” from the Billy Wilder classic, “Some Like it Hot!” or “Do or do not. There is no try.” from the wise Yoda in “Empire Strikes Back”.

This post features some of my favorite, most notable quotes from my best-loved movies. There are way too many to name, but here goes:

The Godfather Trilogy

Trivia: Marlon Brando boycotted the Academy Awards and turned down his Oscar for Best Actor in protest of the¬†treatment of Native Americans¬†in film and on television. Al Pacino also was a no-show for being nominated as Best Supporting Actor and not Best Actor. He had more screen time so didn’t appreciate the slight.

The Princess Bride (1987)

Beloved intergenerational classic in my family. Hilarious and definitely quotable!

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Inigo Montoya

Some Like it Hot! (1959)

This Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe comedy vehicle has always been close to my heart because, for its time, was the most subversive film I’d ever seen. And I mean that in a good way! Cross-dressing, gay marriage, it’s brilliant! In my top 5.

My top-pick ending of all time!

Forrest Gump (1994)

Tom Hanks “made his bones” to quote The Godfather in this remarkable cinematic triumph. Forrest Gump will probably go down as one of the most quotable films of all time! “Mama always said life¬†was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.

Wizard of Oz (1939)

1939 is considered to be the most amazing year in the motion picture industry for the quality of films and audience attendance. “Gone With the Wind”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “The Wizard of Oz”, which is one of the most beloved works of our time. It continues to tug at our heart strings with every generation.

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.” Scarecrow

This group is just a sampling of some of the best. Stay tuned for Part Two of the Most Quotable Films. In the meantime:

moviequotesdiehard

Share some of yours!

Happy Birthday Marlon Brando!

Today we’re celebrating Brando’s 92th birthday. His style, his “method”, his talent. Truly an original. One of the greatest actors of all time!

“Listen to Me Marlon” is the outstanding, award-winning documentary airing on cable’s Showtime about Brando in his own words:

 

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April 3, 1924 –¬†July 1, 2004

Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor, film director, and activist. He is hailed for bringing a gripping realism to film acting and is often cited as one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time.

The Wild One

“The Wild One”

Biography’s Documentary on Brando:

Brando is also credited with helping to popularize the Stanislavski system of acting, today more commonly referred to as method acting. A cultural icon, Brando is most famous for his Academy Award-winning performances as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) and Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972), as well as influential performances in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), The Wild One (1953), Last Tango in Paris (1972), and Apocalypse Now (1979).

Marlon Brando initially gained acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for reprising the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, a role that he had originated successfully on Broadway.

On the Waterfront

“On the Waterfront”

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“The Godfather”

The sixties were an artistic bust for Brando but ten years later he made his successful and award-winning comeback with his portrayal of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather”. The studio was opposed to his casting so he had to audition for the role. He improvised with cotton in his mouth to come up with the mumbling sound of The Don. The studio relinquished and the rest is cinema history.

“Superman”

As a result of regaining his box office gravitas with “The Godfather” and “Last Tango in Paris”, Brando became a highly paid character actor with roles in films like “Superman” which according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Brando was paid a record $3.7¬†million ($14 million in inflation-adjusted dollars) and 11.75% of the gross profits for 13 days’ work.

 

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Brando was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fourth greatest movie star among male movie stars whose screen debuts occurred in or before 1950. He was one of only three professional actors, along with Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, named in 1999 by Time magazine as one of its 100 Most Important People of the Century. He died of respiratory failure on July 1, 2004, at age 80. (Wikipedia)

It was the Jazz age. It was an age of Elegance and Violence.

¬†¬†“The Cotton Club” (1984)

Cotton Club poster

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Produced by Robert Evans
Screenplay by William Kennedy
Francis Ford Coppola

I remember looking forward to screening this film. ¬†I understood the significance of The Cotton Club¬†during the Harlem¬†Renaissance¬†of the 20’s and 30’s and wanted the 1980’s audience to be curious about the history of the real club and incredible level of talent that appeared there between 1923 – 1940.

Some of the original performers at The Cotton Club included:

Among many others.

The movie is intense. Producer Robert Evans originally wanted to direct the project but later asked Coppola. ¬†There are definite similarities to “The Godfather” in the film due to it’s violent nature and also the fact that Mario Puzo (author of The Godfather) wrote the original story and screenplay.

Gangsters, racism and love, this film exposes them all.  I do, however, wish more of the movie focus was on The Cotton Club itself and the lives of those characters.

The story centers around the dangerous love affair of Dixie Dwyer (Richard Gere) and Vera Cicero (Diane Lane). ¬†She “belongs” to mobster Dutch Schultz (James Remar). ¬†Dutch is a straight up¬†psychopath¬† ¬†We also follow the budding romance between Sandman Williams (Gregory Hines) and Lila Rose Oliver (Lonette McKee). ¬†He wants to get married. ¬†She wants to be a “Star.” ¬†(She’s also hiding a secret about her other life.)

Watch and listen as Lonette McKee, also from the movie (“Sparkle”), delivers a taste of the film’s 1930’s Harlem.

The song: “Ill Wind (You’re Blowing Me No Good)” ¬†Composed by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler. ¬†It was written for their last show at The Cotton Club in 1934.

 

One of the most memorable scenes is between the real life and onscreen brothers – Maurice and Gregory Hines. ¬†Clay (Maurice Hines) and Sandman (Gregory Hines) have had a major falling out and at this moment we get to share their reunion. ¬†Growing up, this old school tap dancing duo was compared to The Nicholas Brothers. ¬†Gregory Hines remarked in an interview that after seeing The Nicholas Brothers perform that “nobody was going to be the next Nicholas Brothers, least of all my brother and I.”

 

Starring Richard Gere
Gregory Hines
Diane Lane
Lonette McKee
Music by John Barry

 

Explore the 1984 film but more importantly explore the controversial history of The Cotton Club and the entertainers and music that fueled the Jazz generation.