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The Godfather

5

Closer to a Cosa Nostra King Lear than Mario Puzo’s excellent, if ever-so-slightly seedy source novel, the saga of the Corleone clan represents one of the glittering triumphs of movie alchemy. Combining the largesse of Old Hollywood and its stratospheric production values with the shock of the New, in which amorality could go unpunished and Marlon Brando could mumble with cotton-mouthed magnificence without getting sacked, upstart director Francis Ford Coppola (himself nearly fired during production) somehow fashioned the greatest gangster film ever made. A career kick-start for industry colossi such as Al Pacino and Robert Duvall, and a punt up the backside for Brando’s waning star, this multiple Oscar winner remains the Don of ambitious, iconic, emotionally resonant crime cinema. An appropriately expansive director’s commentary, four collectors’ postcards and a foldout family tree complete a reverent DVD package fit, if not for a king, then at least a tight-lipped, family-fixated Mafia boss.

 

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