- 1972 Drama/Crime
- 2hr 58 min
The Godfather Part 2
- 1974 Drama/Crime
- 3hr 22 min
Hey Happy New Year! Let’s get it going by reviewing the best movie combo of all time. Oh, no pressure or anything…
The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2. Just hearing the opening chords of the theme song gives me chills. I’m not kidding. These two movies are the two parts of my favorite film of all time. Always has been, probably always will be.
But… why? It’s a question that, given my dorky obsession with all things movies, I’d surprisingly never really asked myself. This review is going to be a bit more personal then, because my answer is so intricately tied to who I am and why I love film in the first place that I can’t think of writing about it any other way.
The Godfather came out two years before I was born, The Godfather Part 2 on the year of. That means that I was at least thought about during the first movie and became a reality in the second. Fits the theme of the movies, if you think about it.
Anyway, because I am as old as these movies I grew up watching them, over and over. I come from a family of immigrants, and my generation is the first born in America, so there was a natural kinship between my family and all the characters. It helped, too, that the immigrant revenge fantasy vibe was strong in both the movie and the people around me. It is rough to have pride and know your own intelligence and self-worth yet be forced to acquiesce to people who do not deserve that acquiescence.
Yet the Godfather is not an immigrant’s film. It is mine, an American’s. Michael Corleone did not grow up the way his father did, never had to perfect the art of fake humility. Quite the opposite. Michael growls at the slightest offense like the spoiled rich kid he is, piling up grievances at the same time as he piled up his power.
Michael Corleone and his family then, both the literal and the figurative one, are as American as apple pie. They both believe in the American myth and learn to cynically subvert it, like every other CEO, politician or gang member. I think it was that sense that made this movie feel so different than any other. It was a movie that, despite my young age, I understood quite well.
To answer my question then, The Godfather movies are my favorite because I grew up seeing myself and my people in those characters. That is so rare, really, for a movie to be able to do that. The Godfathers spoiled me, because I got to see at a very early age what a good film can do if done correctly. It created a world I love going back to, over and over again because it is so familiar. There is a reason these movies are always played around Christmastime in these parts. We are a country of immigrants. You will always find a part of yourself in these films.