Released in 1972 and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather is probably one of the most beloved and highly regarded movies in the history of film. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, it tells the story of a New York Mafia crime family between the years 1945-1955. Primarily about the transformation of the youngest son of Mafia Don, Vito Corleone, brilliantly played by Marlon Brando, from a quiet outsider into the ruthless heir to the family.
The descent of Michael into ruthlessness, also brilliantly played, this time by Al Pacino, and his simultaneous rise in the ranks to become the new Don, give this film an edge not seen previously, and rarely since. With a cast including such greats as James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton, it’s a movie that rivets the attention from start to finish.
Made for under $7m, it went on to gross over $250m, and remains in the inflation-adjusted top-25 movies of all time in North America.