Friday, August 5, 2011

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1972

It's the end of 1972, and if Hollywood cranked out yearbooks like the average American high school, The Godfather would fill every page, gloating a toothy smile, similar to that of a typical, blond cheerleader.

Even thirty years later, The Godfather would blow any high school reunion away; its aged a little, but will continually get voted most popular, prettiest, and the ever coveted, one most likely to end up in prison.

Why keep filling up that ego? Why don't we knock it down a few pegs, maybe even give it a wedgie? After all this time, how can it still be that mind blowing?

Yet, when it comes to watching The Godfather, as it has already been declared legendary, and possibly the best movie ever made, it may be annoying to admit, but it really is just that admirable: I want to be just like it! I even heard The Godfather met John Stamos on a plane and he said that it was pretty.

Being rather behind, this movie obsessive only caught The Godfather for the first time just over a year ago. It was here that a light bulb went off and the Best Picture challenge was born.

Starring Al Pacino, playing a war hero and all around good son, who turns out to be part of a rather large NYC mob family. When it comes to organized crimes and power, the Corleone's are number one.

Michael (Pacino) has wanted nothing to do with the families criminal business, but he gets willingly dragged into the life of crime after a hit is taken out on his father, The Godfather himself, Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando).

As much as Michael's evolution into the mob life is the heart of the story, I can't help but me mesmerized by every scene with Brando. He's just, how do you say, bad-ass.
[...on the day of your daughter's wedding]

It was also in this year that Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor, only to send up a Native American woman in his place. She declined the award for him and performed a speech about the wrongful treatment of Native American's in this country.

Everybody wants an Oscar, and when Brando wins, he decides to send out a rather large, "suck it Academy!" Gotta love it.

In a particular favorite scene, the opening scene in-fact, Brando shows the menacing killer and sensitive family-man side of The Godfather. Donning a tuxedo for his daughters wedding, he proudly sits behind his desk, listening to every word from one of the many folks who have come to ask him a favor (someone did them wrong-and they want that someone swimming with the fishes).

Suddenly, the camera pans down to reveal that, while discussing murder and future debts to be paid, The Godfather is also slowly stroking an adorable kitten in his lap.

My sources (as in IMDB for life) reveal that typical to Brando's acting techniques, he randomly picked up a stray kitten on the studio lot, and brought it onto the set. During the film shoot, the kitten was extremely content to be loved by Brando, and its purring radiated through the scene, so loudly that most of the dialogue had to be dubbed in later.

Scenes like this, with the little details, completely sells The Godfather. The typical action/crime movie is brought to a whole other level that displays complex, and surprisingly thoughtful characters.

High school reunions are all about seeing how people have changed; we all will age, droop, and possibly swell, but, through the beauty of film, a reunion with a classic like The Godfather will always be faithful, and possibly, only get even better.

The cheesy yearbook staple, "Never change", couldn't be more appropriate.

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