This is the review that FOTOGRAMAS published in 1972

On the occasion of the special that FOTOGRAMAS celebrates for the 50th anniversary of the theatrical release of ‘The Godfather’, We go back five decades and 886 covers in time to save the reviews our magazine published on November 3, 1972. 50 years ago, in the midst of these protesting figures discovered, when this house was called NUEVO FOTOGRAMAS and had a weekly draw, the reviews published by FOTOGRAMAS were far from the rating method that we can see today in our pages. Reviews were based on two parameters: “artistic skill”, whose rating can range from “Masterpiece” (five stars) to “Very Important” (four stars), “Interesting” (three stars), “Poor” (two stars) to “Poor” (one star ). ); and on the other hand, we found the “trade qualification”, where the film was judged on “High Interest” (three stars), “Interesting” (two stars) and “Low Interest” (one star). The first analyzed purely cinematic elements and the second considered the social impact of the feature film at the box office and in theaters at that time.

artistic rating

Company qualifications

Mario Puzo wrote a text, ‘The Godfather’, which introduces us with plausible verisimilitude to the psychology of the mafia. The Mafia is known to be an ancient Sicilian secret society that transplanted its activities to the United States and thrives on crime. What is curious about the mafia is that it represents a practically unscathed survival of feudalism. Its organization is not structured according to a rigid verticality, but resembles that of medieval states in which men of proven strength and audacity reigned over territories generally conquered by banditry. Such gentlemen freely submitted their disputes to the arbitration of the vague power of a monarch, whose decisions they often did not respect, but strictly observed a code of honor which constituted the safeguard of their privileges and which they dared not infringe. the rules, under penalty of exposing themselves to being disavowed by the community of predatory nobles and thus eliminated from the bosom of the aristocracy, while the accumulated heritage and booty fell prey to their former peers.

The “families” that make up the mafia, led by tough and unscrupulous men, share territories and businesses. Their fights are, more often than not, merciless and merciless. But something intangible always remains: this secret and terrible code which binds certain men and which prolongs in them their submission to the superstitious practices which they call religion.

“The Godfather” is an exciting story. Due to its difficult but successful condition as a show. The incarnation of a few characters at the controls of excellent actors gives it remarkable strength

For all these reasons, the mobster is far from being a modern and scientific bandit, we would say. Instead, he is the blind servant of a tradition, the lover of customs, the slave of conduct. Not only the clan he calls “family” but what the Western world knows as such, since before the laws of Rome took care of it, represents something endearing for the mobster. The mafioso is a jealous husband, a loving father, a guardian brother. Blood ties are sacred to him. And although he does not hesitate to spill that of others, the blood – his own and that of others – has for him the value of a supreme symbol. The most important thing is sealed with it. And only blood washes blood.

the godfather actors actors marlon brando al pacino
Paramount PicturesGetty Images

Francis Ford Coppola made an important film of Puzo’s “Godfather”. This is because it translates the content of the book in a transcendent way. It’s because it’s an exciting story. This is because of his difficult but successful condition as a show. And it is because the incarnation of a few characters at the controls of excellent actors gives a remarkable force to the subject. Francis Ford Coppola is lucky enough to know how to arouse in his film characters a palpitation that makes them terribly real. This is what happens with those he leads in ‘The Godfather’. Not to mention that choosing a Marlon Brando is never a bad choice for a director. And the same or similar success presided over that of the rest of the performers, among whom Al Pacino stands out.

But there is something that is also very clear in the film. Something to which Francis Ford Coppola did not escape. And it is that the mafioso is never a man to be pitied. May his affections, his devotion to the family, his fidelity to a code, not redeem him from his monstrosity. From what we would call in vulgar terms his illness. The gangster robs and kills. And he mocks and lies. What is admirable about him? Absolutely nothing.

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