Dra9onBorn117

3rd Nov 2014

The Godfather (1972)

Question: At the start of the film, Michael says that he doesn't want anything to do with the family business. However at the end of the film, he is the don. I've been wondering where exactly does he change his beliefs in the film. Mates have told me its when Vito dies, but I believe its either after the hospital (when Vito is shot the first time) or after Michael's wife in Sicily dies. Are any of these true?

Dra9onBorn117

Chosen answer: It is a gradual process and it happens long before Vito Corleone's death because Michael had already taken over as Don. Michael was deeply affected by his father being shot and nearly dying. Michael changes and will now do anything to protect his father, and in the hospital tells him, "I'm with you now." Michael kills Sollozzo because he knew his father would never be safe while Sollozzo lived. His first wife's death certainly had an effect, but it really is when his brother Sonny, the heir apparent, is murdered that Michael's path is cemented. He also knows that Don Corleone cannot live forever, and with Sonny gone and Fredo being incompetent, the Corleone empire will collapse once he dies. To ensure the Corleone empire stays protected and in tact, Michael takes over as Don with the idea he'd make the family a legitimate enterprise. He and his father (now retired) then plot to murder the remaining mob heads. Don Corleone had never wanted Michael, his favorite son, to join the family business, knowing what it would do to him. Ultimately, there was never anyone else capable of succeeding Vito Corleone.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Michael's decision is between love and power. These are the two roads of life and you can only go down one, as an ancient Roman said. At the start of the film, his road is obviously love. There's no single moment when he abandons this path - indeed, you can argue that the whole film rests on his gradual, incremental abandonment. The process begins shortly after his father's shooting. In terms of cinema, we first see the process unfolding when he's sitting out in the yard, thinking things over, just before being called in to the telephone. (Notice how, in the next scene, Clemenza mocks love.) Shortly thereafter, Mike is with Kay in the hotel and he's distancing himself from her emotionally. Then comes the hospital scene and "I'm with you now" to his father. He notices his hands are steady during the cigarette lighting. He's well on the path now. Then comes the sock in the jaw and the killing. Now, to be sure, the interlude in Sicily suggests that he is wavering somewhat in the direction of love rather than power - the expression of his face, while they're dancing, suggests that he perhaps might, at this point, opt for love. But then, in rapid succession, he is informed of his brother's murder and his wife is blown to pieces. His fate is sealed.

3rd Nov 2014

The Godfather (1972)

Question: I've read that The Godfather has gotten 270-280 million dollars at the box office. Now I though that Jaws was the first to get 100 million. Was this statistic just in the US or did the Godfather garner this number with a re-release?

Dra9onBorn117

Chosen answer: The Godfather's totals mentioned above include domestic + foreign + re-releases over the years. In its initial release (and re-release after the 1973 Academy awards) it earned $85.7 million domestically. Jaws received $123 million in its initial domestic release.

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