"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse," any film fan who does not recognize this line needs to watch "The Godfather." This film, based on the book by Mario Puzo, won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1972.
"The Godfather" begins in the mid-1940s. Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino) is an amicable war hero who wants nothing to do with his family's business. His father, Don Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando), is a powerful crime boss who hopes Michael will be the member of his family who crosses over into the legitimate business world of America. But one day, Vito is shot and wounded in a mob hit. Michael helps his family as they try to settle the score with the patriarch's assailants. His involvement becomes intractable after he kills some of the people involved in a restaurant and has to flee to Italy for two years. When he returns to America, it is clear that he has inherited his dad's talent for running a crime syndicate, and he ultimately becomes the new head of the family, or the "godfather."
This movie features one of the best casts of any film. Marlon Brando won a well-deserved Oscar for playing Vito Corleone. We see that he is at once a good family man who opposes unneeded violence, but who has no scruples when it comes to committing crimes or protecting his family and their interests. James Caan is also very good as Sonny, his hot-tempered, womanizing oldest son. Diane Keaton is excellent as Kay, Michael's long-suffering girlfriend and eventual wife. But Al Pacino gives the film's most memorable performance. Michael slowly transforms from being a likeable war hero to a cold-hearted crime boss.
"The Godfather" won an Academy Award for its screenplay. It is very complex and often suspenseful. In one intense scene, Michael has to save his father when he realizes people are coming to the hospital to kill him.
"The Godfather" is the best film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.