Godfather, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -3

For its 25th anniversary, this Academy Award winner is being re-released in theaters. Based on Mario Puzo's novel, the story is set just after World War II, a time of transition for the Mafia, particularly the infamous Corleone crime family. Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) has built the most powerful organization on the East Coast, but other mobsters want him to share his influence as they begin a new "business" venture, selling illegal drugs. When the Don refuses to participate his rivals try to kill him, but he survives the assassination attempt. Youngest son Michael (Al Pacino), a war hero who did not want to be a part of his family's nefarious operations, has a change of heart and kills the men responsible for the attack on his father, including a corrupt police officer. While he hides out in Sicily, a gangland war rages and Michael's older brother Sonny (James Caan) is killed. Michael returns to take his aging father's place and re-establish the dominance of the Corleone family. This compelling story features some outstanding performances and many moments of incredible dramatic tension. It remains as powerful today as when it was first released, and should find new fans during this revival engagement.

While some see The Godfather as a glorification of criminal behavior, it could be argued that everyone pays for their transgressions in some fashion. Violence is present throughout the film, much of it severe. Except for the corrupt cop's execution, however, it always involves one criminal element attacking another. There are numerous bloody shootings and one gruesome knifing through a man's hand. Sonny's body is riddled with machine gun bullets when he is slaughtered. Two characters are also brutally strangled. One brief sex scene has no nudity, but later there is one instance of breast nudity. Obscenities are kept to a minimum with no f- or s-words, but there are many crude words and nearly a dozen regular profanities. The Godfather may provide a very interesting story, but its grotesque violence in particular makes it an offer that discerning moviegoers will refuse.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Paramount Pictures, 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (23) times - Mild 7, Moderate 16

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (other 4, no f- or s-words)

Profanity: Many (11) times - Regular 11 (G-d 8, JC 2, G 1)

Violence: Many times - Moderate (rough treatment, punch to face, man assaulted, pictures of dead mobsters, man beats wife, car explodes, gunshot) and Severe (bloody horse's head shown, knife through hand, strangulations, many bloody shootings, man slaughtered with machine gun fire)

Sex: Once with no nudity

Nudity: Once (breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (passionate kiss, crude references to woman)

Drugs: Many times (smoking, wine and alcohol drinking)

Other: Sound of man urinating, racial slur once (n-word)

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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