For Reel

The Godfather (1972)
March 18, 2011, 4:26 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

It would be delusional for me to suggest that there is a whole lot that I could add to the discussion of what surely is one of the most studied films of the past forty years. But, for the sake of my own compulsive devotion to thoroughness, bare with me. Revisiting the film, what most impressed me was the performance by Robert Duvall. It can hardly be considered “underrated” given how applauded both he and the film are, however I think his performance is worthy of discussion alongside Pacino and Brando. The scene in which he is abducted by Sollozzo is as revealing as anything else in the film – a brief glimpse of the repressed humanism locked away inside of the hardened exterior. After being repeatedly told that Vito is dead, Hagen turns his head away from Sollozzo and the camera and, when he looks back, a single tear has formed on his face seemingly without moving a muscle. The scene shows a beautiful restraint that exemplifies so much about what the film says about masculinity.

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