In 2007 the American Film Institute released the 10th revision of the LIST of the top 100 films of all time. Of those 100, I've seen 58. Somewhat impressive, I suppose, considering that the earliest film is from 1916. However, I can't help but feel minorly negligent in regard to the other 42.
So, other than updating my Netflix queue, I thought I might write small reviews both on the films I've seen and the new additions, according to the time I have, the order in which they arrive and the lifespan of my interest in this project.
I will however, review the one's I've seen from the top down. I might rewatch a few of the films I've seen in order to refresh my memory and/or get a more mature perspective on the ones I've not visited for some time.
This especially pertains to the numero uno on everyone's list - Citizen Cane. I confess, the only impression I can conjure is of an avant gard black and white with Orson Welles roaring behind those hush puppy eyes. Nothing of its infamy lingers. So, I think it deserves another go.
Which means we skip right down to #2 - The Godfather.
Based on a novel of the same name by Mario Puzo
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, & Robert Duvall
With some films, so much has been said of them, the challenge is to provide a unique impression. I suppose that will be the case with most of these illustrious masterpieces. I remember my mom telling me how beautiful Marlon Brando once was, which seemed a bit of a stretch. Well, until I saw On the Waterfront, a film we'll visit as it has also rated the list.
What strikes me most about this film is its elegance. The family, the perserverance, the murder and even the betrayal all carry a certain savoir faire, that made us all want to be mafiosos or at least their wives. It's probably the most quoted film.
"If you had come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day."
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
And, of course...
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."
Who doesn't want to be in the family? They take care of their own and anyone who comes between them, well they take care of them too. As for the performances, Brando is deliciously sure of himself with ice water in his veins. Pacino is naive, romantic and the stranger in a strange land that introduces us to this foreign mob world. Caan is the badass we've always known him to be, fierce and full of rage. Duvall is the level headed lawyer that looks the other way until it's time to father kids. A symphony of talent offering up the most convincing portrayal of what we all want a life in the "family" to be.
I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know about a movie you've probably seen as much as I have. I do know some trivia, however. For instance, I know that Marlon Brando accomplished his notorious jowelled slur by stuffing gauze in the pockets of his cheeks. I also know that James Caan was originally cast as Michael, until the newbie, Al Pacino came on the scene. But, what we all know is that crime never looked so good. In fact, how can you really call it crime?
After all, it's just a family business...
Sonny to Michael: Hey, whataya gonna do, nice college boy, eh? Didn't want to get mixed up in the Family business, huh? Now you wanna gun down a police captain. Why? Because he slapped ya in the face a little bit? Hah? What do you think this is the Army, where you shoot 'em a mile away? You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing. you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. C'mere... [Sonny kisses Michael's head]