The Godfather is set in the 1940s. The film is about an Italian American crime family, the Corleones who are a part of the five crime families that control New York. The patriarch of the family is Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brandon) who is referred to as the Godfather. Vito Corleone is a leader in the community, as he has bought off some of the police and politicians. Local people come to him as well and ask him to do favours for them such as take revenge for wrongs or fudge records or intimidate someone for their benefit. The Godfather doesn't ask for much in return, only that they be friends and that friendship entails that he can call for a favour at any time or price.
The Godfather has an honor code, his cronies are mainly polite when doing business, he keeps his word and he only uses violence when necessary. When you are in the mafia business, it's only natural that rivals try to kill you. So one day, some men attempt to kill him. Fortunately, Vito survives and his son Michael (played by Al Pacino) takes over the family business while he is convalescing.
In the beginning of the film, Michael was serving as a soldier in World War 2 and had not participated in his family's business. The movie is about his descent into crime.
What I liked about the movie was the strong family bonds, they were all loyal and protective of each other. Also, it was interesting to see that while the men were discussing business, family events would be taking place downstairs. There would be women in the kitchen cooking meals, looking after babies and children running around the house. Meanwhile the men would be discussing how to survive a meet up with an enemy.
The blood and gore was tame by today's standards but the murder scenes were still suspenseful for me. While I was watching the movie, I was always waiting to see who would be killed next. In gangster movies, people are always assassinated, they could be walking down the street or having a bath and suddenly someone will spring out and kill them.
I really enjoyed this movie and I shall watch the rest of the trilogy. Gangster movies are not my thing but I want to know what happens to the Corleones.