The Godfather 1972 Opening Scene

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David Kennedy
DC 205
Scene Analysis Project

The Godfather (1972): Opening Scene

The Godfather is an American crime film based on crime families in New York. The 1972 film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy. The screenplay was developed by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, based on Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name. The Godfather is ranked as second in the greatest film in American cinema history (behind Citizen Kane). The opening scene of The Godfather, sets the mood and tone of which the classic film takes the viewer through the compelling story.

The screen is completely dark, as the introduction music composed of Italian sympathetic strings quietly silences and the screen illuminates only to show the figure of an older man stand in formal clothes in front of a desk. The surroundings are too dark to distinguish, but the man begins speaking almost immediately. He describes a horrid story of how his daughter was beaten and taken advantage of by a group of American men. The formally dressed man then asks Don Corleone for the favor. The camera view turns to a “normal” view of Vito Corleone at his chair, which is head of the table. Vito states that this is the day of his only daughter’s wedding. The scene concludes with room being visible to the audience. Vito Corleone is positioned as Godfather to the family, and is in his office hearing requests from the family during the wedding.

The Godfather is one of the many acclaimed films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola is considered to have epitomized the group of filmmakers that were deemed “New Hollywood” by challenging contemporary film-making with unconventional ideas. Coppola has often directed films that are based off of events in history, or historical time periods. Some examples include; Patton (1970), The Great Gatsby (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979). Furthermore, Coppola has done something remarkable with each film (especially...
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