For, June 20, 2014

"The Godfather" (1972, R) is a landmark cinematic achievement, extremely entertaining, filled with iconic moments and memorable performances and certainly one of the greatest gangster movies ever.

Marlon Brando won the best-actor Oscar for his role as the title character, Vito Corleone, whose son Michael (Al Pacino) returns from World War II and wants nothing to do with the family business. But it won't be long before he's pulled in, and his evolution from innocent to ruthless mobster is at the core of the film.

Also shining here are James Caan, as hot-headed Sonny Corleone; Robert Duvall as lawyer Tom Hagen, a sort of adopted son in the family; Diane Keaton as Michael's wife, who isn't Italian; John Cazale as weak Fredo Corleone; Talia Shire as the daughter, Connie Corleone; and too many more to specify.


         Caan, left, Brando, Pacino, Cazale, 'The Godfather'

In addition to Brando's Oscar, the film also won for best picture and best-adapted screenplay, out of 11 nominations.

Then, two years later, along comes "The Godfather, Part II," with flashbacks to Vito's youth providing a star-making role for Robert De Niro, who won the best-supporting actor Oscar. And the film won more accolades and critical acclaim than the first film, many claiming this is the superior of the two.


                      Robert De Niro, 'The Godfather, Part II'

"Part II" was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and became the first sequel to win the best-picture Oscar. In addition to the best-picture and best-supporting actor wins, the film earned awards for best director (Francis Ford Coppola), best-adapted screenplay, best musical score and best art direction.

Both films will be shown in several local Cinemark theaters, "The Godfather" at 2 p.m. and "The Godfather, Part II" at 7 p.m., on Sunday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 25.