The Godfather’s 50th anniversary

March 19, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

This month of March marks the 50th anniversary of the premier of Francis Ford Coppola’s great movie The Godfather. Many critics and many just plain movie-goers (like me) consider that film the greatest piece of cinema that Hollywood has ever produced. In the American Film Institute’s periodic list of the top 100 films, it usually comes in at No. 3, behind Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

However it is ranked, the film has secured a place in cinematic history. It has also changed the language, adding expressions such as “an offer he couldn’t refuse” and “sleeps with the fishes” to our everyday chatter.

I remember seeing the three-hour film at the base theater at Ft. Myer Army Base in Arlington, Virginia, when I was in the Navy. Back then, every base had a movie theater that showed first-run movies, and the price was $1 if you were on active duty. I recall coming out of the theater and being astonished at what I had seen. The script, the actors, the costumes, the settings, the music—everything in that movie worked. I have never seen anything like it before or since.

So, I celebrate The Godfather’s 50th birthday—and look forward to seeing it one more time. I hope that you are celebrating something and having a wonderful weekend.

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