The 1972 crime drama “The Godfather” from Paramount Pictures was directed by Francis Ford Coppola with the screenplay written by Mario Puzo based on his novel by the same name. Starring; Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Rudy Bond, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Abe Vigoda, Diane Keaton, Al Lettieri, Richard Conte, John Marley, Sterling Hayden, Robert Duvall and Gianni Russo.
Set in the period of World War II, the story begins with scenes from one of the most beloved moments in a family’s history; the wedding of one of their children. The proud father of the bride, Connie Coreleone (Talia Shire) is Don Vito Coreleone (Marlon Brando) who is also the head of one of New York’s most powerful organized crime families. The wedding reception is overflowing with guests from all sections of society. Michael Coreleone (Al Pacino), the oldest son of the family is a soldier just returning home from the war just in time to wish his sister and her new husband Carl Rizzo (Gianni Russo) happiness in their marriage.
Underneath the festive appearance of the joyous occasion, there is tension rising as the values that helped the Coreleone family business reach its level of success are being challenged by rivals who seek faster profit from selling illegal drugs rather than accumulate wealth through the traditional business enterprise.
Don Coreleone is aging and trusts Michael to become the head of the business, more than Sonny Coreleone (James Caan). But Michael is well aware of the risks involved and knows that the political climate is changing; where it was once no problem to influence authorities to turn a blind eye to the methods used by organized crime to keep their empire running smoothly, now pressure was mounting to do away with them.
Because Coreleone is opposed to the use of drugs, he turns down the request of protection from Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), going against the counsel of his attorney Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). Sollozzo had offered Coreleone and the families he controls a handsome cut of the profits for their protection and is furious when he is refused.
Sollozzo decides to take action and remove the opposition by having Don Coreleone killed. Sollozzo’s hit men gun down Don in the street, but he survives, thrusting Michael into the lifestyle that he wanted to avoid and starting a violent battle between Sollozzo and the Corleone family.