Corleone? Corleone? Corleone?

I watched a DVD over the weekend. First time I’d ever seen this film. Obscure little flick, you’ve probably never heard of it. What was it called, again? Oh God! Book II or Grandma’s Boy or something?

Oh, that’s right: The Godfather. Little known fact: the movie stars Marlon Brando, before he hit the big time by appearing in The Island of Dr. Moreau.

So, yeah: my first time seeing it. And I’m pleased to report that it holds up just fine, even after 30 years of imitation mob movies and television shows. In fact, I’d call it one of my favorites … were it not for one niggling little detail that worried away at the back of my mind for the duration of the film. You see, I’d never really seen young Al Pacino or young James Caan before. And, regrettable, I could not get over how similar they looked to Matthew Broderick and Will Ferrell.

I spent the entire film trying to reconcile the fact that New York’s most ruthless and bloodthirsty Mafia family was being run by Ferris Bueller and Buddy the Elf.

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29 comments.

  1. Maybe the reason Abe Froman never made it to the restaurant is because Michael Corleone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  2. You are SO RIGHT. Oh, no that is terrible. The Godfather is one of my favorite movies.

  3. I can certainly sympathize. I first saw The Godfather a few months ago too and couldn’t help but shake my head at all the cheesy mob-movie cliches they were using. The horse’s head in the bed? “You come to me on the day of my daughter’s wedding”? Gimme a break! They’ve been all done to death in the past 30 years. :)

  4. Dammit, Matt! Now I’m going to giggle every time I see it! Look what you’ve done!

  5. Didin’t Marlon Brando appear AS the Island of Dr. Moreau?

  6. Yeah, but the Freshman could never run a mafia family.

    He couldn’t even manage a lizard.

  7. I watched it for the first time recently, too. It was like enlightenment finally knowing where all of those stereotypes came from.

    And hey, The Freshman wasn’t that far off… ;)

  8. Just avoid Godfather III. Horrendous.

    Godfather II is very dark and depressing, but a good film.

  9. Also only recently watched The Godfather. I thought it was excellent. BUT!… Everyone told me that Part 2 was the best. So I eagerly set aside the whole afternoon….and for what?!? I want those hours back!!! It was disjointed and dull.
    Needless to say I have not bothered with Part 3.

  10. On my way to work today, for no particular reason, I started thinking of Ferris Bueller. I get here, open to my favorite blog for a little morning reading, and you’ve been rooting around in my head. STOP IT!

  11. thank god! I had just watched the godfather a few weeks ago as well, and while I did enjoy it I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me…. ferris and buddy! dammit man!

  12. When they first zoom in on Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind” I always can’t help thinking “Hey, he looks like the guy on the cover of MAD magazine!”

  13. You are a funny, funny man. Yeah, I see it now. Godfather III is awful. And (blasphemy) I liked The Freshman better than all of them.

  14. While sitting around the Family’s dinner table, Buddy looks around ominously and asks seriously: “Can I have maple syrup on my spaghetti?”

  15. Don’t forget the truly classic Godfather / Rudolph spoof, “The Reinfather” that was on Mad TV in 1999(?). Now that you’ve seen The Godfather, The Reinfather will really make you laugh.

  16. Oh no. I love the Godfather (and part II). I will never be able to watch it again without thinking about Ferris Bueller and Buddy the Elf. Damn. But in a funny way.

    The book’s really great too.

  17. I think the matronly Mrs Corleone was having her way with the milk man, Mr. Mahoney, who now sleeps with the fishes.

  18. Well, of course he looks just like Buddy!! He is Buddy’s dad, isn’t he?

  19. Godfather II is good, III I didn’t like much. Not as bad as Highlander II, but still… better avoided.

  20. I think I can pretty much forget the Will Farrell resemblance with James Caan either when
    (a) Sonny’s doing the big girl at wedding reception
    or (b) Sonny’s bullet ridden and blood splattered at the Toll Station.

    The Matthew Broderick resemblance may be a little harder to forget, but when Pacino’s starts that psychopatic staring into the camera bit with his jaw wired shut, I think I’ll be able to forget Bueller. Broderick could never, ever do that.

  21. Thanks. I’ve seen it a bunch of times, and now I will see it forever.

    Just like I can’t unsee how Val Kilmer looks more like Kip Winger than Jim Morrison in “The Doors”.

  22. Now think about it vice versa:

    You’ve never seen Ferris Bueller or “Elf” (or “Saturday Night Live” for that matter) and watch them for the first time..

    “What the fuck was Al Pacino thinking when he made this piece of trash? Oh wait, that’s not Al? Oh… This Broderick kid looks just like him…”

    “I didn’t think James Caan did comedy any more after being in ‘Silent Movie’! Oh wait, that’s someone else? Too bad…”

  23. What about Tony Danza on the left?

  24. First of all, for all of you writing in and saying, “Yeah, I just watched it for the first time yesterday, too”… who the hell are you people?!

    As for Godfather III, I quite disagree: it is a movie to be watched. You must watch it because it provides a true yardstick by which actual movie stars should be measured. You think Adam Sandler sucks? You think Andie MacDowell is for crap? Watch Sophia Copola in GIII and be amazed. It’s like bringing somebody from the stands down to play in an NBA game. Suddenly those guys you were yelling at to hustle and get in the game are looking pretty impressive.

    Then, of course, you must watch Lost in Translation and apologize to Miss Copola.

  25. The Godfather Part 1 and Part 2 are excellent together. Unfortunately some moron thought it a good idea to make a second sequel. It’s really not great. Watch it if you must, but I personally wish someone had told me not to bother. But 1 and 2, yeah, great stuff! :)

  26. Godfather 1 and 2 both won the Oscar for best picture. Godfather 3 won the Meyer Weiners.

  27. I’m young and haven’t seen the movie … but that guy in the middle is Coppola, right? Does anybody else think he looks a lot like Steve Wozniak?

  28. It’d take a far more disturbing mental picture than a Beuller/Elf crime family to ruin The Godfather for me. But Part 2? Brilliant. I see something new everytime I watch it. (And try not to die over how hot DeNiro is speaking Italian the whole time…*sigh*)

  29. And here I thought I was the only one who’d never seen any of The Godfather movies…at least, that’s what you’d think to hear my husband having some kind of apoplectic seizure when I dropped this bit o’ news. We rented it that night, and all in all, I’m glad we did: it helps me to understand “Animaniacs” just that much more.

    But no, you have it all wrong:
    Young Al Pacino = Ray Romano.