The Godfather Trilogy

An offer you can’t refuse … In the early 1970s a new breed of American directors began to draw ideas and inspiration from the European art movies of the 1960s, including such Italian directors as Visconti, Rosi and Antonioni. Born into a family of Italian migrants, Frances Ford Coppola drew on the style and texture of such films within a classic Hollywood crime narrative. The result was The Godfather (1972), a powerful and visceral epic based on the bestselling novel by Mario Puzo. The film stunned the world with its gripping storyline, powerful acting, superb mise-en-scene and brilliant set pieces and is regarded as one of the best films ever made. It won Oscars for Coppola, Puzo and Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.

Few sequels have ever been considered better than the original movie but The Godfather Part II (1974), one of the first films to adopt this title, is considered by many as an even greater movie. The film juxtaposes the early days of Don Corleone with his son Michael’s struggle to keep a grip on a huge mafia empire. The film won six Oscars including acting awards for Al Pacino and Robert de Niro.

Encouraged by the iconic status of the first two movies Coppola and Puzo collaborated on a final film, The Godfather Part III released in 1990. Drawing on real life events, the film opened to mixed reviews but is due for re-evaluation. It features many of the powerful tropes from the first movies, a brilliant climax and Al Pacino in stunning form.

Presented in restored digital prints with introductions by Robert Senior

Films in the trilogy