The film The Godfather is a 1972 film directed by Francis F Coppola and which is borrowed and based on Mario Puzo 1969 novel. It is a crime film that stars, Marlon Brando- nominated as best actor in the Academy Awards and Best Adapted screenplay. It has also been chosen among the films for preservation in the United National film registry. The action takes place in three nations: America, Italy, and Cuba. The major part is in America precisely in the New York metropolitan region and Nevada (Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, and Carson City), but there are also scenes in Los Angeles and Miami. The scenes in Italy occur predominantly in Sicily (Nourmand).

The story line spans around the periods of 1945 to 1955 just during the First World War and the period after. The plot begins with Don Vito Corleone who is the leader of New York Mafia chaperoning his daughter’s wedding just after his son, called Michael, and has come home from the Second World War Michael has no plans of joining his father in the business. Don Vito leads the traditional lifestyle though the times have changed and many people are not willing to lead such an outdated life. He is good to those who support his ideas and ways which he describes as ways good for the success of the family but at the same time very ruthless to those who come between the successes of the family. This presents a great conflict within the family, characterized by Michael’s efforts to lead a normal modern life and his father’s version of the traditional life where Michael is to take mantle in the family’s business and activities. Sollozzo a rival to the family tries to assassinate Don Von but Don survives and Michael kills him. Michael eventually becomes the head of the family (Jones, 214).

The mafias in the film occasionally refer to themselves as businessmen. This in part hides the real thing they engage in and as they speak to each other they use understatements, rather spoken plainly like “family business” and “an offer he can’t refuse.” The manipulations and use of such understatements reveal their discomfort of publicly talking of their activities. These also indicate that the mafia men strive to separate business and personal life. Personal feelings and emotions ought not to be mixed in business. There is also a clear indication that violence and vengeance should not be taken home therefore children and women are supposed to be left unharmed. The men do not easily forget the death of their sons which supposedly is supposed to seal a business deal or send a certain business connotation. This is ironical of them trying to separate the business and family life.

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A clear conflict exists between legitimacy and respect. Michael is absorbed with legitimacy, while his father does care more about respect. Michael wants to separate himself from the ‘family business life’ from the start but eventually finds himself in the middle of the family business and therefore struggles to legitimize the family business this means he wants to free off the family from criminal and immoral activities. Michael is concerned with integration and accommodation, where there is no killing, bribing, extortion, making money from gambling, prostitution, and drug trafficking but by legitimate means that respect the countries laws (Jones, 214). His father focused on respect, rather than legitimacy. Respect is the mainstay of a Mafia household hierarchy. Those who respect him and the other leaders are rewarded benevolently while those who disrespect face a reward of death.


The windows divide the outer, public realm from the inner realm of the family. When set as a boundary it is delicate and penetrable, and too frequently windows turn out to be easy entrance point for bullets. A shot of a flapping curtain, a symbol of the outer realm attacking the private space of the home, often forestalls an outbreak of fierceness. For instance for young Vito, the window appears onto what he longs but cannot have. In the case of the boathouse, the window is an inadequate wall to defend Michael from unpleasant, excruciating realism.

Doors detach women from men.  The doors we occasionally see are inside the main house and they separate rooms. When men are having business meetings they shut the doors of their study rooms and shut out the women and children. The doors divide the male domain of business and the female realm of family.

The style of this film develops the thematic environment in great detail. Many of the scenes and sub stories are to create the approaches, motives, means of evaluation, and purposes of the objective characters. These are not scenes which are essential according to the story form, but they create directions of behavior which continue reliable for the rest of the film. 

The film combines some themes that have been very important and that have been a concern for many writers across the globe in the history of literature. These include: family responsibility, a father's legacy, respect, legitimacy, the corrupting influence of power.

Though the issues/themes are universal the characters and setting is somewhat ethnically biased. The choice of obstacle character and how slightly the subjective story is demonstrated in favor of the main character and objective story through lines is not a clear choice.  Kaye, Michael's wife, as Michael's Obstacle Character is not a clear choice as a result of a shared obstacle character outlook throughout the act between Kaye and Michael's father Vito Corleone. When Michael is in Sicily and Kaye drops out of the picture for a while, it is Vito who starts bestowing the point of view that it is bad for Michael to become convoluted in the family business.

In conclusion Godfather film is a historically and socially specific genre film and, at the same time, monumental epics exploring universal themes. It depicts experiences of Sicilian-Americans in the twentieth century that speaks to the familiarity of all American settler populations. It is a classic allusion of the American culture.

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