Wednesday March 09, 2022
'You Keep Watching It': 'The Godfather' at 50
Dave Itzkoff: Have you rewatched the film recently?
Al Pacino: No. I might have seen it two, three years ago. It's the kind of movie when you start watching it, you keep watching it.
— from “The Godfather at 50: 'It's Taken Me a Lifetime to Accept It and Move On,'” in The New York Times
Truer words. I remember renting it in the mid-90s, on VHS from Video Isle, a great little video store about a block from where I lived in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. I think I'd seen the movie once or twice at that point, liked it enough, but this is the moment where I fell. Sunday evening, getting ready to return it, I rewound the tape, and then felt this tingle, this urge. “I'll just rewatch the opening, the 'I believe in America,' and the pullback to Brando. OK, just the wedding. Oh man, Tom in Hollywood. And the Turk. And Brando's shot. Michael at the hospital. 'You know my father? Men are coming to kill him. Now help me, please.' Looking at his unshaking hands. Then the pull in to Michael taking over.”
Readers, I rewatched the whole thing.
I haven't rewatched it in the last few years. Maybe it's too ingrained? There's not a lot left where I go, “Oh yeah, this.” But if I did start watching it, I'd keep watching it. Pacino's right. It's that kind of movie.