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The Crime Film Genre and Coppola's 'The Godfather'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 1478 words Published: 2nd May 2017

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Genre theory

Films belong to different kind of genres which depend on the content of the film. One of the familiar types of movies available in the market today and the entire movie industry is crime and drama type of movies that are loved by most youth today. (Corliss, 2014).

Crime films are arguably the most complex genre of movies that reflect our ideology of moral order and justice in society, lawful even illicit, desirable and sometimes unworthy. Crime genre of films mirrors society because of its relationship with the complexity of real live events that fulfill the audience’s desire for mayhem and underdog characters. The critical alternative and tradition, for the most part, focuses on the nature of the film where the traditional movies tend to emphasize heroism together with the restoration of moral order in the society. (Seel, 2008).

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The earliest crime film is traced to be the silent epoch in 1897-1927. Duringthis Progressive erain the United States of America. Social conditions that existed this time, such as immigration together with increased urbanizationled to a proliferation ofmost organized crimes, social anarchy and there was also a distrust of the government activities. Serial killer movie genres have far more cerebral-thinking characters the slasher movies. Serial killers have specialized victims in them and a consistent way of committing crimes in the same movies. More than this, these films once emerged during a time when conservative criminal justice policies were more and society viewed crimes as inherently evil people. There was a big need for research and funding in dealing with serial murderers. And to make matters worse, criminologists and psychologists were less careful to this pattern of behavior. But serial killer movies grew in fame due to the increase of actual serial killer cases worldwide and human interest in movies that are awry in nature. (Poon, 2006).

The Godfather first movie

The Godfather is a 1972 American film in which the director was Francis Ford. The producer of this movie was Albert Ruddy and the screenplay was facilitated by Mario Puzo together with Coppola. Starring in the movie was Marlon Brando and one Al Pacino, who were leaders of a fictional New York family of crime, the story was written between 1945and 1955. The concentration was on the transformation of Michael Corleone from being in a reluctant family outsider to a ruthless Mafia boss while undertaking the Corleones under the one patriarch Vito.

This movie that was ideally based on a script labored between for some period by Puzo and later given form, I believe, by director gets the same feel by the person watching. We even tend to observe with Don Corleone’s family not that we dig gang wars, but just because we have been with them from the start, watching them in the movie wait for battle while situated even at the kitchen table in the activity of eating. (Welsh, Fleming & Dowler, 2011).

The Godfather” himself in the movie is not even the central character in the drama. The position goes to the youngest and the brightest son known as Michael, who keenly understands the way of his father’s position while revising his old ways of life. The Godfather’s role in the family business is described by his name as he stands outside the next generation that will move on and eventually angle the family into the legitimate business. In the film, Brando’s performance is skillful. Though it earned him an Award of the Academy for the best actor. His voice is wheezy and also whispery. We also notice that physical movements deliberately lack enough precision in the film. The effect of lack of precision is of a man so accustomed to the power that he no longer needs to remind others of it. Brando does look the part of old one, Don Corleone, just because of acting and partly because of his makeup. However at some point, he seems to have stuffed a bit of cotton into his jowls, making his lower face immobile. (Poon, 2006).

The genre conventions available.

The film genre convention is the presentation of the film.the way the actions of the actors convey the theme, and the title of the movie is what genre convention is all about.In the Godfather movie, the act of family loyalties was portrayed. With his father at the end of his career and also his brother too weak, Michael takes the reins of the family and then promising Kay that he will make the business legitimate within five years period. To this end, he insists that Hagen has to relocate to Las Vegas and relinquish his role to Vito for Tom is not a “wartime consigliere” and thus the older man concurs that Tom should have no part in whatever will in case happen in the coming battles with their rival families. At the time when Michael travels to Las Vegas in order to buy out Greene’s stake from the family’s casinos, their partner derides the family for being run out of town. Michael, to his dismay, notices that Fredo has fallen beneath Greene’s sway. (Navarro, 2012).

We also see that there are violence and murder. When Vito suffers a fatal heart attack and dies, at the funeral Tessio, one of the Don’s capos, approaches Michael in order to arrange a meeting between him and Barzini, exposing on the treachery that Vito had just forewarned. The meeting is set to occur the same day as it was for the christening of Connie’s baby. As Michael stands on the altar as the child’s godfather, Corleone just assassins murder to the other New York dons and Moe Greene. Tessio is executed because of his betrayal, and then Michael extracts Carlo’s confession for his involvement in setting up Sonny’s murder of Barzini, and also Clemenza garrotes Carlo with a wire. Kay tries hard to comfort Connie when she goes on and accuses Michael of killing her dear husband and ordering other executions, and she is finally relieved when he finally denies it. But when the capos arrive, they address her husband as Don Corleone. (Andrew, 2008).


Andrew, D. (2008). The GODFATHER. (Cover story). Film Comment, 44(6), 38-42.

Corliss, R. (2014). Corleone Family Values: The Godfather Part II at 40. Time.Com, N.PAG.

Navarro, V. (2012). Nonfictional Performance from Portrait Films to the Internet. Cinema Journal, 51(3), 136-141

Poon, P. (2006). The Corleone CHRONICLES. Journal Of Popular Film & Television, 33(4), 187-195.

Poon, P. (2006). The Tragedy of Michael Corleone in “The Godfather: Part III.”. Literature Film Quarterly, 34(1), 64-70.

Roundtable on the Return to Classical Film Theory. (2014). October, (148), 5-26.

Seel, M. (2008). Realism and Anti-Realism in Film Theory. Critical Horizons, 9(2), 157-175.

Welsh, A., Fleming, T., & Dowler, K. (2011). Constructing crime and justice on film: meaning and message in cinema. Contemporary Justice Review, 14(4), 457-476. doi:10.1080/10282580.2011.616376


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