Watch It Before It Leaves Netflix: The Godfather And The Godfather Part II

Come January 1st, Netflix will be bringing in a huge stash of new content to its library, ranging from classics to recent hits to their own original content. Films arriving on the streaming service on the first day of the new year include the entire Indiana Jones film franchise, BabelBlack Hawk DownCity Of GodHappy Feet, Hell Or High Water, Jay And Silent Bob Strike BackPulp FictionSwingersTears Of The Sun, The Addams FamilyThe Dark KnightThe Departed, and Watchmen. All that is arriving on the first day alone.

However, the bad news is some films have to leave. Therefore, I took it upon myself to give you quick reviews of films you should view before they leave Netflix forever (or until Netflix decides to bring them back). In this article, I’ll be discussing arguably two of the greatest films in the history of cinema: The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

First off, if you have never seen either of these films, you have been denying yourself two epic pieces of cinematic art. The story of the Corleone Family is a quintessential tale of a powerful Sicilian organized crime family in early 20th century New York. This story is the reason mob films have continued throughout the decades. It is the reason films like Once Upon A Time In AmericaGoodfellasCasino and Donnie Brasco exist. It is the resurgence of Marlon Brando’s status as an iconic actor. It was the boost for phenomenal talents like Robert Duvall and James Caan and the start of the future careers of legends Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire. Moreover, it is the story that gave Francis Ford Coppola the deserved status as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

The Godfather introduces the audience to the Corleone Family through the eyes of youngest son Michael (Pacino), who has recently finished his military service after the allied victories in World War II. He and his girlfriend Kay (Keaton) attend the wedding of his sister Connie (Shire), which features one of the most memorable openings in film featuring his father, Vito (Brando). From here on, a series of events alters Michael’s life as he is forced to accept something he had been trying to avoid: a prominent role in the family business. In The Godfather Part II, we are treated with the backstory of young Vito Corleone (DeNiro). The audience is treated to his arrival as a young boy on Ellis Island, then to growing up on the streets of New York and achieving the status of “Godfather” among the Italian community. The story is not only a beautiful representation of early 20th century immigration from Europe to the US, but it also powerfully delivers as a connection between a father’s rise and a son’s reign, as Vito’s story runs parallel to Michael’s struggle in making the family business legitimate while evading prosecution from the federal government.

Is there a third movie? Yes. Is it necessary to watch? In my opinion, no. The Godfather Part III, on its own, is an adequate film. However, when compared to the previous two, it just does not reach that same level of greatness. Plus, the first two films are a combined 6+ hours and I don’t want to take up your entire weekend.

If you haven’t seen The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, these are must-see films for any movie fan. If you have seen them, are in love with them as much as I am and don’t own them, make it a Corleone weekend in your home. If you have seen them, own the trilogy set and still plan to watch them on Netflix, don’t feel judged. I’ll be doing the same thing.

The Godfather Trilogy is available on Netflix until January 1st.

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