Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

My review of The Godfather and its dark duality…

  • “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” — Clemenza

As Don Vito recovers in the hospital, Michael goes to visit him. Here is where the movie makes its big shift. Up until this point, Michael has been an innocent civilian. He has had no part in the family business. Again, the studio had wanted Pacino replaced in the role because they thought he was playing it too soft. But seeing his father in this state brings about a change in Michael. He whispers in Don Vito’s ear — “I’m with you now.” He has a run in with the police chief, Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden), outside the hospital. But he keeps his father safe. And he begins his descent into the mafia world.

“Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.” — Michael Corleone

There is a beautiful scene between Michael and Vito where Vito tells his son that he never intended him to be involved in this life of crime. It is quiet and serene. It is a family moment between a father and a son. At other times in the film, we see other “family moments” — weddings, meals and, later, a baptism. These are the scenes that we, as the audience, can relate to. We must relate to them for the movie to work. It is a testament to Coppola’s writing that it works so well. We feel that this is a family despite all the bloodshed we see on the screen.

Christ-follower. Husband to @SarahLCharles. Simple moments hold great power. Connect with me at my website: