The Godfather’s impact on the film industry


Luke Rathjen

The Godfather is still available to watch on the internet.

Luke Rathjen

The film, The Godfather, was released 50 years ago and has left an important impact on the film industry in the past decades. Francis Ford Coppola’s career-defining film paved the way for a new type of cinema. The rough and unforgiving way the film was produced popularized a genre of film that was the base of Hollywood for years to come.

Significance of the Cast 

The Godfather is a film that gave birth to some of the most prominent actors we have ever seen. It was also a breakthrough film for a trailblazing director. This movie was the breakthrough role for Al Pacino, somebody who Imdb today has rated as the fourth best actor to ever live. If that isn’t enough, Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, defined the classic mobster role and popularized the role to inspire a generation. Francis Ford Coppola showed the root of loyalty and was the first director to ever display true Italian culture and roots in a mafia film.

“The cast is the reason that The Godfather has become such a critically acclaimed movie. Marlon Brando was the best actor in the world. Now we [also] consider Al Pacino in that category. Coppola created some magnificent supporting characters like James Caan and  Sonny Corleone. When you have that stellar of a cast with the unorthodox techniques used by Coppola, it’s impossible for that outcome to be bad,” said Dillon Duke (‘24). 

Impact on the Film Industry

What The Godfather did for the film is next to none in a period like the 1970s. The Godfather came out at a time in history when movies were not so popular and the cinema industry was quiet. It was a sophisticated story that touched on things like loyalty and greed within a family. This film allowed other mafia and gangster films to become box-office successes. It even paved the way for younger directors like Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma to venture into the genre. If you can see through the grit and violence of the characters, you can see the value of family and the inner workings of the American Mafia.

“The mafia films defined the 1990s and early 2000s in cinema and The Godfather is pretty much to thank for that. It made those violent and snappy movies universal and allowed certain actors to flourish in roles that they couldn’t find elsewhere. It is a certain kind of talent and a certain style of directing that can make these movies turn out great and they set the bar. It is genuinely unreal to think that such a perfect movie was made 50 years ago,” said Ryan Sugden (‘22).

The Godfather defined an era of film and brought a new spark and toughness to films that Hollywood had been desperately needing. It allowed for a generation of actors and actresses to be inspired by the flawless performances seen. It also allowed directors to be mesmerized by the attention to detail of Francis Ford Coppola. This film has left its mark on so many throughout the  50 years and will continue to be talked about for another 50.