Brief history of film

Brief history of film

The great movie event of 1972 was The Godfather, the top-grossing film of the year and possibly of all time. In a nation apparently worried about violence in motion pictures, on television, and in its streets, the popularity of The Godfather made ironic commentary on American attitudes and values. The year began with angry outcries against the blood and gore of A Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs, released in December, 1971; and the publication in March of the Surgeon-General’s Report on Televised Violence further upset the public. Nevertheless, Americans paid well over $125 million to witness a three-hour testimony to the glories of gangsterdom. Picture The Godfather Concerned chiefly with power struggles among rival gangland “families,” which are, implicitly, units of the “Mafia” or “Cosa Nostra,” The Godfather has two central themes: first, in the words of Balzac, that “Behind every great fortune there is a crime,” and second, that beneath the bravado and butchery, gangsters are warm and loving human beings, good friends, good husbands, good fathers, and good sons. The public did not complain about the brutality of the film; significantly, the cruelty is not sex-linked as in Clockwork Orange and Straw Dogs. Nor did the community of critics, who are often hostile to big, expensive movies ( The Godfather cost $6 million to produce). They praised the film highly, and gave kudos to all concerned — director Francis Ford Coppola; scenarists Coppola and Mario Puzo, who wrote the best-selling novel on which the film is based; and stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. New Direction in Film Musicals. The Godfather was not 1972’s only blockbuster. Cabaret, an adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway musical of 1971, showed a domestic gross of more than $20 million. Liza Minnelli, daughter of film director Vincente Minnelli and the late Judy Garland, and evidently heir to her mother’s charismatic gifts as a performer, stars in the…


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