The Importance Of: Michael Corleone

The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2 are two of cinema’s most classic and iconic films. They are as close to perfect films that you can get. I considered commemorating these films with a TIO about Vito Corleone, the namesake of the film, and Marlon Brando’s  amazing performance. However, I instead decided to focus on the cinematic importance of the main character Michael Corleone.

The most notable part of the Godfather films is the fact that their protagonists are the leaders of a mafia. The Godfather (1972) came before all of the Scorsese films and anti-hero stories that made such a concept trite. They helped pave the way for stories from the bad-guys point of view. This is made even more remarkable by the fact that Michael did not want to be a mafioso in the first place. In the beginning of the first film he is very adamant on not joining the family business. However, due to the death of his family members he ends up tumbling down a dark spiral until he is running the family business. Thanks to the 2 movies we as the audience are given a wondrous look into exactly how far Michael has fallen.What began as love and dedication towards his family in the first film, with Michael acting out of desperation and vengeance, turns into malevolence and malice in the second. In the second film Michael openly kills his brother, showing that his actions are no longer tied to family but tied to his own will.

His Influence:

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. Michael has been surprisingly important to the creation a whole sub-genre of film. As I mentioned earlier, Martin Scorsese basically owes his entire career to Michael and the Godfather. In addition, all mob/gangster films are the direct descendants of this classic film series. To go even further, Michael was one of the first to take a look into the mind of the bad-guy and make them the protagonist. A litany of other films, going all the way to this year’s Deadpool and upcoming Suicide Squad, owe their format to him. He is one of the most important characters in cinematic history and is matched by very few. Personally, I love the character, and even though his story is done Ic cannot wait to  see more of him through his successors.


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