Acting Styles

In The Godfather Marlon Brando uses the “method” acting style. Brando transformed himself to become Vito Corleone. It was said that Brando would turn his back on the camera during filming, gather his thought, compose his emotions and BOOM Vito Corleone was born. In order for Brando to transform into Vito he had placed cotton between his gums and cheeks. It states in The Godfather WiKi, Brando had a significant impact on film acting. He was the foremost example of the “method” acting style, and became notorious for his “mumbling” diction, but his mercurial performances were highly regarded and he is now considered one of the greatest American film actors of the twentieth century (The Godfather Wiki, 2014). In the scene after the assassination of Sonny and Vito is at the morgue, in the middle of shooting Brando stop, puts his head down and takes a breath. This is an example of an actor transforming into the character they are trying to portray.

Al Pacino uses the Realism style of acting when portraying Michael Corleone. The character of Michael is more naturalistic. By looking at his work throughout his acting career you can point out that Pacino utilizes more of a naturalistic form of acting. From watching the making of The Godfather you can see that Pacino and Michael are similar to one another as far as their demeanor and mannerism. The character of Michael seems to be a normal person and not an actor. Pacino naturally connects with the character of Michael. In the scene when Michael plots the assassination on Sollozzo and sits in the chair in his father’s office talking to sonny. Pacino transforms into Micheal effortlessly. It states in Film: From Watching to Seeing, realism, as opposed to stylized acting, can also be thought of as naturalistic. This is acting that doesn’t draw attention to itself but instead gives the impression of genuine human action and reaction. What is considered realistic and natural, however, can change over the years and in particular situations (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014).

James Caan’s uses stylized acting in his role as Sonny Corleone. In this film you can get the sense that Caan is acting and the character of Sonny doesn’t come natural. Caan performance as Sonny was superb. Stylized acting is more of a non-naturalistic form of acting. For instance in the scene when Sonny is having dinner with the members of the Corleone family. The way Sonny talks and his demeanor is unnatural. The character of Sonny looks unreal, and there is a clear indication that Caan is acting. It states in Film: From Watching to Seeing, Stylized acting is used when actors and directors want to call attention to the fact that the actor is, indeed, acting. While this is generally not desirable, sometimes it is (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014).

Marlon Brando was an actor that always transformed himself into a character. His talented for acting is one that is not seen today. Brando popularized the Method style of performing during s acting career. Method acting was a popular form of acting during Brando’s early years. It was a form of acting that stuck with him throughout his acting career. According to The Associated Press it states, The two-time Oscar winner, who died at age 80, popularized the Method style of performing, which stripped away grandiose theatricality in favor of a deeper psychological approach to inhabiting a character (Press, 2004). Brando will always be known for his Method style performance. An actor using the method style of acting can pretty much fit into many diverse roles. Actors being able to take life experiences and apply them to a certain character makes the method style of acting flexible.

Here is Marlon Brando playing the character of Terry Malloy in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront”.
Look at his facial expressions. And the way he looks over at Charley (Rod Steiger). Brando did an outstanding job playing the character of Terry.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego,CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

MOVIECLIPS,. (2012). I Coulda Been a Contender – On the Waterfront (6/8) Movie CLIP (1954) HD. YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from

MOVIECLIPS,. (2014). The Godfather: Part 2 (8/8) Movie CLIP – Corleone Family Flashback (1974) HD. YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from

Pagantongue, .. (2006). The Godfather Behind the scenes – Marlon Brando. YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from

Press, A. (2004). Brando Popularized Method Acting. Fox News. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from

Regal Reels,. (2014). Al Pacino auditions for the role of Michael Corleone in the 1972 classic, ‘The Godfather’. YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from

The Godfather Wiki,. (2014). Marlon Brando. Retrieved 2 October 2014, from

thequizandquestions,. (2013). The Godfather – Michael Settles All Family Business 10/10 (HD). YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2014, from



Dialogue which are conversations that happen between two or more characters within the film.
Sound effects are an enhancement of sounds. Such sounds can be thunder, explosion, and shootings. These sounds are intended to enhance the action in films. In Films: From Watching to Seeing it states, The bone-crunchingly loud, theater-rattling explosions serve one purpose only: to enhance the action. The sound of these explosions simply does not allow the audience to passively watch the film; it serves instead as a rush of adrenaline (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 2014).
Music serves many purposes when played in a film. Connections can form between viewer and character, the views get an insight into the emotions of the character, and music can give the audience a clear idea on what will take place in a scene. According to Film: From Watching to Seeing points out the importance of music in film, Any good filmmaker knows how important music is to the success of a film. We will examine the use of score and soundtrack and their effects on movie making, and we will see how contemporary films could not exist without them (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 2014).

Categorizes of sound in The Godfather

In The Godfather dialogue is present throughout the movie.It states in Functions of dialogue in narrative film, dialogue also serves important functions within a film’s story. Those who seek to minimize the value of dialogue have underestimated how much it contributes to every aspect of narrative film (, 2014). For instance, in the conversation between Vito and Michael. When Vito expressed to Michael that he didn’t want him to be a part of the Corleone crime family. In this specific dialogue the character talk in a way that ultimately seem real. Like a real life conversation. There is no one else besides Vito and Michael in the scene, Father and son having a heart to heart conversation with also show Vito’s true feeling about Michael being apart of the organized crime.

Sound effects are uses in many scene within the movie. For instance, the car explosion with Michael’s wife, the killing of Sonny when he is gunned down at the toll by a number of shooters. The sound effects of gun fire and explosions. These along with many other sound effect in the film are typical for crime, action and gangster films.
In the scene when film producer Jack Woltz is in his bed and pulls down the covers the music that plays in the moment tells the audience something is going to happen. The music starts slow and eerie as the camera gets closer and closer to Woltz the music starts to pick up. In that moment when Woltz pulls down the cover, and reveals the horse’s head below his feet the music begins to get louder. In The Evolution of Music in Film and its Psychological Impact on Audiences it states, Music works upon the unconscious mind. Consequently, music works well with film because it is an ally of illusion. Music plays upon our emotions. It is generally a non-intellectual communication. The listener does not need to know what the music means, only how it makes him feel. Listeners, then, find the musical experience in film one that is less knowing and more feeling (Fischoff, 1997).

If the dialogue or sound effects would change I don’t believe it would make much of a difference. However if the music were to be changed or be removed this film would not be the same. The Italian style of music fits the overall experience of the film. When you think of the mafia you think of Italians (being that many of the member of the crime families were Italian). The music fits the setting, time, plot and theme and by changing is the littlest think like the music would change the whole outtake of the film. When the scenes get intense the music follows. Film composer Bernard Herrmann stated, “I feel that music on the screen can seek out and intensify the inner thoughts of the characters. It can invest a scene with terror, grandeur, gaiety, or misery. It can propel narrative swiftly forward, or slow it down. It often lifts mere dialogue into the realm of poetry. Finally, it is the communicating link between the screen and the audience, reaching out and enveloping all into one single experience.” (Fischoff, 1997).

Reference,. (2014). Functions of dialogue innarrative film – Dialogue – children, music, cinema, scene, story. Retrieved 28 September 2014, from
Fischoff, S. (1997). The Evolution of Music in Film and its Psychological Impact on Audiences. California State University, Tech. Rep, 2005.
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
MOVIECLIPS. (2011). The Godfather (5/9) Movie CLIP – Michael Loses Appolonia (1972) HD. Retrieved 28 September 2014, from
MOVIECLIPS. (2014). Sonny is Killed – The Godfather (4/9) Movie CLIP (1972) HD. Retrieved 28 September 2014, from


In The godfather as Vito is sitting behind his desk responding to request the lighting is dark and dim. Vito and other characters are visible in his dark office. The low-key lighting used in this movie helps the character to stand out. Low key lighting is a technique uses to bring out the edge of the shadows. In College film and media studies it states, this causes stark contrasts between the darker and lighter parts of the framed image, and for much of the subject of the shot to be hidden behind in the shadows. This lighting style is most effective in film noir productions and gangster films, as a very dark and mysterious atmosphere is created from this obscuring light (College Film & Media Studies, 2010).

The godfather is a dark movie with much killing, deception, betrayal, and anger. The low key lighting techniques helps to expose those elements to the audience with the dark outlines of each character. Whether they are sitting behind a desk, entering a restaurant or pointing a gun at an enemy the low key lighting gives off fear, evil and the knowing that something terrible is coming.

Low key lighting contributes to The Godfather by enhancing the mysterious atmosphere. The lighting contributes to the type of energy the actor is portraying. And in a sense you fear Vito as you watch him in certain scenes where he is deep in thought or contemplating his next move. This lighting causes dark areas under the eyes, chin and sides of the face. The lighting must coincide with the theme of the film.

Low key lighting suites The Godfather. Mobster films tend to use the low key light technique to light the subject and make the character look more intense as well as help the audience to focus on the specific character.

If low key lighting was not used in this film you wouldn’t really get feel is the theme (the story behind the plot). Imagine the godfather in a high key lighting. Everything would be brighter and there would be very low shadows. While in a low key lighting uses more shadows and places much of the attention on the character that is being placed in front of the camera. It states in Film110, The bright picture in the high key lighting shot gives a sense of normalcy, happiness, or everyday life. From the lighting in this shot you would not suspect that there is anything wrong and that the focus of the shot is to be on the character lit with the high key lighting scheme. The low key lighting shot of the same character in much the same location gives an entirely different story to the viewer. From the lighting alone it can be inferred that the scene gives off a “bad” feeling- such as spying, murder, crime, etc. The shadows on the character give an ominous and eerie feel to the shot and the character (, 2014).

Reference,. (2014). Retrieved 19 September 2014, from
College Film & Media Studies,. (2010). MISE-EN-SCENE. Retrieved 19 September 2014, from,. (2014). film110 / Lighting. Retrieved 19 September 2014, from,. (2014). Retrieved 19 September 2014, from,. (2014). Retrieved 19 September 2014, from

The GodFather

The Godfather (1972)

Mario Puzo  -Writer

Francis Ford Coppola  -Writer

Francis For Coppola -Director

-Major Actors-

Marlon Brando (Vito Corleone)
Al Pacino (Michael Corleone)
James Caan (Sonny Corleone)
Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen)
Richard Castellano (Clemenza)

The Story-

A Mobster life isn’t easy. The godfather is a story about a powerful mobster Vito Corleone, head of the Corleone crime family. As tension heat up between two families (the Corleone’s and the Tattaglias) things heat up. Vito Corleone maintains his powerful reputation by not investing in the developing drug trade. Vito and his sons tighten the bonds within the family and keep a close eye on their rivals.
After the tragic assassination attempt on Vito, which landed him in the hospital. His oldest son Sonny takes control of the Corleone family. Sonny fights to protect his ill father while the while keeping a close eye on the family business. This epic story about family, money and power is one that will have you at the edge of your seat.


The beginning of the movie starts with the wedding of Connie (Don Corleone’s daughter) during the wedding Don is taking request from what is seems like the locals from the neighborhood, asking Vito for favors with issues they were facing. Vito godson Johnny Fontane expresses to Vito that he wanted a role in an upcoming movie. Johnny tell Vito that the director of the movie will not give him the main role. Vito toughen Johnny up stating that he will make him an offer to get Johnny in the film. Vito sends Hagen (the Corleone family lawyer) to California to settle the matter and present an offer to waltz (the director) put Johnny in the movie. Waltz declines Vito’s offer, adding that Johnny ruined a relationship he and a upcoming actress had had. Vito is not a man that accepts no for an answer. So Vito sends a strong message to Mr. Waltz. When Waltz wakes up in the morning he is covered in blood, not his blood but the blood of this 600,000 horse.

During Connie’s Wedding Don Corleone takes request from Johnny Fontane. Along with the severed horse head

When Hagen returns to New York he and Vito have a sit-down. Hagen goes over with Vito that a man by the name of Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo (associated with the Tattaglias family) needs money from Vito to invest the developing drug-trade. Hagen also expresses to Vito that the drug trade is a business that the family should get into and if not the Tattaglias family (Corleone family rivals) will take up on the opportunity which will later hurt the Corleone’s later down the line. Vito in undecided and waits to hear what’s at stake during the meeting with Sollozzo.
When the meeting takes place Vito sits and listen to Sollozzo’s proposition. Sollozzo Expresses to Vito what with his 1 million dollar investment along with his strong political influence that the drug-trade will flourish. Vito tells Sollozzo that if his political friends hear that he has any part in the drug-trade rather in casinos and gambling that they will no longer have any association with him. Vito than tells Sollozzo that the drug-trade is a dangerous business and declines his offer. Vito Congratulates Sollozzo on his new business venture and the room clears. Hagen’s presents Vito with a bouquet of flowers from Johnny Fontane thanking Vito for getting him the role in the film. With Vito uneasy about Sollozzo he tells Hogan to send it Luca Brasi (his informer). Vito then goes on to tell Brasi to keep a very close eye on Sollozzo. Vito wants Brasi to go undercover to the Tattaglias and state that he is no longer with the Corleone family and wants to join their family.
Brasi enters a restaurant to meet with Bruno Tattaglia’s (head of the Tattaglia family). As a short conversation starts with a member of the Tattaglia family and Brasi there is a pause in conversation and Brasi lights up a cigarette. Brasi is then stabbed in the hand and strangled by Tattaglia’s men. Just after Brasi’s killing Hagen’s is leaving a department store he is confronted by Tattaglia’s men. As Vito leaves his place of business and walks across the street to the fruit stand he is gunned down by Sollozza’s men. Not knowing about the news, his son Michael reads in the paper and sees that his father had been killed. Hysterical about what he had read, Michael calls Sonny (his brother) to find out what is going on. Sonny informs Michael that their father is badly hurt. After their conversation Sonny receives a phone call from a man stating that they have Hagen and that he will be released in three hours with a proposition. Hagen was informed that he had to convince Sonny to get into the drug-trafficking business. Sonny is in charge now. With Hagen’s return with the news. Sonny figures out their next move. A package is delivered to sonny. The package contained two dead fish wrapped in Brasi’s armored vest. A symbolic message is sent to the Corleone’s that Brasi is dead.

As Vito recovers from the assassination attempt his sons fight hard to protect him. Michael visits his father in the hospital where there is an uneasy feeling in the air. Vito was left with no protection and Michael rushes to have him moved into another room. Calling for backup, Michael is confronted outside by the police along with Captain Mark McCluskey (Vigil Sollozzo’s bodyguard). After the events at the hospital Sollozzo wants to arrange a meeting with Michael. Plans are in place and Michael says that he can attend the meeting and have their informants plant a gun at the restaurant. After explaining that Sollozzo won’t stop until their father is dead Sonny agrees. But after the killing Michael must stay away for a while (one year). Michael attends the meeting with Sollozzo and Mark McCluskey sits down, gets up to go to the bathroom, comes out and kills both Sollozzo and McCluskey. The killing of Captain McCuskey bring media attention to organized crime as the papers linked the captain to ties with the mafia. Vito returns home and is informed the Michael committed the killings. As Michael is in Sicily while things are cooling down he meets a girl and marries her.
Back in New York Sonny receives a call from his sister that her husband had beat her. He rushes to help her and his killed. Still weaken, Vito arranges a meeting with the five families for peace. In Sicily, Michael is told that his brother has been killed and he needs to move to a safer place. As he gathers his things are is ready to leave, his new wife is waiting for him in the car. When Michael ask one of his bodyguards where he is going, the man runs and Michael turns to see the vehicle with his wife inside blow up.

Vito attends the meeting with the five families to ask for peace. With his sons killing he wants to call for a truce. The five families agree that drugs will be sold only in controlled areas with the help from Vito’s political power

Michael returns and marries his long time girlfriend Kay. With Vito’s health not 100% Michael is in control of the Corleone family. Michael and his father sit one on one and have an open heart conversation. Vito expresses his feeling on Michael getting into the family business. Vito never wanted for Michael to be a part of that lifestyle. But Michael reassures him that he can handle it and for him not to worry. Vito tell Michael whoever comes to with wanting for him to have a meeting with Barzini is trader.

While Vito is playing with his grandson in his vegetable garden he collapses and dies.

During Vito’s Funeral, with Michael keeping in mind what his father told him about finding who the trader is. Tessio approaches Michael and lets him know that Barzini wants to arrange a meeting. Tessio expresses to Michael that the meeting will be on his ground and he will be safe. The trader is revealed, and Michael plans his move. Michael lets Hagen know that he will go through his plan to take out all heads of the five families after the christening of his nephew.
During the christening as Michael and his family are in the church house, the killings begin. All five heads of the family are killed.

During the christening as Michael and his family are in the church house the killings begin. All five heads of the family are killed. During the christening Michael tells his brother in law (Carlo Rizzi) that they will not be taking their next trip and he must return back to his house and wait for Michael. During the same time Sal (Tessio) is killed for betraying the Corleone family. Michael arrives to meet Carlo. He tells Carlo that everyone is dead and he has betrayed the family. Michael tells him that a car is waiting for him to go to Vegas. Carlo is killed when he enters the car.
As Michael is standing in his office his sister enter the room hysterical. She is aware that he ordered to kill her husband. Michael doesn’t admit to the killing. Kay walks in and wants to know what he did to Carlo. Michael tells her he did not kill Carlo. Kay walks out of the room to pour Michael a drink. As she looks over to the office she sees three men enter the room and give Michael the symbolic kiss on the hand. She now knows that he is now, The GodFather.

Chronological order
This movie is in chronological order. The beginning of the movie starts with Connie’s wedding. After Connie’s wedding Hagen’s presented Vito with the drug proposition. After the drug trade proposition was presented the events that took place after were because Vito declined the offer. After Vito was shot his sons took revenge. All the events that happened in this movie moved from one event to the next. As stated in Film: From watching to seeing, Most movies follow a standard chronological order, which means that events in the movie’s plot follow the same order (although not necessarily the same duration) in which they would occur in the story, the order of real time (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011).


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