Staging: Michael Corleone’s Pistol of Destiny

pacino-set-godfather

A photograph from the set of The Godfather (1972) Actors Al Lettieri (left) and Al Pacino (right). With an unidentified stage hand, or property master, seen here preparing for the scene where Michael Coreleone avenges his father’s assassination attempt. Leaving behind any chance of a legitimate life, free from the family’s criminal empire, Michael embraces his true destiny: heir to his father’s throne.

How did the good son become the ambitious, cold-blooded fratricidal killer and criminal mastermind we all know and love? First, by volunteering to shoot these two guys.

Besides great cinematography, the sound design in this scene is fantastic, the way it amplifies the tension. The audible train sounds, contributing to the suspense, right before Michael exits the bathroom, after retrieving the hidden weapon, never fails to impress me.

Killing Sollozzo and McCluskey

From this one audacious murderous act, Michael Corleone‘s dark ascendance begins. Brilliantly staged by Francis Ford Coppola, not only one of America’s most celebrated film directors, but also one of the great dramatists of the 20th century.



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