In Their Own League Advent Countdown: 3. The Godfather, Part 1

By Joan Amenn

This film has been a source of pride and embarrassment for me personally, much like the actual Christmas holidays were when I was growing up. I am proud of being a fourth generation Italian American, but obviously, “The Godfather” series of films reinforced stereotypes about what it means to have my heritage. One thing that I can agree with is the depiction of Italians valuing their families. Don Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) birthday is December 7th, and although his youngest son Michael (Al Pacino) has rejected his father’s plans for him they reconcile by Christmas. Of course, Michael then becomes an unholy terror but at least we have that sweet scene of him telling his father he is “with him now” as the Don recovers from an assassination attempt in the hospital. Nothing says the holidays like twinkling lights and emergency surgery to remove a bullet lodged in your throat. Remember, leave the guns but take the cannoli.

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