The Godfather – 4 ESL English Discussion Questions

the Godfather

Summary reminder:


Based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, “The Godfather” is widely considered one of the greatest movies of all time, directed by Francis Ford Coppola who illustrates the life of the Corleone Italian-American crime family.

The story, spanning the years 1945 to 1955.

The movie begins with Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) the head of the mafia family in New York at his daughter’s wedding, Vito’s youngest son (a decorated WWII Marine), Michael (Pacino) attends as well. While he seems quite not interested in the family’s business, the family business is interested in him. We find that Vito is kind and generous to all those who give him respect, but quite the opposite to those who do not. When a powerful rival decides to sell drugs, he needs the Don’s approval. However, after Vito refuses, a gang war begins which draws Michael into it. He saves his family and the business, but at what cost?

One of the special things about the movie is “Character development”. In particular, Al Pacino. The whole point of the film is to show you can never escape a life of crime, which is clearly shown in Pacino’s gradual descent into the mob. Yet, he goes from ‘I don’t want to be involved’ to ‘I’ll kill a policeman’ in pretty much a split second.

1- Now, do you agree that the entourage is hard to escape. And in some cases almost impossible to?

2- How do you explain people sympathizing with criminals and bad guys in movies and TV shows?

3- In your opinion what makes this movie one of the greatest movies of all time?

4- Does the media’s interest in organized crime, as an entertainment topic, glamorize it in the eyes of the audience?

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