Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Once every week or so, I look to the classics. Specifically, I look at the classics from the angle of the visual.

When I set out to do these posts, I’ll skim through the film and earmark interesting shots. Sometimes these shots are iconic, but more often than not they are more fleeting moments. On several occasions, these moments might not immediately identify what film they are from. However, as I look at these films in this way, I’m struck by many thoughts. While these thoughts begin with the story unfolding on-screen, they soon drift into our reality and our history – which is the power of film. It has the ability to take us out of cinemas and living rooms and out into the bigger collective, and sometimes it can do this with something as simple as one great shot.

Today marks the fiftieth image in the series, and in honour of the half-century mark, I decided to keep it simple: I’ve gone with my favorite shot from my favorite classic. There are dozens of other iconic shots from THE GODFATHER that I could have chosen, but for me, so much about America is said in this one frame.

All around it is the untamed natural environment it came from. Front and centre is one of the game-changing inventions that made it great. Inside of said invention, we have a glimpse of the violence that has defined it for more than 200 years. In the background, the promise of what it could be, what it wants to be, and what so many want to deny it being.

I could write volumes on what else this shot makes me think about in relation to America, and that’s without even getting to the classic line that punctuates this scene. But if you’ll permit me, I’ll just leave this shot to speak for itself.

This isn’t my most popular series of posts on this site, so if you’ve ever dropped by and read my thoughts on these slivers of classic film I’m deeply thankful.

 

In lieu of the usual “three more”, here are the previous forty-nine for the road. Click any one of them to jump to its original post and read my thoughts…

 

M*A*S*H

Cabaret

Cabaret

To Kill a Mockingbird

AN600

Apocalypse Now

The Red Shoes

Night of The Hunter

American Grafitti

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The Day The Earth Stood Still

9 to 5

The Third Man

Ninotchka

The Graduate

The Producers

Alien

Sleeping Beauty

A Hard Day’s Night

Fame

Vertigo

The Sting

Singin’ In The Rain

Bonnie and Clyde

Mean Streets

Some Like it Hot

Miracle on 34th Street

The Shop Around The Corner

Rosemary’s Baby

The Blues Brothers

The Tingler

Amadeus

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Lawrence of Arabia

Goldfinger

On The Waterfront

Days of Heaven

West Side Story

The Godfather 2

The Sweet Smell of Success

The Conversation

The Terminator

Double Indemnity

Chinatown

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Rebel Without a Cause

The Natural

The Manchurian Candidate

Brief Encounter

3 Women

This collection of fifty images is inspired by the “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series at The Film Experience. Do check out all of the awesome entires in their series so far