Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film, The Godfather, documents the lives of the Corleone crime family from 1945 to 1955. The Corleone family is a Sicilian Mafia family that settled in New York City and served as one of the five most influential crime families in America at the time.
The drama serves as a fictional commentary on the American mafia and the ways in which it is adapting in order to hold on to both honor and power in a modernizing world. The film focuses on the developing ways of the American mafia from old and traditional to modern, while revealing some differences between the American and Sicilian mafia and the relationship between the two.
The following clip is a turning point in the film, which takes place about an hour and a half in. In this series of shots, Michael, youngest son of Don Corleone, makes a 180 degree turn and transforms from a “civilian” and outsider to the most influential player for the Corleone Mafia family. Here, he guns down a corrupt police captain and another family’s boss in order to protect both the life and the honor of his father, Don Vito Corleone.