Monday, January 23, 2012

Goldfinger and The Godfather

Goldfinger (1964) – Hollywood went to central casting for this odd job- and got Harold Sakata – who wrestled as Tosh Togo to be the menacing henchman in this Sean Connery classic James Bond movie. A solid action movie still worth seeing for 007 fans and for action fans- still holds up against today’s action movies-although this movie seems reserved in it ‘s stunts compared to modern Bond flicks- Connery more than compensates with his macho swagger.. Sakata appeared in several movies and television shows including The Wrestler- but was usually cast as the domineering bad guy. A

The Godfather (1972)

My first encounter with the Godfather saga was the Mad Magazine parody- actually that was usually my first encounter with any action movie that came out when I was growing up. Because my mother eschewed macho movies for more family friendly children’s movies like Fantasia and Pollyanna – the upside is that she did get Mad Magazine every month for years- so I got to experience Mad parodies of such classics as the Shindig and SuperDooperMan instead of seeing their cinematic counterparts.

The Godfather is breathtaking in its violence (memorable executions) and its beauty (the Italian countryside, the lovely bride). This classic film from Francis Ford Coppola features a superb cast that includes film noir stalwarts like Sterling Hayden (Asphalt Jungle) and Richard Conte (The Big Combo) along with several A-List superstars (Pacino, Duvall , Brando ,etc.) . Do yourself a favor and don’t settle for the commercially interrupted versions that Spike offer – this is worth owning and if you are not the type that owns DVDs or Blu-Ray- at least watch this movie one time in your life intact-or if you ever can in the theater..

Luca Brasi was portrayed by longtime grappler Lenny Montana( he also appears in the hilarious Steve Martin vehicle The Jerk from 1979 as a con man) – he is the scary man reciting his speech for the don at the wedding scene that openings the picture. Ironically Montana also spent some time in the mob (according to his Wikipedia page).

Thank you to Sheldon Goldberg for clueing me in regarding Montana’s contribution to this cinematic masterpiece and giving me an excuse to watch this movie again. A+

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