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Brandos raspy-voiced role later to be mimicked by a host of impersonators was difficult in one respect for Coppola in that the actor was 47 at the time much too young for the aging Mafia don The problem was solved by makeup expert Dick Smith who has accomplished similar wonders in The Exorcist 1973 and in Little Big Man 1970 where he aged Dustin Hoffman to 100 years old Smith added wrinkles to Brandos skin by applying liquid latex especially around the eyes and nose A leathery appearance was achieved the same way along with loose flesh and bags beneath the eyes He imparted olive skin tones to give Brando a Mediterranean appearance A special denture was inserted along his lower jawline to make the actors jaw jut out in a completely different bite and to cause his cheeks to sag He then stuffed the actors cheeks with a gummy substance to affect heavy jowls and it was this device that altered the actors appearance drastically giving rise to wild speculation that Brando spent hours stuffing his cheeks with cotton facial tissue and newspapers Cinematography- The film is dark--Coppola had cinematographer Gordon Willis deliberately underlight each scene the mood is dark and the climax in which Michael indulges in an orgy of blood vengeance would simply be horrific were it not for the ironic melodies of the Rota score which underline the humane sensibilities of the storyteller and keep us at an appropriate distance And this points to Coppolas greatest achievement with THE GODFATHER he simultaneously presents us with two views of the Corleone family We see it from within sympathizing with the motives and dilemmas of these very real attractive and charismatic individuals and we see it from without in a state of suspended disgust at a moral code that knows only greed and blood The Godfather is an insightful
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