“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” If you recognize this quote, you are probably familiar with Mario Puzo’s and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Trilogy. These films have been considered some of the best crime films ever made, and even though they were all released before I was even born, I have watched all of them more times than any other movies. The Godfather Part III was released in 1990, 16 years after Part II; however, it still managed to be nominated for seven Oscar awards and seven Golden Globe awards as well.
The Godfather Part III ‘s trailer attempts to convince people to watch this movie by utilizing ethos, pathos and logos. The trailer begins by showing the scene where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) becomes the Godfather, while playing The Godfather’s theme song; “Speak Softly Love.” Showing that specific scene from The Godfather Part II is an apparent use of ethos, since it explicates to the audience that this film will be the continuation to the previous reputable Godfather films, giving it automatic credibility. It also makes fans of the previous films excited to see what will happen next, especially since the continuation was released 16 years after the previous film, which shows the use of ethos and pathos. The use of the theme song as the opening of the trailer creates emotion, showing the use of pathos. Personally, I am a huge fan of The Godfather Trilogy, so when I hear its theme song, I immediately get excited and it reminds me of these films, since it is used in all three of them.
The trailer then proceeds to showing the use of logos and ethos by stating that the first two films have been nominated for 21 awards. Consequently, this gives the third film a sense of authority and logic, since its preceding films were so successful, almost as if this granted the audience a “guarantee” that the third film will be just as good, if not better. Other uses of logos in the trailer were the scenes of violence and sex. These scenes not only let the audience know that this film is directed to an older crowd, and is most likely rated R, but they also let them know that the genre of the film will be drama/action.
Once the trailer stops showing scenes from the previous two films, it begins to introduce the actors. The first actor’s name shown on the screen was Al Pacino. This is an effective use of ethos, since he not only plays the main character, but he is also the most famous actor in the entire film. The opening scene from Part III in the trailer shows Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as an old man, trying to rid himself of his illegitimate business, and trying to partner with the pope. This immediately causes the audience to want to know more, since he is apparently giving up the illegal businesses, which the previous films were all about. A new character is also introduced. He is Michael’s nephew, who is shown to be very violent and aggressive, although extremely loyal to Michael. This gives the sense of foreshadowing to the audience making them doubt if he will take over the family business.
After reading “Casting” from Understanding Movies, I learned that a movies success relies vastly on the casting process. For this film, the director Francis Ford Coppola, decided to keep actors from the previous films, especially the main characters, while also introducing a new actress; his daughter. This was very controversial, since her daughter later on won “The Worst New Actress Award” after the film was released. In “Casting” the author states; “Casting a movie is almost an art in itself. It requires an acute sensitivity to a player’s type, a convention inherited from the live theater. “ (Giannetti, 279) After taking the quote from “Casting” into consideration, I found it almost unbelievable that the director decided to take the risk of giving his daughter one of the leading roles in the film, considering she was not a famous actress, and had no real experience in acting.
Although I am a huge fan of The Godfather films, I have to admit that the trailer for this movie is extremely old, making it hard for people who are not fans of these movies to be very interested in watching the film. If this trailer were compared with trailers from today, I would say it is not a very good one. The trailer is directed to fans from the previous films, but not so much to a new audience.