When Mario Puzo got his novel "The Godfather" his magnum opus published, he had no inkling that it would fetch him the prestigious Academy Award, known as Oscar in common parlance. It became possible because he was commissioned to write the screenplay for its adaptation into a motion picture by Francis Ford Coppola, director of "The Godfather " series.
It's an undeniable fact that America has been the land of migrants since the continent was discovered by Amerigo Vespucci. Earlier migrants from Europe were those found to be in conflict with laws in their native land, for instance, robbers, hoodlums, criminals, prostitutes, and many more. However, the recent ones came to America in hope of change in their fortune for which they didn't even shy away from engaging in criminal activities. It is precisely put in words at the beginning of the novel as, " Behind every great fortune there is a crime."
The protagonist character 'Vito Corleone' was one such migrant. This character itself possessed the necessary ingredients for it to become one of the most memorable characters ever created. The punchlines like, " I'll reason with him" and "I'll give him an offer he can't refuse " had already become popular. However, this character attained a cult status once it was played by the doyens of American cinema - Marlon Brando as aged Vito in "The Godfather" 1973 and Robert de Niro as young Vito in "Godfather II" 1974 on the screen. Their performance bagged them the coveted Oscar award for best actor and best actor in supporting role, respectively.
The character Vito Corleone is unique in the sense that despite being a ruthless criminal, he never engaged himself in unscrupulous activities like prostitution, trafficking, bars, booze, and many more.
Rather we get to see in him a reasonable man, a benevolent man, a man who loves his family and honors his promise and friendship at any cost. In short, he is an ideal and scrupulous gangster.
It is needless to say that the movie "Godfather" in general and the character 'Vito Corleone" in particular will keep inspiring generations of filmmakers as it has set a benchmark for those engaged in the movie-making business. Even Ram Gopal Verma, the Indian filmmaker, admits that his movie 'Sarkar' was inspired by 'The Godfather' to a great extent.