Magazine September 30, 2019, Issue

Criminal Charisma

Marlon Brando in The Godfather (Paramount Pictures, IMDb)

‘You’re watching The Godfather? Again?”

“Yes, again,” I respond to my wife. “Also, don’t ask me about my business.”

My beleaguered spouse rolls her eyes at this familiar retort, but she has only herself to blame. By all accounts, a woman reared in a large New York household and blessed with a salubrious Latin name — a “Maria” in the middle; the whole shebang — should be enthusiastic about watching the story of the Corleone family for the umpteenth time with her husband. 

She should be excited, for that matter, to watch the violent pseudo-realism of Scorsese’s Goodfellas or to binge-watch the contemporary

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