Robert Duvall does an excellent job as Tom Hagen, the stoic adopted son of Don Vito. Being not of Sicilian blood (but “Kraut” and “Mick” blood), Hagen was the lawyer and consigliere. The Coen Brothers made the Italian mafia look like a bunch of moronic buffoons in Miller’s Crossing. I guess Francis Ford Coppola figured they would need a Mc-Aryan to be the “brains” of the Sicilian mafia family. Sicily is not known for its scholars. Tom Hagen is the man that demonstrates “self-control” and rationality in The Godfather.
It is no lie that The Godfather is one of the top ten best American films ever made. American film has always been a business, and with business comes the desire to create marketable products. The Godfather combines violence, a memorable score, competent directing, Eisenstein inspired editing montages, and good storytelling for a film that Hollywood can be proud. Francis Ford Coppola also owes his Sicilian ancestors and relatives a little credit for their film influence. I have always been more a fan of Italian cinema than Italian-America cinema. The Godfather is something the Italian-American community can be proud of.