The Freshman (1990)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Gangster Film, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 20, 1990 (USA)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Marlon Brando's performance as Don Corleone in The Godfather is one of the most memorable in cinema history, and the actor's bravely pays homage to the part in writer-director Andrew Bergman's screwball comedy The Freshman. Brando runs away with the movie, and deservedly so: he delivers an astonishing, perfectly controlled comic performance. Bergman commandingly sends up Corleone and stages a number of other satiric moments, but despite being goofy and sloppy at times, the movie never becomes a spoof. The affable performances of Brando, Matthew Broderick, Paul Benedict and Bruno Kirby (who appeared in The Godfather Part II) sustain The Freshman's genial air. Gangster movies were a favorite revisionist target of such mid-1980s films as Prizzi's Honor and Married to the Mob; the closest match-up to Brando's work in the The Freshman, however, might be Robert De Niro's self-referential performance in 1999's Analyze This.