That is the line that opens the film over a black frame before a fade in on a close-up of Bonasera. That line sets the tone for the rest of the film and possibly the entire trilogy. In many ways, the film is a celebration of the idea of America and the American dream: an immigrant family settles in New York and builds itself up from having nothing to having everything. America, the land of opportunity, has been very good to the Corleone family.
|The opening shot of the film gives us Bonasera, his features cast in shadow.|
|A long and slow pullback reveals the smallness of Bonasera compared to Corleone in the foreground and his massive desk between them.|
|It takes until the third shot in the film and fully 3 minutes to get to this establishing shot revealing the room and who is in it.|
Go to Part II: "No Sicilian can refuse any request on his daughter's wedding day."