What better way to spend the day after Christmas than marinating in a vat of vile and venal Mafia glory? The Godfather and The Godfather Part II — weighing in 175 and 200 minutes, respectively — represent the apex of American filmmaking, showing how whole words can rise up out of a glance, a betrayal or a kiss. Marlon Brando, who won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1972, sent Apache activist Sacheen Littlefeather to pick up his award from a surprised and surprisingly sweaty Roger Moore. The Godfather also marked the debut of the late John Cazale as Fredo; Cazale's brief acting career of five films in six years is remarkable as much for its content as it is for the fact that each film was nominated for a Best Film Oscar. The Godfather Part II won six Oscars two years later and gave hacky Mario Puzo another reason to keep writing about the Mafia — which, as Duke Mitchell so eloquently put it in Gone With the Pope, did absolutely fuck all for Sicilians' sense of national identity.

Sun., Dec. 26, 4 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 27, 4 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 28, 4 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly