Interesting facts about Godfather, it is a movie series that is still watched to this date. An amazing movie series consists of best Italian minds for the production and direction with the help of scriptwriters. Here are 25 interesting facts about Godfather movies:
- The Godfather and The Godfather part two are based on the 1969 bestselling book by Mario Puzo. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights before he’d even finished the novel and develop the book with him until that was published.
- Francis Ford Coppola was far from Paramount’s first choice to direct. They offered the job to 12 other directors before him. The reason they went for him, in the end, is because he was the most successful American Italian director at the time and they felt an Italian should direct a movie about Italians. Producer Robert Evans also thought he’d work cheap and they could control him how wrong they were. It was a nightmarish shoot. On the second film, he demanded total creative control, which led to a very smooth experience. Although that is his story, when everyone is doing what you say, you probably don’t notice if they’re having a rough time.
- Coppola and Buzo adapted the book by writing two scripts, one each and separately. Then they combined the two scripts into one massive three-hour screenplay. Yet they were still writing scenes while they were filming. They brought in Robert Towne, who wrote Chinatown to do some scripts doctoring. He pretty much wrote the whole garden scene with Pacino or Brando. Still, the script was about an hour longer than Paramount wanted and they had to fight for it.
- Kokila finally convinced Paramount that a two-hour version wouldn’t work after the shooting had finished. He cut it all down, according to Paramount’s requests. And when they saw it, Robert Evans told him to restore the full-length version.
Al Pacino struggled for the role
Robert Evans wanted Robert Redford or Ryan O’Neal for Michael Corleone but Coppola insisted on Al Pacino. Patiño only had one film under his belt at the time. So the studio wasn’t keen and this is becoming a theme even after they started filming. The studio wanted to fire Pacino. It wasn’t until they saw the scene where he kills McKlusky and Cirlot so that they realized how good he could be. He has since been nominated for eight Oscars, two of them for his role as Michael Corleone.
- Paramount also really wanted anyone but Marlon Brando to play The GodfatherEven by 1972, he’d developed a reputation for being batshit crazy and impossible to work with.
- The studio constantly tried to fire Coppola throughout the making of the first film. Hated the dark lighting and all the long talky scenes. They had Elia Kazan, who had directed Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, ready to take over at a moment’s notice. Papilla then fell out with and fired the editor, along with a bunch of other crew members who he thought were betraying him. Luckily, Brando came to the rescue and threatens to quit if Coppola were fired along the way.
- The cats Brando was stroking in this scene is just a stray that one of them to the set.
- Brando never learned his lines and read them off cue cards held by other actors or stuck on the wall off camera. He also put weights on the stretcher during this scene, has a joke to the extras and during the wedding sequence, he moved a few hundred extras.
Brando won the best actor Oscar for playing Don Vito but famously rejected it
He sent actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather and his place to give a speech about Hollywood’s poor treatment of Native Americans. Her real name is Mary Louise Cruz.
- Might be hard to believe but Coppola hated violence but the studio insisted on, including the ultraviolence that had made A Clockwork Orange so popular. So to get back at them, Coppola made it really over the top for this scene. James Caan was rigged with 147 squibs, and that horse’s head was real, grabbed from a pet food factory.
- The final battle Poplar had to fight was over the music. I know it sounds silly, but Paramount hated the school. Luckily, test audiences loved it so it stayed. It went on to be nominated for an Oscar for the best original score but the academy revoked the nomination shortly before the awards ceremony because composer Nino Rota had used the love theme for an Italian film called Fortune Teller in 1958, Interesting facts about Godfather.
- They gave Nyarota the Oscar for his score to Godfather Part two. Surely his music for part two is even less original than his music for the first one.
- Originally, Francis Ford Coppola didn’t want to direct the second film. He was just going to produce it and he picked Martin Scorsese to direct. But the studio didn’t like Scorsese.
15- Scorsese, his favourite muse
Robert De Niro spent months preparing to play the young Vito Corleone. He lived in Sicily and learned to speak Sicilian fluently since nearly all his dialogue is in Sicilian
- DeNiro went on to win the best-supporting actor Oscar, making him and Marlon Brando the only people to win Oscars for playing the same character.
- Originally, Highman Ross was going to be played by Elia Kazan. Yep, that’s right. The director, who is all set to replace Coppola on the first film, Kazan declined and Lee Strasberg was cast instead-but Elia Kazan is a habit of walking around topless was capped for the character
- Interesting facts about Godfather is that the rough cuts of the second film were about six hours long. Coppola removed loads of subplots and scenes to get it down to three hours. Sadly, most of the deleted footage is now lost.
- Even then, test audiences hated the first cars apart to all the back and forth. Crosscutting between timelines was considered a real mess. Coppola and the editors rushed to recut it just in the week before it was released. Hey presto, classic film Interesting facts about Godfather.
- The Godfather part three is the lesser film and was never really meant to happen. Coppola repeatedly refused to do it but he eventually agreed when his production company got into financial trouble after a series of commercial failures in the 80s. Hence the 16-year gap between the second and third films.
Winona Ryder was going to play Mary Corleone but she backed out to star in Edward Scissor hands
Good call, Winona. So Francis Ford Coppola replaced her with his daughter and future. Not bad. Director Sofia. She won two Razzies for her performance, Interesting facts about Godfather.
- In case you were thinking that nepotism ruined The Godfather part three, it didn’t. The whole trilogy is a family affair. Coppola’s sister, Talia Shire, plays Connie Corleone. His dad Carmine, composed some music for the films, and his mother and sons appear as extras.
- Andy Garcia was the only actor to be nominated for an Oscar for part three, and he deserved it. In this scene, he was so aggressive when biting the other actors fake here that he ripped out some hair as well.
- The Godfather, part four nearly happened. It was going to focus on Garcia’s Vincent leading the Corleone family through a decade of gang warfare. Meanwhile, the narrative will be broken up by flashbacks to Robert DeNiro reprising his role as Vito but this time in the 1930s, building the family empire. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola worked on the story together. But it never happened because producer’s death in 1999, Paramount’s still own the film rights those.
- Along with the Lord of the Rings, The Godfather as the only trilogy you are. All three films have been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Overall, the films won nine Oscars and were nominated for 28 or 29. If you include Nina Rotas revoked a nomination for original score for the first film. Phew. That was genuinely exhausting to research.
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