25 Facts About The Godfather

1., The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are based on the 1969 bestselling book by Mario Puzo.. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights before he'd even finished the novel and developed the book with him until it was published. 2.. Francis Ford Coppola was far from Paramount’s. First, choice to direct.: They offered the job to 12 other directors before him., But 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 was given total creative control, which led to a very smooth experience.. Although that’s his story, when everyone is doing what you say, you probably don’t notice, if they’re having a rough time., 3., Coppola and Puzo 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 script doctoring.. He pretty much wrote the whole garden scene with Pacino and Brando.. Still. The script was about an hour longer than Paramount wanted and they had to fight for it. 4. Coppola, finally, convinced Paramount that a two-hour version wouldn’t work after shooting had finished., He cut it all down according to Paramount’s request and when they saw it. Robert Evans told him to restore the full-length version. 5. Robert Evans wanted Robert Redford or Ryan O'Neal for Michael Corleone, but Coppola insisted on Al Pacino.. Pacino only had one film under his belt at the time, so the studio really weren’t keen. Man. 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 McCluskey and Sollozzo that they realised how good he could be. He’s since been nominated for 8 Oscars, two of them for his Role as Michael Corleone. 6., They also really wanted anyone but Marlon Brando to play the Godfather., Even by 1972, he’d developed a reputation for being batshit crazy and impossible to work. With. 7.. The studio constantly tried to fire Coppola throughout the making of the first film.. They hated the dark lighting and all the long talky scenes. They had Elia Kazan, who directed Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and On The Waterfront ready to take over at a moment's notice. Coppola, fell out with and fired the editor along with a bunch of Other crew members, he thought were betraying him.. Luckily Brando came to the rescue and threatened to quit if Coppola were fired. 8.. The cat Brando is stroking in this scene is just a stray that wandered onto the set. 9. 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. As a joke and during the wedding sequence, he mooned a few hundred extras. 10. Brando won the Best Actor Oscar for playing Don Vito but famously rejected it.. He sent actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to give a speech about Hollywood’s, poor treatment of Native Americans.. Her real name is Marie. Louise Cruz. 11. Coppola hated violence, but the studio insisted on including the ‘ultraviolence’ that made A Clockwork Orange, so popular., So Coppola made it really over the top. For this scene. James Caan was rigged with 147 squibs And that horse's head was absolutely real grabbed from a pet food. Factory. 12.. The final battle Coppola had to fight was over the music.. I know It sounds silly, but Paramount hated. The score. Luckily test audiences loved it. So it stayed. It went on to be nominated for an Oscar for 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 Fortunella in 1958. 13., Never mind because they gave him the Oscar for his score to The Godfather Part II., But .surely his music for Part II is even less original than his music for the first one, Bah I’m confused.. 14., Originally Francis Ford Coppola didn’t want to direct the second film.. He was just going to produce it and picked Martin Scorsese to direct., But the studio didn’t like Scorsese and Coppola stepped in. 15. Scorsese’s favorite muse Robert De Niro spent months preparing to play the young Vito Corleone.. He lived in Sicily and learned to speak Sicilian fluently, since all his dialogue is in Sicilian., 16. De Niro 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. 17.. Originally Hyman Roth was going to be played by Elia Kazan yep, that’s right. The director who was all set to replace Coppola on the first film. Kazan declined and Lee Strasberg was cast instead, but Elia Kazan’s habit of walking around topless was kept for the character. 18.. The rough cut of the film was about six hours, long. Coppola removed loads of subplots and scenes to get it down to three hours. Most of the footage is lost. Now. 19.. Even then test audiences hated the first cut of Part II.. All the back-and-forth cross-cutting between timelines was considered a real mess. Coppola and the editors rushed to recut it in just the week before it was released. And hey presto, Classic film. 20.. The Godfather Part III is the lesser film and was never 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. 21. Winona Ryder was going to play Mary Corleone, but she backed out to star in Edward Scissorhands, instead. 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. 22.. In case you were thinking that nepotism ruined The Godfather Part III, it didn’t. The whole trilogy is a family affair., Coppola’s sister Talia Shire plays Connie Corleone

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