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how the godfather was made

[N 1][28][38][40] Paramount executives wanted the movie to be set in contemporary Kansas City and shot in the studio backlot in order to cut down on costs. “The Godfather ushered in a new era,” claimed Dr. Darl Larsen, professor of Theater and Media Arts.

[100][86] After Willis later accepted the offer, he and Coppola agreed to not use any modern filming devices, helicopters, or zoom lenses.

The film received universal acclaim from critics and audiences, with praise for performances by its cast, particularly those of Brando and Pacino, the directing, screenplay, cinematography, editing, score, and portrayal of the mafia. [145] Directed by Jeff Warner, the film featured some behind the scenes content from all three films, interviews with the actors, and screen tests.

Brando, however, refused the Oscar that he won for his performance in order to protest the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry. [52][46] The two remained in contact while they wrote their respective screenplays and made decisions on what to include and what to remove for the final version. The film is in part both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, presenting two parallel dramas.

“I had never played an Italian before, and I didn’t think I could do it successfully,” he says in his autobiography. Lucas, just five years younger than Coppola, has said, “Francis was the great white knight. At the funeral, Tessio, a Corleone capo, asks Michael to meet with Barzini, signaling the betrayal that Vito had forewarned. Though set in the period of mass Italian immigration to the U.S., the film explores the specific family of the Corleones, who live outside the law. The closest it gets is the newspaper headline, “Mobster Barzini Questioned in Underworld Feud” the day after Michael’s killing spree in the Italian restaurant. Bob was Paramount at that point, and he said, ‘Put it back.’ He had a sense of the scope of the picture and how good it was.” Zinner, Bart, and Ruddy by and large concur. Other actors playing smaller roles are Alex Rocco as Moe Greene, Simonetta Stefanelli as Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone, Tony Giorgio as Bruno Tattaglia, Angelo Infanti as Fabrizio, and Corrado Gaipa as Don Tommasino. [237] Intiso was known to swear frequently and use poor grammar; but after seeing the movie, he began to improve his speech and philosophize more. It was directed by a nobody.” Francis Ford Coppola, as opposed to the Hollywood directors who preceded him, went to film school as opposed to having worked his way slowly up the ladder after working every job on the lot.

[149][150] Dave Kehr of The New York Times believed the restoration brought back the "golden glow of their original theatrical screenings". Hollywood film studios changed their structure because of the success of Fancis Ford Coppola’s blockbuster hit, The Godfather (1972). [52] Puzo worked on his draft in Los Angeles, while Coppola wrote his version in San Francisco. "[171] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 100 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". And I was there. [63] The studio mainly pushed for Ernest Borgnine to receive the part. [58][59] Those two uses were removed and replaced with other terms, which Coppola felt did not change the story at all. His sister, Talia Shire, who appeared in “The Godfather” and its two sequels, was taken aback at his transformation, comparing him to a performer who lands in a defining part: “When you play a role of force, a king or queen, and you have not been by casting or nature that size yet, it suffuses you. Shire told me that when she asked her brother if she could audition for the role of Connie Corleone Rizzi, “Francis said ‘No!,’ a very loud ‘No!’ ” Even after a contingent led by Evans offered her the part, and she took it, “Francis said I should have asked him first.” Once she realized, however, that his unconventional choices were going to “give everybody terror,” she began to think that it might have been “wrong” for her to give him “something else to worry about”—a sibling in front of the camera. In the sixties, moviemakers coming out of film programs at places like U.S.C. [12] Sergio Leone was Paramount's first choice to direct the film. As for Al Pacino, who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the role, he didn’t want it. [49][50] After Coppola was hired as director, both Puzo and Coppola worked on the screenplay, but separately. We had tied our rowboats to a speedboat; we had each intended to take our little rowboats into the lake and make our seven-hundred-thousand-dollar films, like ‘The Rain People’ and ‘American Graffiti.’ ‘The Godfather’ was this huge and early exception. [136] It displaced Gone with the Wind to claim the record as the top rentals earner,[152] a position it would retain until the release of Jaws in 1975. I was in so much trouble the first week—they were seeing dailies and didn’t like them. Unlike any film before it, its portrayal of the many poor Italians who immigrated to the United States in the early decades of the 20th century is perhaps attributable to Coppola, and expresses his understanding of their experience.

And of course the studio felt to do it in period would cost more money.” Paramount wanted the film to be made cheaply.

“To this day,” he says, “I can’t even remember what’s mine and what’s Francis’s. [121] By November, Coppola and Ruddy finished the semi-final cut. It was followed by sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990). [16][75][76] After screen testing several other actors, Coppola eventually got his wish and Duvall was awarded the part of Tom Hagen. © 2020 Condé Nast. [17][18][19], Evans wanted the picture to be directed by an Italian American to make the film "ethnic to the core".

[125] Coppola's father, Carmine, created some additional music for the film,[127] particularly the music played by the band during the opening wedding scene. [58][59], Puzo was first to show interest in having Marlon Brando portray Don Vito Corleone by sending a letter to Brando in which he stated Brando was the "only actor who can play the Godfather. [147][148][149][150][151] The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration contains several new special features that play in high definition, along with additional scenes.

[61][38] Coppola favored Brando or Laurence Olivier for the role,[62][63] but Olivier's agent refused the role claiming Olivier was sick;[64] however, Olivier went on to star in Sleuth later that year. ‘Let’s show it to the actors.’ We showed it to Al; he liked it a lot. Kay is relieved when Michael finally denies it, but when the capos arrive, they address her husband as Don Corleone and she watches them pay reverence to Michael as the newly installed don as they close the door on her. In film school, which was relatively new, Coppola studied film both practically and critically. [229] The Godfather increased Hollywood's negative portrayals of immigrant Italians in the aftermath of the film and was a recruiting tool for organized crime.

(1969) the days of the Hollywood musical came to a close as did the doors of MGM Studios. [198] Going into the awards ceremony, The Godfather was seen as the favorite to take home the most awards. When the studio people saw what we were doing, their reaction was ‘What happened?’ I got a lot of criticism because of the juxtaposition of bright, Kodachromey stuff for the wedding with the dark office where sinister things were happening. [4] Many actors were announced to play in the film: Robert De Niro, Andy García and Talia Shire were slated to reprise their roles.

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, based on Puzo's best-selling 1969 novel of the same name. [120] In September, the first rough cut of the film was viewed. “I thought, ‘how am I going to play this part? Spencer W. Kimball Tower, Provo, UT 84604, QUESTIONS? [12][31] At the time Coppola's studio, American Zoetrope, owed over $400,000 to Warner Bros. for budget overruns with the film THX 1138 and when coupled with his poor financial standing, along with advice from friends and family, Coppola reversed his initial decision and took the job.

In the last few years, he has directed the bombastic “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and the flaccid, commercial “Jack,” and he is currently at work on an adaptation of a John Grisham novel. [114] The opening wedding scene was shot in a Staten Island neighborhood using almost 750 locals as extras. [102], One of the film's most shocking moments involved an actual, severed, horse's head. When he went to an exhibitors’ screening, he heard “Red Somebody, the ‘dean’ of exhibitors” say, “Well, it’s no ‘Love Story.’ ” (“Love Story,” of course, had been a victory for Evans as a production head.) [16][20] Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, and James Caan also auditioned. . Michael takes refuge in Sicily and Fredo is sheltered by Moe Greene in Las Vegas. A comprehensive study of Italian-American culture on film, conducted from 1996 to 2001 by the Italic Institute of America,[227] showed that nearly 300 movies featuring Italian Americans as mobsters (mostly fictional) have been produced since The Godfather, an average of nine per year. He said Paramount would never accept it at that length. Throughout the 40s and 50s, Hollywood studios experienced significant strength and stability, but new media such as television began to threaten their dominance as well as the more experimental and thematically frank foreign films that made their way to American theaters throughout the 50s and 60s, American audiences wanted to see things that were more complex. Read Marlon’s dialogue to him? [10] Paramount Pictures originally found out about Puzo's novel in 1967 when a literary scout for the company contacted then Paramount Vice President of Production Peter Bart about Puzo's unfinished sixty-page manuscript. [8][11] Despite Puzo's agent telling him to turn down the offer, Puzo was desperate for money and accepted the deal. [104] On June 22, the scene where Sonny is killed was shot on a runway at Mitchel Field in Mineola, where three tollbooths were built, along with guard rails, and billboards to set the scene. [190][191], When the nominations for the 45th Academy Awards were revealed on February 12, 1973, The Godfather was nominated for eleven awards. The Godfather was released on March 15, 1972. Coppola demurred. [6], The film is based on Mario Puzo's The Godfather, which remained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 67 weeks and sold over nine million copies in two years. [3], Coppola stated that the idea of a fourth had been discussed but Puzo died on July 2, 1999, before they had a chance to write the film. [62] Other considerations were George C. Scott, Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn and Orson Welles. I made up my mind immediately to read it as badly as possible, as flatly, to not try to act it. [105] Sonny's car was a 1941 Lincoln Continental with holes drilled in it to resemble bullet holes. ), After a meeting with the Italian-American Civil Rights League, an organization formed to combat the use of stereotypes about that group, Coppola agreed to omit the words from the script (though they didn’t appear much anyway).

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