The Godfather
Overview
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film
Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

 directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

, based on the 1969 novel
The Godfather (novel)
The Godfather is a crime novel written by Italian American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Sicilian Mafia family based in New York City and headed by Don Vito Corleone, who became synonymous with the Italian Mafia...

 by Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...

. With a screenplay
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

 by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne
Robert Towne
Robert Towne is an American screenwriter and director. His most notable work may be his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for Roman Polanski's Chinatown .-Film:...

, the film stars Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

, Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

, James Caan
James Caan
James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

, Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

, Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden was an American actor and author. For most of his career as a leading man, he specialized in westerns and film noir, such as Johnny Guitar, The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing. Later on he became noted as a character actor for such roles as Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Dr...

, John Marley
John Marley
John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather...

, Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films from the 1940s through 1970s, including I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Godfather.-Life and career:...

 and Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970...

, and features John Cazale
John Cazale
John Holland Cazale , was an American film and theater actor. During his six-year film career he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.From his...

, Talia Shire
Talia Shire
Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

, and Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

. The story, spanning the years 1945 to 1955, chronicles the experiences of the Italian-American Corleone family
Corleone family
The Corleone family is a fictional Sicilian Mafia family settled in New York City. The family was created by Mario Puzo and appears in his 1969 novel The Godfather, as well as the acclaimed film trilogy of the same name directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The family was founded by Vito Corleone , who...

. Two sequels followed: The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

 in 1974, and The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American gangster film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire...

 in 1990.

The Godfather received Academy Awards for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 and Best Adapted Screenplay, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

.
Quotations

[Speaking to Tom Hagen after Sonny is killed] I want no inquiries made. I want no acts of vengeance. I want you to arrange a meeting with the heads of the Five Families. This war stops now.

[Talking to Johnny Fontane about Jack Woltz] I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.

Note: ranked 2 in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes|American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

Never hate your enemies. It clouds your judgment.

Leave the gun, take the cannoli.

Encyclopedia
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film
Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

 directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

, based on the 1969 novel
The Godfather (novel)
The Godfather is a crime novel written by Italian American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Sicilian Mafia family based in New York City and headed by Don Vito Corleone, who became synonymous with the Italian Mafia...

 by Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...

. With a screenplay
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

 by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne
Robert Towne
Robert Towne is an American screenwriter and director. His most notable work may be his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for Roman Polanski's Chinatown .-Film:...

, the film stars Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

, Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

, James Caan
James Caan
James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

, Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

, Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden was an American actor and author. For most of his career as a leading man, he specialized in westerns and film noir, such as Johnny Guitar, The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing. Later on he became noted as a character actor for such roles as Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Dr...

, John Marley
John Marley
John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather...

, Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films from the 1940s through 1970s, including I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Godfather.-Life and career:...

 and Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970...

, and features John Cazale
John Cazale
John Holland Cazale , was an American film and theater actor. During his six-year film career he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.From his...

, Talia Shire
Talia Shire
Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

, and Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

. The story, spanning the years 1945 to 1955, chronicles the experiences of the Italian-American Corleone family
Corleone family
The Corleone family is a fictional Sicilian Mafia family settled in New York City. The family was created by Mario Puzo and appears in his 1969 novel The Godfather, as well as the acclaimed film trilogy of the same name directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The family was founded by Vito Corleone , who...

. Two sequels followed: The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

 in 1974, and The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American gangster film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire...

 in 1990.

The Godfather received Academy Awards for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 and Best Adapted Screenplay, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

. In addition, it had been ranked third—behind Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Many critics consider it the greatest American film of all time, especially for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure. Citizen Kane was Welles' first feature film...

 (1941) and Casablanca
Casablanca (film)
Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and featuring Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on a man torn between, in...

 (1942)—on the AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies list by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

, and second when the list was published again in 2007.

Plot

During his daughter Connie
Connie Corleone
Constanzia "Connie" Corleone , is a fictional character from The Godfather by Mario Puzo. In the films, Connie is portrayed by Talia Shire, the sister of director Francis Ford Coppola....

's (Talia Shire
Talia Shire
Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

) wedding reception, crime family patriarch Don
Don (honorific)
Don, from Latin dominus, is an honorific in Spanish , Portuguese , and Italian . The female equivalent is Doña , Dona , and Donna , abbreviated "Dª" or simply "D."-Usage:...

 Vito Corleone
Vito Corleone
Vito Andolini Corleone is a fictional character and the main character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy, where he was portrayed by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and by Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II. Premiere Magazine listed Vito...

 (Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

) hears requests for favors, one of which comes from singer Johnny Fontane
Johnny Fontane
John "Johnny" Fontane is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the series of films based upon it. In Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of the novel, he was portrayed by Al Martino, the role having been turned down by Vic Damone....

 (Al Martino
Al Martino
Al Martino was an American singer and actor. He had his greatest success as a singer between the early 1950s and mid 1970s, being described as "one of the great Italian American pop crooners", and also became well known as an actor, particularly for his role as singer Johnny Fontane in The...

) asking for help in landing a movie role that will revitalize his flagging career. The Don's adopted son and family consigliere
Consigliere
Consigliere is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The word was popularized by Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather , and its film adaptation...

, Tom Hagen
Tom Hagen
Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen is a fictional character in the Godfather books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the films. He is the informally adopted son of Don Vito Corleone and serves as the family lawyer and consigliere . Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, he often serves as a voice of...

 (Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

), is dispatched to Hollywood to meet with wealthy studio head Jack Woltz
Jack Woltz
Jack Woltz is a fictional character from the Mario Puzo novel The Godfather and the 1972 film adaptation. In the film, he is portrayed by John Marley.-In the film:...

 (John Marley
John Marley
John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather...

) to fulfill Fontane's request. Woltz angrily refuses to cast Fontane, but when he later finds the severed head of his prized racehorse in his bed, he changes his mind.

Upon Hagen's return, drug lord Virgil Sollozzo
Virgil Sollozzo
Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists in Mario Puzo's The Godfather.In the novel, it is said that he got his nickname because he has a nose like a Turkish scimitar, has a Turkish wife and kids and also because he does much of his business in Turkey...

 (Al Lettieri
Al Lettieri
Alfred Lettieri was an American actor, known for his portrayal of Virgil Sollozzo, in The Godfather....

) asks Don Corleone to protect the rival Tattaglia family's heroin business. Disapproving of drug trafficking and fearing the loss of his political influence, he rejects the proposal and sends his henchman, Luca Brasi
Luca Brasi
Luca Brasi is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as its 1972 film adaptation .-In the novel and film:In The Godfather, Luca Brasi is one of Don Vito Corleone's personal enforcers...

 (Lenny Montana
Lenny Montana
Lenny Montana was an American actor, who played the role of feared hitman Luca Brasi in The Godfather. Prior to becoming an actor, he had a successful career as a professional wrestler,...

), to spy on Sollozzo and the Tattaglias, but they kill Brasi.

Sollozzo's men try to assassinate Don Corleone; he survives, but is severely wounded. Sollozzo then kidnaps Hagen and persuades him to offer Corleone's eldest son, Sonny
Sonny Corleone
Santino "Sonny" Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and its 1972 film adaptation. He also appears as an infant, as a young boy, and an adult in The Godfather Part II....

 (James Caan
James Caan
James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

), the deal previously offered to the Don. As a warning, the Tattaglias send the Corleones fish wrapped in Luca Brasi's bulletproof vest to confirm that he "sleeps with the fishes". Corleone's youngest son, Michael
Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. He is also the main character of the Godfather film trilogy that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in which he was portrayed by Al Pacino, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his...

 (Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

), thwarts a second assassination attempt at the hospital where his father is recuperating, but his jaw is broken by corrupt police Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden
Sterling Hayden was an American actor and author. For most of his career as a leading man, he specialized in westerns and film noir, such as Johnny Guitar, The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing. Later on he became noted as a character actor for such roles as Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Dr...

). Sonny retaliates by having Tattaglia's son, Bruno
Bruno Tattaglia
Bruno Tattaglia is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the first installment of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy of films. He also appeared in The Godfather: The Game, where the player kills him in an act of revenge...

, killed.

Michael, who previously wanted nothing to do with the "family business", volunteers to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey, and Sonny reluctantly approves. While meeting with them at a local restaurant in a supposed attempt to settle the dispute, Michael goes to the bathroom where a gun has been planted for him, returns to the table and kills Sollozzo and McCluskey. He leaves the country and takes refuge in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, where he soon marries a young local woman named Apollonia
Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone
Apollonia Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. She is portrayed by Simonetta Stefanelli in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation.-In the novel:...

 (Simonetta Stefanelli
Simonetta Stefanelli
Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian film actress. She is best known outside Italy for her role in The Godfather , in which she played Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone, Michael Corleone's wife...

). The third Corleone brother, Fredo
Fredo Corleone
Frederico "Fredo" Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. In the fictional universe of the novel and its film adaptation, he is the second son of Vito Corleone , head of a powerful Mafia family...

 (John Cazale
John Cazale
John Holland Cazale , was an American film and theater actor. During his six-year film career he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.From his...

), is sent to Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

, where he is sheltered by Corleone associate Moe Greene
Moe Greene
Moe Greene is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and the first installment of the The Godfather trilogy of films, in which he was portrayed by actor Alex Rocco...

 (Alex Rocco
Alex Rocco
Alex Rocco is an American actor. His roles have ranged from comedy to playing gangsters in Mafia movies.-Early life:...

). Open warfare soon erupts between the Corleones and the other members of the Five Families
Five Families (The Godfather)
The Five Families are five major Mafia crime families in the novel and film The Godfather. The families are based on the real life New York Five Families, five major Italian American crime families.- The Five Families :The Corleones...

, while the authorities begin to clamp down on Mafia activity. Hoping for better things for his favorite son, Vito is particularly distressed when he learns of Michael's involvement.

At one point Sonny impulsively leaves the guarded family compound to confront Connie's husband Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo
Gianni Russo
Louis Giovanni "Gianni" Russo is an American actor, singer and alleged possible member of organized crime, or Cosa Nostra....

), who has been abusing
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

 her. Sonny beats up Carlo on the street and threatens to kill him if he ever hits Connie again. When Carlo again beats Connie, an enraged Sonny speeds for her home. En route, he is ambushed and murdered by machine gun-wielding thugs at a toll booth. Meanwhile, Michael narrowly escapes death in Sicily when his wife is killed by a car bomb intended for him.

To end the gang war, Vito meets with the Five Family heads and settles their dispute, withdrawing his opposition to the Tattaglias' heroin business and swearing to forego revenge for Sonny's death. He deduces from the negotiations that the Tattaglias were acting on behalf of the more powerful Don Emilio Barzini
Emilio Barzini
Don Emilio Barzini is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and in its film adaptation, in which he is portrayed by Richard Conte-In the novel:...

 (Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films from the 1940s through 1970s, including I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Godfather.-Life and career:...

). With his safety now guaranteed, Michael returns home. More than a year later, he marries his longtime girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970...

). As his father withdraws from active control of the Corleone family, and as Fredo is seen as incapable of shouldering the Don's responsibilities, Michael becomes head of the family business, which he promises Kay will be legitimate within five years.

Biding his time, Michael allows rival families to pressure Corleone enterprises and eat away at their revenues, disturbing the caporegime
Caporegime
A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a term used in the Mafia for a high ranking made member of a crime family who heads a "crew" of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization...

s. He directs them not to retaliate, disclosing plans to move family operations to Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 while spinning off New York operations to family members who stay behind. Michael also replaces Hagen with his father as his consigliere; Vito explains to Hagen that he and Michael have longer-range plans for him and the family.

Michael travels to Las Vegas, intending to buy out Greene's stake in the family's casinos. Greene angrily rejects the proposal, deriding the Corleones as a fading power. Michael is particularly angered when Fredo, under the sway of Greene and his associates, warns his brother that Greene is too important to be cast aside.

Vito Corleone collapses and dies in his vegetable garden while playing with his young grandson Anthony
Anthony Corleone
Anthony "Tony" Vito Corleone is a fictional character in The Godfather trilogy of films directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He is portrayed by Anthony Gounaris in the first film, James Gounaris in the second, and singer Franc D'Ambrosio in the third...

. At his funeral, caporegime Salvatore Tessio
Salvatore Tessio
Salvatore "Sal" Tessio is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the film based on it. In the film, Tessio was portrayed by Abe Vigoda. In the sequel, Vigoda reprised the role in a flashback, set in late 1941, at the end of the film...

 (Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

) arranges a meeting between Michael and Don Barzini, now seen as the dominant figure in the New York families. As Vito had warned Michael, Tessio's involvement signals his treachery; the planned meeting is intended to result in Michael's assassination. The meeting is set for the same day as the christening of Connie and Carlo's son, to whom Michael will stand as godfather.

As the christening proceeds, Corleone assassins murder the other New York dons and Moe Greene in Las Vegas. After the christening, Tessio learns that Michael is aware of his betrayal, and is taken off to his death. Michael confronts Carlo over his presumed involvement in setting up Sonny's murder, banishes him from the family and hands him a plane ticket to Las Vegas. After Carlo confesses he betrayed Sonny to Barzini, he is escorted to a waiting car, where he is garroted from behind by Clemenza.

Later, a distraught Connie accuses Michael of having her husband killed. When Kay confronts him privately, he denies killing Carlo, an answer she accepts. Soon afterward, Michael meets with his capos, who greet him as "Don Corleone" and kiss his hand. As Kay watches from another room, the office door is closed.

Cast

  • Marlon Brando
    Marlon Brando
    Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

     as Vito Corleone
    Vito Corleone
    Vito Andolini Corleone is a fictional character and the main character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy, where he was portrayed by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and by Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II. Premiere Magazine listed Vito...

    , the boss (the "Don") of the Corleone family, formerly known as Vito Andolini. He is the father of Santino (Sonny), Federico (Fredo), Michele (Michael) and Constanzia (Connie) and adoptive father to Tom Hagen. Husband of Carmela Corleone. A native Sicilian
    Sicily
    Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

    .
  • Al Pacino
    Al Pacino
    Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

     as Michael Corleone
    Michael Corleone
    Michael Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. He is also the main character of the Godfather film trilogy that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in which he was portrayed by Al Pacino, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his...

    , the Don's youngest son, recently returned from World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    . The only college-educated member of the family, he initially wants nothing to do with the "family business". His evolution from doe-eyed outsider to ruthless boss is the key plotline of the film.
  • James Caan
    James Caan
    James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

     as Santino "Sonny" Corleone
    Sonny Corleone
    Santino "Sonny" Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and its 1972 film adaptation. He also appears as an infant, as a young boy, and an adult in The Godfather Part II....

    , Don Corleone's hot-headed eldest son. As underboss
    Underboss
    Underboss is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The underboss is second in command to the boss...

    , he is being groomed to succeed his father as head of the family.
  • Richard S. Castellano
    Richard S. Castellano
    Richard Salvatore Castellano was an American actor who is best remembered for his Oscar nominated role in Lovers and Other Strangers and his subsequent role as Peter Clemenza in The Godfather.-Biography:...

     as Peter Clemenza, a caporegime
    Caporegime
    A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a term used in the Mafia for a high ranking made member of a crime family who heads a "crew" of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization...

     for the family.
  • Robert Duvall
    Robert Duvall
    Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

     as Tom Hagen
    Tom Hagen
    Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen is a fictional character in the Godfather books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the films. He is the informally adopted son of Don Vito Corleone and serves as the family lawyer and consigliere . Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, he often serves as a voice of...

    , Don Corleone's informally adopted son, he is the family lawyer and consigliere
    Consigliere
    Consigliere is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The word was popularized by Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather , and its film adaptation...

     (counselor). He is German-Irish, not Sicilian.
  • Diane Keaton
    Diane Keaton
    Diane Keaton is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970...

     as Kay Adams-Corleone, Michael's girlfriend and, ultimately, his wife and mother of his children.
  • John Cazale
    John Cazale
    John Holland Cazale , was an American film and theater actor. During his six-year film career he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter.From his...

     as Fredo Corleone
    Fredo Corleone
    Frederico "Fredo" Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. In the fictional universe of the novel and its film adaptation, he is the second son of Vito Corleone , head of a powerful Mafia family...

    , the middle son. Deeply insecure and not very bright, he is considered the weakest of the Corleone brothers.
  • Talia Shire
    Talia Shire
    Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

     as Constanzia "Connie" Corleone
    Connie Corleone
    Constanzia "Connie" Corleone , is a fictional character from The Godfather by Mario Puzo. In the films, Connie is portrayed by Talia Shire, the sister of director Francis Ford Coppola....

    , the youngest child and only daughter. She marries Carlo Rizzi.
  • Abe Vigoda
    Abe Vigoda
    Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

     as Salvatore Tessio
    Salvatore Tessio
    Salvatore "Sal" Tessio is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the film based on it. In the film, Tessio was portrayed by Abe Vigoda. In the sequel, Vigoda reprised the role in a flashback, set in late 1941, at the end of the film...

    , a caporegime for the family.
  • Al Lettieri
    Al Lettieri
    Alfred Lettieri was an American actor, known for his portrayal of Virgil Sollozzo, in The Godfather....

     as Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo
    Virgil Sollozzo
    Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists in Mario Puzo's The Godfather.In the novel, it is said that he got his nickname because he has a nose like a Turkish scimitar, has a Turkish wife and kids and also because he does much of his business in Turkey...

    , a heroin dealer associated with the Tattaglia family.
  • Gianni Russo
    Gianni Russo
    Louis Giovanni "Gianni" Russo is an American actor, singer and alleged possible member of organized crime, or Cosa Nostra....

     as Carlo Rizzi, Connie's husband. Becomes an associate of the Corleone family, and ultimately betrays Sonny to the Barzini family.
  • Sterling Hayden
    Sterling Hayden
    Sterling Hayden was an American actor and author. For most of his career as a leading man, he specialized in westerns and film noir, such as Johnny Guitar, The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing. Later on he became noted as a character actor for such roles as Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Dr...

     as Captain McCluskey, a corrupt police captain on Sollozzo's payroll.
  • Lenny Montana
    Lenny Montana
    Lenny Montana was an American actor, who played the role of feared hitman Luca Brasi in The Godfather. Prior to becoming an actor, he had a successful career as a professional wrestler,...

     as Luca Brasi
    Luca Brasi
    Luca Brasi is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as its 1972 film adaptation .-In the novel and film:In The Godfather, Luca Brasi is one of Don Vito Corleone's personal enforcers...

    , an enforcer utilized by Vito Corleone.
  • Richard Conte
    Richard Conte
    Richard Conte was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films from the 1940s through 1970s, including I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Godfather.-Life and career:...

     as Emilio Barzini
    Emilio Barzini
    Don Emilio Barzini is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and in its film adaptation, in which he is portrayed by Richard Conte-In the novel:...

    , Don of the Barzini family.
  • Al Martino
    Al Martino
    Al Martino was an American singer and actor. He had his greatest success as a singer between the early 1950s and mid 1970s, being described as "one of the great Italian American pop crooners", and also became well known as an actor, particularly for his role as singer Johnny Fontane in The...

     as Johnny Fontane
    Johnny Fontane
    John "Johnny" Fontane is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the series of films based upon it. In Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of the novel, he was portrayed by Al Martino, the role having been turned down by Vic Damone....

    , a world-famous popular singer and godson of Vito. Loosely based on Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

    .
  • John Marley
    John Marley
    John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather...

     as Jack Woltz
    Jack Woltz
    Jack Woltz is a fictional character from the Mario Puzo novel The Godfather and the 1972 film adaptation. In the film, he is portrayed by John Marley.-In the film:...

    , a powerful Hollywood producer.
  • Alex Rocco
    Alex Rocco
    Alex Rocco is an American actor. His roles have ranged from comedy to playing gangsters in Mafia movies.-Early life:...

     as Moe Greene
    Moe Greene
    Moe Greene is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and the first installment of the The Godfather trilogy of films, in which he was portrayed by actor Alex Rocco...

    , a longtime associate of the Corleone family who owns a Las Vegas hotel. Based on Bugsy Siegel
    Bugsy Siegel
    Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was an American gangster who was involved with the Genovese crime family...

    .
  • Morgana King
    Morgana King
    Morgana King is an American singer and actress. She is a noted jazz singer, who is regarded as a "musician's singer." The musical œuvre of her stylized vocal artistry spans a period of more than four decades and has an "appeal that bridges generations, tastes and life styles"."She is, like all...

     as Carmela Corleone, Vito's wife and mother of Sonny, Fredo, Michael, and Connie, and adoptive mother to Tom Hagen
    Tom Hagen
    Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen is a fictional character in the Godfather books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the films. He is the informally adopted son of Don Vito Corleone and serves as the family lawyer and consigliere . Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, he often serves as a voice of...

    .
  • Corrado Gaipa
    Corrado Gaipa
    Corrado Gaipa was an Italian actor born in 1924 in Palermo, Sicily, Italy.Gaipa starred in many Italian films, and he also made an appearance in The Godfather as Don Tommasino. He was also known as the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, portrayed by Alec Guinness, in the Italian version of the Star Wars...

     as Don Tommasino
    Don Tommasino
    Don Lionele Tommasino is a fictional character from The Godfather series of books and films.-Novel and first two films:Tommasino is an old friend of Vito Corleone from Vito's native village of Corleone, Sicily. By the 1920s, he has become a top-ranking soldier in the local Mafia family, headed by...

    , an old friend of Vito Corleone, shelters Michael during his exile in Sicily
  • Johnny Martino
    Johnny Martino
    Johnny Martino is an actor who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.-Biography:As a teenager he began his singing and acting career, and eventually studied with John Cassavetes, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Universal Art Studios, which led to off-Broadway theater work in Hat Full of...

     as Paulie Gatto, a soldier under Peter Clemenza and Vito's driver.
  • Victor Rendina as Philip Tattaglia
    Philip Tattaglia
    Philip Tattaglia is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, the first installment of The Godfather film trilogy and The Godfather video game. He was portrayed by actor Victor Rendina.-In the story:...

    , Don of the Tattaglia family.
  • Simonetta Stefanelli
    Simonetta Stefanelli
    Simonetta Stefanelli is an Italian film actress. She is best known outside Italy for her role in The Godfather , in which she played Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone, Michael Corleone's wife...

     as Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone
    Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone
    Apollonia Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. She is portrayed by Simonetta Stefanelli in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation.-In the novel:...

    , a young girl Michael meets and marries while in Sicily.
  • Louis Guss
    Louis Guss
    Louis Guss was an American character actor with a long line of screen credits, having appeared in hundreds of TV series, feature films and stage productions, specializing in blue-collar ethnic roles, over a five decade career...

     as Don Zaluchi, Don of the Zaluchi family of Detroit.
  • Tom Rosqui
    Tom Rosqui
    Thomas Francis "Tom" Rosqui was an American character actor with extensive stage experience.Rosqui was born in Oakland, California, the son of Sally , a homemaker, and Thomas A. Rosqui, a traffic manager. Rosqui appeared on Broadway in "Sticks and Bones," and "The Price," among others...

     as Rocco Lampone
    Rocco Lampone
    Rocco Lampone is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and its film adaptation, as well as the sequel, The Godfather Part II. He was portrayed in the films by actor Tom Rosqui.-In the films:...

    , a soldier under Clemenza who eventually becomes a caporegime in the Corleone family.
  • Joe Spinell
    Joe Spinell
    Joe Spinell was an American character actor, who appeared in numerous films in the 1970s and 1980s.-Biography:...

     as Willi Cicci
    Willi Cicci
    Willi Cicci is a fictional character in The Godfather film series. The character of Cicci is loosely based on real-life Mafia soldier and informant Joe Valachi.-Appearances:...

    , a soldier in the Corleone family.
  • Richard Bright
    Richard Bright (actor)
    Richard James Bright was an American actor best known for his role as Al Neri in the The Godfather films.-Early life & work:...

     as Al Neri
    Al Neri
    Albert "Al" Neri is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the three films based on it. In all three motion pictures, he is portrayed by actor Richard Bright. In The Godfather: The Game, he is voiced by Gary Chalk...

    , Michael Corleone's bodyguard. He eventually becomes a caporegime.
  • Julie Gregg
    Julie Gregg
    Julie Gregg is an American television, film and stage actress. She generally played supporting or guest, but not lead, roles. She is best known for her portrayal of Sandra Corleone in The Godfather...

     as Sandra Corleone
    Sandra Corleone
    Sandra Corleone is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, the Godfather film trilogy, and the Godfather video game...

    , wife of Sonny

Coppola and Paramount

Francis Ford Coppola was not the first choice to direct. Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 director Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, producer and screenwriter most associated with the "Spaghetti Western" genre.Leone's film-making style includes juxtaposing extreme close-up shots with lengthy long shots...

 was offered the job first, but he declined in order to direct his own gangster opus, Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic crime film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. The story chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime...

, which focused on Jewish-American gangsters. Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich is an American film historian, director, writer, actor, producer, and critic. He was part of the wave of "New Hollywood" directors, which included William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola...

 was then approached but he also declined the offer and made What's Up, Doc?
What's Up, Doc? (1972 film)
What's Up, Doc? is a 1972 screwball comedy film released by Warner Bros., directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, and Madeline Kahn...

 instead. According to Robert Evans
Robert Evans (film producer)
Robert Evans is an American film producer, best known for his work on Rosemary's Baby, Love Story, The Godfather, and Chinatown.-Early life and acting career:...

, head of Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 at the time, Coppola also did not initially want to direct the film because he feared it would glorify the Mafia and violence, and thus reflect poorly on his Sicilian
Sicilian-American
Sicilian Americans are American people from Sicily or of Sicilian heritage. They are considered Italian Americans but are sometimes treated as a separate group due to cultural and historical differences between Sicily and the mainland....

 and Italian heritage; on the other hand, Evans specifically wanted an Italian-American to direct the film because his research had shown that previous films about the Mafia that were directed by non-Italians had fared dismally at the box office, and he wanted to, in his own words, "smell the spaghetti". When Coppola hit upon the idea of making it a metaphor for American capitalism, however, he eagerly agreed to take the helm. At the time, Coppola had directed five feature films, the most notable of which was the adaptation of the stage musical Finian's Rainbow
Finian's Rainbow (film)
Finian's Rainbow is a 1968 American musical film directed by Francis Ford Coppola that stars Fred Astaire and Petula Clark. The screenplay by E. Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy is based on their 1947 stage musical of the same name.-Plot:...

–although he had also received an Academy Award for co-writing Patton
Patton (film)
Patton is a 1970 American biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H...

 in 1970. Coppola was in debt to Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 for $400,000 following budget overruns on George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

's THX 1138
THX 1138
THX 1138 is a 1971 science fiction film directed by George Lucas in his directorial debut. The film is based on a screenplay by Lucas and Walter Murch...

, which Coppola had produced, and he took The Godfather on Lucas's advice. Years later, he said that Paramount chose him because he was a young director (he only turned 31 a month into shooting) who presumably could be pushed around.

There was intense friction between Coppola and Paramount, and several times Coppola was almost replaced. As early as the first week, Coppola was nearly fired when Pacino was badly injured, delaying production. Paramount maintains that its skepticism was due to a rocky start to production, though Coppola believes that the first week went extremely well. The studio thought that Coppola failed to stay on schedule, frequently made production and casting errors, and insisted on unnecessary expenses, and two producers unsuccessfully tried to convince another filmmaker to take Coppola's place. The producers scapegoated the other filmmaker when their attempt to fire Coppola became known. Because the producers told him that the other filmmaker had attempted a coup, Coppola says he was shadowed by a replacement director, who was ready to take over if Coppola was fired. Despite such intense pressure, he managed to defend his decisions and avoid being replaced.

Paramount was in financial trouble at the time of production and was desperate for a "big hit" to boost business, hence the pressure Coppola faced during filming. They wanted The Godfather to appeal to a wide audience and threatened Coppola with a "violence coach" to make the film more exciting. Coppola added a few more violent scenes to keep the studio happy. The scene in which Connie smashed kitchen dishes after finding out Carlo was cheating was added for this reason.

The film was originally budgeted for $2 million, and was scripted as a modern adaptation. However, when Coppola got his hands on the script, he was adamant that it be set in the same time period as the book, from 1945 to 1955. This required a large number of second unit
Second unit
In film, the second unit is a team that shoots subsidiary footage for a motion picture. Its work is distinct from that of the first unit, which shoots all scenes involving principal actors...

 shots, some of which embarrassed Coppola at the time.

Casting

Coppola's casting choices were unpopular with studio executives at Paramount Pictures, particularly Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 as Don Vito Corleone. Coppola's first two choices for the role were both Brando and Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

, but Olivier's agent refused the role, saying, "Lord Olivier is not taking any jobs. He's very sick. He's gonna die soon and he's not interested" (Olivier lived 18 years after the refusal). Paramount, which wanted Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine is an American actor of television and film. His career has spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, including his Academy Award-winning turn in the 1955 film Marty...

, originally refused to allow Coppola to cast Brando in the role, citing difficulties Brando had on recent film sets. One studio executive proposed Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas was an American nightclub comedian and television and film actor, best known for starring in the television sitcom Make Room for Daddy . He was also the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital...

 for the role citing the fact that Don Corleone was a strong "family man." At one point, Coppola was told by Paramount president Charles Bludhorn that "Marlon Brando will never appear in this motion picture". After pleading with the executives, Coppola was allowed to cast Brando only if he appeared in the film for much less salary than his previous films, perform a screen-test, and put up a bond saying that he would not cause a delay in the production (as he had done on previous film sets). Coppola chose Brando over Borgnine on the basis of his screen test, which also won over the Paramount leadership. Bludhorn in particular was captivated by Brando's screen test; when he saw it, he exclaimed, "What are we watching? Who is this old guinea?" Brando later won an Academy Award for his portrayal, which he refused to accept.

The studio originally wanted Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. , better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He has received two Oscars: one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime...

 or Ryan O'Neal
Ryan O'Neal
Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal , better known as Ryan O'Neal, is an American actor best known for his appearances in the ABC nighttime soap opera Peyton Place and for his roles in such films as Paper Moon , Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon , A Bridge Too Far , and Love Story , for which he received...

 to play Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. He is also the main character of the Godfather film trilogy that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in which he was portrayed by Al Pacino, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his...

, but Coppola wanted an unknown who looked like an Italian-American, whom he found in Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

. Pacino was not well known at the time, having appeared in only two minor films, and the studio did not consider him right for the part, in part because of his height. Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

, Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

, Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty born March 30, 1937) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director. He has received a total of fourteen Academy Award nominations, winning one for Best Director in 1982. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards including the Cecil B. DeMille Award.-Early life and...

, Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

, and James Caan
James Caan
James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

 also auditioned. At one point, Caan was the first choice to play Michael, while Carmine Caridi
Carmine Caridi
Carmine Caridi is an American television and film actor. He has appeared in a wide variety of roles over the past 30 years. He lives in West Hollywood.- Career :...

 was signed as elder brother Sonny. Pacino was given the role only after Coppola threatened to quit the production; Caan stated that Coppola envisioned Michael to be the Sicilian-looking one and Sonny was the Americanized version. The studio agreed to Pacino on the condition that Caan was cast as Sonny instead of Caridi, despite the former's Jewish heritage and the latter closely matching the character in the novel (a six-foot-four, black-haired Italian-American bull). Coppola and Puzo would subsequently create a role for Caridi in the sequels.

Bruce Dern
Bruce Dern
Bruce MacLeish Dern is an American film actor. He also appeared as a guest star in numerous television shows. He frequently takes roles as a character actor, often playing unstable and villainous characters...

, Paul Newman
Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...

, and Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen
Terrence Steven "Steve" McQueen was an American movie actor. He was nicknamed "The King of Cool." His "anti-hero" persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination...

 were considered for the role of Tom Hagen
Tom Hagen
Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen is a fictional character in the Godfather books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the films. He is the informally adopted son of Don Vito Corleone and serves as the family lawyer and consigliere . Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, he often serves as a voice of...

 that eventually went to Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

 auditioned for Carlo Rizzi and Paulie Gatto, Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins was an American actor, best known for his Oscar-nominated role in Friendly Persuasion and as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho , and its three sequels.-Early life:...

 for Sonny, and Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow is an American actress, singer, humanitarian, and fashion model.Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison Mackenzie in the soap opera Peyton Place, and for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra...

 auditioned for Kay. William Devane
William Devane
William Joseph Devane is an American film, television and theater actor.-Life and career:Devane was born in Albany, New York in 1937 or 1939 , the son of Joseph Devane, who was Franklin D. Roosevelt's chauffeur when he was Governor of New York...

 was seen for the role of Moe Greene. Mario Adorf
Mario Adorf
Mario Adorf is a German film and stage actor, best known for his lead role in the 1978 film The Tin Drum.-Biography:...

 was approached for a role as well. A then-unknown Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

 auditioned for the roles of Michael, Sonny, Carlo, and Paulie. He was cast as Paulie, but Coppola arranged a "trade" with The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight is a 1969 novel written by Jimmy Breslin and a film of the same name based on the book and released in 1971 starring Robert De Niro. The novel is a roman à clef of the life of Joey Gallo whose fictional counterpart, Kid Sally Palumbo, is played by Jerry Orbach...

 to get Al Pacino from that film. De Niro later played the young Vito Corleone in Part II, winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role.

To some extent, the film was a family affair for Francis Ford Coppola. Carmine Coppola
Carmine Coppola
Carmine Coppola was an American composer, flautist, editor, musical director, and songwriter. Coppola was a composer and conductor who contributed to many of the musical scores in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III, and Apocalypse Now directed by his son Francis Ford...

, his father, who had a distinguished career as a composer, conductor and arranger, wrote additional music for the film and appeared in a bit part as a piano player, and Carmine's wife, Italia Coppola, was an extra. The director's sister, Talia Shire
Talia Shire
Talia Shire is an American actress most known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films and Adrian Balboa in the Rocky series.-Personal life:...

, was cast as Connie Corleone
Connie Corleone
Constanzia "Connie" Corleone , is a fictional character from The Godfather by Mario Puzo. In the films, Connie is portrayed by Talia Shire, the sister of director Francis Ford Coppola....

, and his infant daughter, Sofia
Sofia Coppola
Sofia Carmina Coppola is an American screenwriter, film director, actress, and producer.In 2003 she received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation, and became the third woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Directing...

, played Connie's and Carlo's newborn son, Michael Francis Rizzi, in the climactic baptism scene near the movie's end. Coppola also cast his sons as Tom Hagen's sons, Frank and Andrew. They are seen in the Sonny-Carlo street fight scene and behind Pacino and Duvall during the funeral scene.

Star salaries

Al Pacino, James Caan and Diane Keaton each received $35,000 for their work on The Godfather, and Robert Duvall got $36,000 for eight weeks of work. Marlon Brando was paid $50,000 for six weeks and weekly expenses of $1,000, plus 5% of the film, capped at $1.5 million. Brando later sold his points back to Paramount for $300,000.

Filming

Most of the principal photography took place from March 29, 1971 to August 6, 1971, although a scene with Pacino and Keaton was shot in the autumn—there were a total of 77 days of shooting, fewer than the 83 for which the production had budgeted.

One of the movie's most shocking moments involved the real severed head of a horse. Animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 groups protested the inclusion of the scene. Coppola later stated that the horse's head was delivered to him from a dog food company; a horse had not been killed specifically for the movie. This scene was shot in Port Washington, New York
Port Washington, New York
Port Washington is a hamlet and census-designated place in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the community population was 15,846....

.

In the novel, Jack Woltz, the movie producer whose horse's head is put in his bed, is also shown to be a pedophile
Pedophilia
As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children...

 as Tom Hagen sees a young girl (presumably one of Woltz's child stars) crying while walking out of Woltz's room. This scene was cut from the theatrical release but can be found on the DVD (though Woltz can still briefly be seen kissing the girl on the cheek in his studio in the film).

The shooting of Moe Greene through the eye was inspired by the death of gangster Bugsy Siegel
Bugsy Siegel
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was an American gangster who was involved with the Genovese crime family...

. To achieve the effect, actor Alex Rocco
Alex Rocco
Alex Rocco is an American actor. His roles have ranged from comedy to playing gangsters in Mafia movies.-Early life:...

's glasses had two tubes hidden in their frames. One had fake blood in it, and the other had a BB and compressed air. When the gun was shot, the compressed air shot the BB through the glasses, shattering them from the inside. The other tube then released the fake blood.

The equally startling scene of McCluskey's shooting was accomplished by building up a fake forehead on top of actor Sterling Hayden. A gap was cut in the center, filled with fake blood, and capped off with a plug of prosthetic flesh. During filming, the plug was quickly yanked out with monofilament fishing line, making a bloody hole suddenly appear in Hayden's head.

The opening scene of The Godfather is a long, slow zoom, starting with a close-up of the undertaker, Bonasera, who is petitioning Don Corleone, and ending with the Godfather, seen from behind, framing the scene. This zoom, which lasts for about three minutes, was shot with a computer-controlled zoom lens designed by Tony Karp. The lens was also used in the making of Silent Running
Silent Running
Silent Running is a 1972 environmentally themed science fiction film starring Bruce Dern and directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had previously worked as a special effects supervisor on such science fiction films as 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Andromeda Strain.-Plot summary:Silent Running depicts a...

.

The scene with Michael driving with McCluskey and Sollozzo avoided the use of back-projection because of cost. Technicians moved lights behind the car to create the illusion.

The cat in the opening scene used to hang around the studio, and was simply dropped in Brando's lap by the propman at the last minute.

Locations

Locations around New York City were used for the film, including the then-closed flagship store of Best & Company
Best & Co.
Best & Co. was a children's clothing retailer based in Greenwich, Connecticut. It reestablished the name of the New York City-based Best & Co. clothing chain that operated from 1879 to 1971.-History:...

 on Fifth Avenue, which was dressed up and used for the scene in which Pacino and Keaton are Christmas shopping. At least one location in Los Angeles was used also (for the exterior of Woltz's mansion), for which neither Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 nor John Marley
John Marley
John Marley was an American actor who was known for his role as Phil Cavalleri in Love Story and as Jack Woltz— the defiant film mogul who awakens to find the severed head of his prized horse in his bed—in The Godfather...

 were available; in some shots, it is possible to see that extras are standing in for the two actors. A scene with Pacino and Keaton was filmed in the town of Ross, California
Ross, California
Ross is a small incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Ross is located west-southwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 36 feet . The population was 2,415 at the 2010 census...

. The Sicilian towns of Savoca
Savoca
Savoca is a comune in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 170 km east of Palermo and about 30 km southwest of Messina....

 and Forza d'Agrò
Forza d'Agrò
Forza d'Agrò is an Italian town and comune in Sicily, part of the Province of Messina.Forza d'Agrò is on the lower peak of a small mountain, while on the higher peak that overlooks the town are the remains of a Norman castle. Much of the town consists of traditional buildings and stone paved lanes...

 outside of Taormina were also used for exterior locations. Interiors were shot at Filmways
Filmways
Filmways, Inc. was a television and film production company founded by American film executive Martin Ransohoff in 1958...

 Studio in New York.

A side entrance to Bellevue Hospital was used for Michael's confrontation with police Captain McCluskey. As of 2007, the steps and gate to the hospital were still there but victim to neglect. The hospital interiors, when Michael visits his father there, were filmed at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
__notoc__The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, located at East 14th Street and Second Avenue in lower Manhattan, New York City, is one of the most prominent otolaryngology and ophthalmology hospitals in the world, providing primary inpatient and outpatient care in those specialties...

 on 14th Street
14th Street (Manhattan)
14th Street is a major crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The street rivals the size of some of the well-known avenues of the city and is an important business location....

, in Manhattan, New York City.

The scene in which Don Barzini is assassinated was filmed on the steps of the New York State Supreme Court building on Foley Square
Foley Square
Foley Square is a street intersection and green space in the Civic Center neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City and – by extension – the surrounding area, which is dominated by civic buildings. The space is bordered by Worth Street, Centre Street and Lafayette Street and lies...

 in Manhattan, New York City.

The wedding scene and the Corleone family compound was shot at 110 Longfellow Avenue in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

. The numerous Tudor homes on the block gave the impression that they were part of the same "compound." Paramount built a Plexiglas "stone wall" which traversed the street — the same wall where Santino smashed the camera. Many of the extras in the wedding scene were local Italian-Americans who were asked by Coppola to drink homemade wine, enjoy the traditional Italian food, and participate in the scene as though it were an actual wedding. Food was catered by "Demyan's Hofbrau" a restaurant on Van Duzer Street which is no longer in existence. The wedding cake was prepared by a bakery on Port Richmond Avenue.

Two churches were used to film the baptism scene. The interior shots were filmed at Old St. Patrick's
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, New York
The Basilica of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral, or Old St. Patrick's, is located at 260-264 Mulberry Street between Prince and Houston Streets in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, with the primary entrance currently located on Mott Street...

 in New York. For the baptism, Bach
Bạch
Bạch is a Vietnamese surname. The name is transliterated as Bai in Chinese and Baek, in Korean.Bach is the anglicized variation of the surname Bạch.-Notable people with the surname Bạch:* Bạch Liêu...

's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor is an organ piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. Presumably composed early in Bach's career, it is one of his most important and well-known works, and an important influence on 19th and 20th century passacaglias: Robert Schumann described the variations of the...

 was used, as were other Bach works for the pipe organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

. The exterior scenes following the baptism were filmed at The Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne in the Pleasant Plains
Pleasant Plains, Staten Island
Pleasant Plains is a neighborhood located on Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, New York, the most populous city in the United States....

 section of Staten Island. In 1973 much of the church was destroyed in a fire. Only the façade and steeple of the original church remained, and were later incorporated into a new structure.

The funeral scene was filmed at Calvary Cemetery
Calvary Cemetery, Queens
The Roman Catholic Calvary Cemetery in Queens has the largest number of interments of any cemetery in the United States.The offices of Calvary Cemetery are located at 49-02 Laurel Hill Blvd. in Woodside in the New York City borough of Queens, New York. The cemetery is managed by the Trustees of...

 in Woodside, Queens. The toll booth scene was filmed at the then construction site of Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York
Uniondale, New York
Uniondale is a hamlet as well as a suburb of New York City in Nassau County, New York, United States, on Long Island, in the Town of Hempstead. The population was 24,759 at the 2010 United States Census.-Geography:...

 on Long Island. It also utilized the former Mitchel Field, and the roadway used was once a runway.

Critical reception

The film is greatly respected among international critics and the public and is routinely listed as one of the greatest films ever made. It was voted greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

, and is now ranked as the second greatest film in American cinematic history—behind Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Many critics consider it the greatest American film of all time, especially for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure. Citizen Kane was Welles' first feature film...

—by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

. In the 2002 Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound is a British monthly film magazine published by the British Film Institute .Sight & Sound was first published in 1932 and in 1934 management of the magazine was handed to the nascent BFI, which still publishes the magazine today...

 poll of international critics, The Godfather (along with The Godfather Part II) was ranked as the fourth best film of all time. Both The Godfather and The Godfather Part II were selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

 in 1990 and 1993, respectively.

The Godfather has a 100% "Certified Fresh Rating" on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 9.1/10 based on 74 reviews.

The soundtrack
The Godfather (soundtrack)
-External links:**...

's main theme
Theme music
Theme music is a piece that is often written specifically for a radio program, television program, video game or movie, and usually played during the title sequence and/or end credits...

 by Nino Rota
Nino Rota
Nino Rota was an Italian composer and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti...

 was also critically acclaimed; the main theme ("Speak Softly Love
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
"Speak Softly Love " is a song written for The Godfather , the first film in the Godfather trilogy. While its instrumental version is simply known as "The Godfather Love Theme", "Speak Softly Love" is the vocal version. The words are by Larry Kusik but the music itself is by Nino Rota...

") is well-known and widely used (see Score Controversy for more information).

Director Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

 believed that The Godfather was possibly the greatest movie ever made, and had without question the best cast.

Previous gangster movies had looked at the gangs from the perspective of an outraged outsider. In contrast, The Godfather presents the gangster's perspective of the Mafia as a response to corrupt society. Although the Corleone family is presented as immensely rich and powerful, no scenes depict prostitution, gambling, loan sharking or other forms of racketeering. Some critics argue that the setting of a criminal counterculture allows for unapologetic gender stereotyping, and is an important part of the film's appeal ("You can act like a man!", Don Vito tells a weepy Johnny Fontane).

Real-life gangsters responded enthusiastically to the film, with many of them feeling it was a portrayal of how they were supposed to act. Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano
Sammy Gravano
Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano is a former underboss of the Gambino crime family. He is known as the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss, by agreeing to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and turn state's evidence.Originally a mobster for the Colombo crime...

, the former Underboss in the Gambino crime family
Gambino crime family
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia . The group is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963...

, stated: "I left the movie stunned... I mean I floated out of the theater. Maybe it was fiction, but for me, then, that was our life. It was incredible. I remember talking to a multitude of guys, made guys
Made man
A made man, also known as a Mafioso , made guy, man of honor, or uomo d'onore , is someone who has been officially inducted into the Sicilian or American Mafia . They may also be referred to by some as a goodfella or wiseguy...

, who felt exactly the same way." According to Anthony Fiato
Anthony Fiato
Craig Anthony Fiato, also known as Anthony the Animal and Tony Rome, was an American mobster and hitman for the Los Angeles crime family who later became an undercover informant and government witness...

 after seeing the film, Patriarca crime family
Patriarca crime family
The Patriarca crime family, also known as the New England crime family and the Providence crime family, is an Italian-American organized crime syndicate based in New England, specifically Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts, and is part of the Italian-American Mafia or "La Cosa Nostra"...

 members Paulie Intiso and Nicky Giso altered their speech patterns closer to that of Vito Corleone's. Intiso would frequently swear and use poor grammar; but after the movie came out, he started to articulate and philosophize more.

Awards and honors

Academy Awards
1. Best Actor, Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

2. Best Picture, Albert S. Ruddy
3. Best Adapted Screenplay, Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...

, Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

Golden Globe Awards
1. Best Picture — Drama
2. Best Director, Francis Ford Coppola
3. Best Actor — Drama, Marlon Brando
4. Best Original Score, Nino Rota
Nino Rota
Nino Rota was an Italian composer and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti...

5. Best Screenplay, Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
BAFTA Awards
1. Best Music, Nino Rota

The Godfather won the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, Best Writing (adapted screenplay) for Francis Coppola and Mario Puzo, and Best Actor in a Leading Role
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for Marlon Brando, who declined to collect the award and sent Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 actress Sacheen Littlefeather
Sacheen Littlefeather
Sacheen Littlefeather is a Native American activist who donned Apache dress and presented a speech on behalf of actor Marlon Brando, for his performance in The Godfather, when he boycotted the 45th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 1973, in protest of the treatment of Native Americans by the...

 to the Oscars in his place to explain his reasons. The film had been nominated for eight other Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing (Charles Grenzbach
Charles Grenzbach
Charles Grenzbach was an American sound engineer. He won an Academy Award for Best Sound and was nominated for two more in the same category...

, Richard Portman
Richard Portman
Richard Portman is an American sound engineer. He won an Academy Award for Best Sound and has been nominated for ten more in the same category...

, Christopher Newman). The film also had a Best Original Score nomination but was disqualified when found out that Nino Rota used another score. Despite having three nominees of Best Supporting Actor award, they all lost to Joel Grey
Joel Grey
Joel Grey is an American stage and screen actor, singer, and dancer, best known for his role as the Master of Ceremonies in both the stage and film adaptation of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret. He has won the Academy Award, Tony Award and Golden Globe Award...

 in Cabaret
Cabaret (film)
Cabaret is a 1972 musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing National Socialist Party....

. It also lost the Best Director, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing to Cabaret.

The film won five Golden Globes, one Grammy
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

, and numerous other awards.

Score controversy

Nino Rota
Nino Rota
Nino Rota was an Italian composer and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti...

's score was removed at the last minute from the list of 1973 Academy Award nominees when it was discovered that he had used the theme in Eduardo De Filippo
Eduardo De Filippo
Eduardo De Filippo was an Italian actor, playwright, screenwriter, author and poet, best known for his Neapolitan works Filumena Marturano and Napoli Milionaria.-Biography:...

's 1958 comedy Fortunella
Fortunella (film)
Fortunella is a 1958 Italian film directed by Eduardo De Filippo, with script of Federico Fellini.-Music:The film's score, composed by Nino Rota, notably contains three memorable motifs, two of which would be reused in Rota's most famous film compositions: La Dolce Vita and The Godfather...

. Although in the earlier film the theme was played in a brisk, staccato and comedic style, the melody was the same as the love theme from The Godfather
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
"Speak Softly Love " is a song written for The Godfather , the first film in the Godfather trilogy. While its instrumental version is simply known as "The Godfather Love Theme", "Speak Softly Love" is the vocal version. The words are by Larry Kusik but the music itself is by Nino Rota...

, and for that reason was deemed ineligible for an Oscar. Despite this, The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

 won a 1974 Oscar for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

, although it featured the same love theme that made the 1972 score ineligible.

Current rankings

  • The film is ranked at the top of Metacritic
    Metacritic
    Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

    's top 100 list, and in the top 10 on Rotten Tomatoes
    Rotten Tomatoes
    Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

    ' all-time best list (100% "Freshness").
  • In 2002, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II
    The Godfather Part II
    The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

     reached #2 on Film4
    Film4
    Film4 is a free digital television channel available in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, owned and operated by Channel 4, that screens films.-Programming:...

    's list of The 100 Greatest Films of All Time.
  • Entertainment Weekly
    Entertainment Weekly
    Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

     named The Godfather the greatest film ever made.
  • The Godfather was voted in at #1 on Empire
    Empire (magazine)
    Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

     magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time in November 2008.
  • In Time Outs 2003 readers' poll, The Godfather was ranked the second best film of all time, after Some Like It Hot
    Some Like It Hot
    Some Like It Hot is an American comedy film, made in 1958 and released in 1959, which was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and George Raft. The supporting cast includes Joe E. Brown, Pat O'Brien and Nehemiah Persoff. The film is a remake by Wilder and I....

    .

American Film Institute

  • 1998 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

     - #3
  • 2001 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

     - #11
  • 2003 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

    :
    • Vito Corleone - Nominated Villain
  • 2005 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes is a list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The American Film Institute revealed the list on June 21, 2005, in a three-hour television program on CBS...

    :
    • "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." - #2
    • "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli
      Cannoli
      Cannoli are Sicilian pastry desserts. The singular is cannolo , meaning "little tube", with the etymology stemming from the Latin "canna", or reed. Cannoli originated in Sicily and are an essential part of Sicilian cuisine...

      ." - Nominated
    • "It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes." - Nominated
  • 2005 AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
    AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
    Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores is a list of the top 25 film scores in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute in 2005.-The List:-External links:**...

     - #5
  • 2007 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #2
  • 2008 AFI's 10 Top 10
    AFI's 10 Top 10
    AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

     - #1 gangster
    Gangster
    A gangster is a criminal who is a member of a gang. Some gangs are considered to be part of organized crime. Gangsters are also called mobsters, a term derived from mob and the suffix -ster....

     film

Cinematic influence

Although many films about gangsters had been made before The Godfather, Coppola's sympathetic treatment of the Corleone family and their associates, and his portrayal of mobsters as characters of considerable psychological depth and complexity was hardly usual in the genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

. This was even more the case with The Godfather Part II, and the success of those two films, critically, artistically and financially, opened the doors for more and varied depictions of mobster life, including films such as Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

's Goodfellas
Goodfellas
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese...

 and TV series such as David Chase
David Chase
David Chase is an American writer, director, and producer of television series. Chase has worked in television for more than 30 years; he has produced and written for shows as The Rockford Files, I'll Fly Away, and Northern Exposure. He has created two original series; the first, Almost Grown,...

's The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

.

The image of the Mafia as being a feudal organization with the Don being both the protector of the small fry and the collector of obligations from them to repay his services, which The Godfather helped to popularize, is now an easily recognizable cultural trope
Trope (literature)
A literary trope is the usage of figurative language in literature, or a figure of speech in which words are used in a sense different from their literal meaning...

, as is that of the Don's family as a "royal family". (This has spread into the real world as well cf. John Gotti
John Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

  the "Dapper Don", and his celebritized family.) This portrayal stands in contrast to the more sordid reality of lower level Mafia "familial" entanglements, as depicted in various post-Godfather Mafia fare, such as Scorsese's Mean Streets
Mean Streets
Mean Streets is a 1973 drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin. The film stars Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. It was released by Warner Bros. on October 2, 1973...

 and Casino
Casino (film)
Casino is a 1995 crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese...

, and also to the grittier hard-boiled
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

 pre-Godfather films.

In the 1999 film Analyze This
Analyze This
Analyze This is a 1999 gangster comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the screenplay with playwright Kenneth Lonergan and Peter Tolan. The film stars Robert De Niro as a mafioso and Billy Crystal as a psychiatrist...

, which starred Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

 and Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal
William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, writer, producer, comedian and film director. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap and became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the critical and box office successes...

, many references are made both directly and indirectly to The Godfather. One dream scene is almost a shot by shot replica of the attempted assassination of Vito Corleone (Crystal playing the Don and De Niro playing Fredo). In the 1990 comedy The Freshman
The Freshman (1990 film)
The Freshman is a 1990 American crime comedy film starring Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick, in which Brando parodies his portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather....

, Marlon Brando plays a role reminiscent of Don Corleone. And one of those most unlikely homages to this film came in 2004, when the PG-rated, animated family film Shark Tale
Shark Tale
Shark Tale is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. In the story, a young fish named Oscar falsely claims to have killed the son of a shark mob boss to win favour with the mob boss' enemies and advance his own community standing...

 was released with a storyline that nodded at this and other movies about the Mafia. Similarly, Rugrats in Paris, based on a Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon (TV channel)
Nickelodeon, often simply called Nick and originally named Pinwheel, is an American children's channel owned by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom International. The channel is primarily aimed at children ages 7–17, with the exception of their weekday morning program block aimed at preschoolers...

 children's show, began with an extended parody of The Godfather.

The 2005 Indian
Cinema of India
The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic culture of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and...

 film Sarkar
Sarkar (film)
Sarkar is a 2005 Indian dramatic thriller film set in the world of politics and crime, directed by Ram Gopal Varma...

, directed by Ram Gopal Varma
Ram Gopal Varma
Ram Gopal Varma is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer...

, with Amitabh Bachan in the lead role as a "Don" and his son Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan is an Indian actor and producer. He is the son of Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan and is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai....

 as the equivalent of Michael, is modeled on The Godfather with due credits appearing at the beginning of the film.

In the DVD commentary for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of the series' internal chronology....

, George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 stated that the interwoven scenes of Anakin Skywalker killing Separatist leaders and Palpatine
Palpatine
Palpatine is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the Star Wars saga, portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in the feature films.Palpatine first appeared as the unnamed Emperor of the Galactic Empire in the 1980 film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back...

 announcing the beginning of the Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire (Star Wars)
The Galactic Empire is one of the main factions in the fictional universe of Star Wars. It is a galaxy-spanning regime established by the series' lead villain, Palpatine, to replace the Galactic Republic in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Galactic Empire is introduced in Star Wars...

 was an homage to the christening and assassination sequence in The Godfather.

Chronological versions

In 1975, Coppola edited The Godfather and The Godfather Part II together for TV, putting the scenes in chronological order and adding some previously unseen footage, but also toning down the violence
Violence
Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

, sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

, and profanity
Profanity
Profanity is a show of disrespect, or a desecration or debasement of someone or something. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures, or other social behaviors that are socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, desecrating, or other forms.The...

. It is rated TV-14. This version of the story was called The Godfather Saga (1972), and made its television network debut on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 on November 18, 1974. In 1981, Paramount released the Godfather Epic box set which combined parts I & II in chronological order, again with additional scenes not shown in theaters. In 1992, Coppola would again re-edit all three Godfather movies (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III) in chronological order dubbed The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980. It was released on VHS and laserdisc in 1993 but has yet (as of 2008) to appear on DVD. The total run time for this version is 583 minutes (9 hours, 43 minutes). This version spanned five VHS tapes and incorporated new previously deleted scenes that had not been seen in The Godfather Saga. This set also included a sixth VHS tape: "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" a making-of documentary.

Additional scenes

None of these releases contains all the additional scenes in one package. The Saga contains scenes not in the Epic or Trilogy, the Epic contains scenes not in the Saga or Trilogy, and the Trilogy contains scenes not in the Saga or the Epic. Fans have longed for a complete release of the entire series though Francis Ford Coppola has stated that the films were meant to be seen in their original form and has not agreed (as of 2008) to a chronological release.

2001 DVD release

The Godfather was released on DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 for the first time on October 9, 2001 as part of a DVD package called The Godfather DVD Collection. The collection contained all three films with commentary from Francis Ford Coppola and a bonus disc that featured a 73-minute documentary from 1991 titled The Godfather Family: A Look Inside, plus a 1971 documentary. The package also contained deleted footage, including the additional scenes originally contained in The Godfather Saga; "Francis Coppola's Notebook" a look inside a notebook the director kept with him at all times during the production of the film; rehearsal footage; and video segments on Gordon Willis's cinematography, Nino Rota's and Carmine Coppola's music, Francis Ford Coppola, locations and Mario Puzo's screenplays. The DVD also held a Corleone family tree, a "Godfather" timeline, and footage of the Academy Award acceptance speeches.

The restoration was confirmed by Francis Ford Coppola during a question-and-answer session for The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American gangster film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire...

, when he said that he had just seen the new transfer and it was "terrific".

The Coppola Restoration

After a careful restoration of the aging first two movies, The Godfather movies were released on DVD and Blu-ray
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 on September 23, 2008 under the title The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration. The work was done by Robert A. Harris
Robert A. Harris
Robert A. Harris is a film historian and preservationist who specializes in restoring the large-format widescreen films of the 1950s. He has restored and reconstructed a number of classic films including Lawrence of Arabia , Spartacus , My Fair Lady , Vertigo Rear Window , as well as The...

 of the Film Preserve. The Blu-ray box set (four discs) includes high-definition extra features on the restoration and film. They are included on disc 5 of the DVD box set (five discs).

Other extras are ported over from Paramount's 2001 DVD release. There are slight differences between the repurposed extras on the DVD and Blu-ray sets, with the HD box having more content.

Paramount lists the new (HD) extra features as:
  • Godfather World
  • The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't
  • ...when the shooting stopped
  • Emulsional Rescue Revealing The Godfather
  • The Godfather on the Red Carpet
  • Four Short Films on The Godfather
    • The Godfather vs. The Godfather, Part II
    • Cannoli
    • Riffing on the Riffing
    • Clemenza

In popular culture

The Godfather, along with the other films in the trilogy, had a strong impact on the public at large. Don Vito Corleone's line "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" was voted as the second most memorable line in cinema history in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes is a list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The American Film Institute revealed the list on June 21, 2005, in a three-hour television program on CBS...

 by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

. The line actually originates in the French novel Le Père Goriot
Le Père Goriot
Le Père Goriot is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac , included in the Scènes de la vie Parisienne section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine...

, by Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon....

, where Vautrin
Vautrin
Vautrin is a character from the novels of French writer Honoré de Balzac in the La Comédie humaine series. His real name is Jacques Collin...

 tells Eugène
Eugène de Rastignac
Eugène de Rastignac is a fictional character from La Comédie humaine series of novels by Honoré de Balzac. He appears as a main character in Le Père Goriot and his social advancement in the post-revolutionary French world depicted by Balzac can be followed through Rastignac's various appearances...

 that he is "making him an offer that he cannot refuse".

An indication of the continuing influence of The Godfather and its sequels can be gleaned from the many references to it which have appeared in every medium of popular culture in the decades since the film's initial release. That these homages, quotations, visual references, satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

s and parodies
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 continue to pop up even now shows clearly the film's enduring impact. In the television show The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

, Tony Soprano
Tony Soprano
Anthony John "Tony" Soprano, Sr. is an Italian-American fictional character and the protagonist on the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, on which he is portrayed by James Gandolfini. The character was conceived by The Sopranos creator and show runner David Chase, who was also largely...

's topless bar is named Bada Bing after the line in The Godfather when Sonny says, "You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing! You blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit."

The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

 makes numerous references to The Godfather, including one scene in the episode "Strong Arms of the Ma
Strong Arms of the Ma
"Strong Arms of the Ma" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons fourteenth season which aired on February 2, 2003. It is the 300th episode to be broadcast.-Plot:...

" that parodies the Sonny-Carlo streetfight scene, with Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 beating a mugger in front of an animated version of the same New York streetscape, including using the lid of a trash can during the fight. The later episode "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
"The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer" is the season premiere of The Simpsons’ eighteenth season and first aired September 10, 2006. Lisa meets Fat Tony's son, Michael, who does not want to enter the family business of the mafia, but wants to pursue his dream of being a chef...

" parodies the film's ending scene, with Lisa Simpson
Lisa Simpson
Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening...

 taking Kay Adams' role and Fat Tony
Fat Tony
Marion Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico is a recurring character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Joe Mantegna and first appeared in the third season episode "Bart the Murderer"...

's son Michael standing in for Michael Corleone.

The Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 animated show Animaniacs
Animaniacs
Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, usually referred to as simply Animaniacs, is an American animated series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and produced by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The cartoon was the second animated series produced by the collaboration of Steven...

 featured several segments called "Goodfeathers," with pigeons spoofing characters from various gangster films. One of the characters is "The Godpigeon", an obvious parody of Brando's portrayal of Vito Corleone.

John Belushi
John Belushi
John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and musician, best known as one of the original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, The Star of the Films National Lampoon's Animal House and the The Blues Brothers and for fronting the American blues and soul...

 appeared in a Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

 sketch as Vito Corleone in a therapy session trying to properly express his inner feelings towards the Tattaglia Family, who, in addition to muscling in on his territory, "also, they shot my son Santino 56 times."

In You've Got Mail
You've Got Mail
You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The film is about two letter-writing lovers who are completely unaware that their sweetheart is in...

, Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

 quotes The Godfather, positing:
The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." What day of the week is it? "Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday."

Video game

In March 2006, a video game version of The Godfather was released by Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, Inc. is a major American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers...

. Before his death, Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 provided voice work for Vito; however, owing to poor sound quality from Brando's failing health, only parts of the recordings could be used. A sound-alike's voice had to be used in the "missing parts". James Caan
James Caan
James Caan is an American actor. He is best known for his starring roles in The Godfather, Thief, Misery, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song, Rollerball, Kiss Me Goodbye, Elf, and El Dorado...

, Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

, and Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

 lent their voices and likenesses as well, and several other Godfather cast members had their likeness in the game. However, Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

's likeness and voice (Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. He is also the main character of the Godfather film trilogy that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in which he was portrayed by Al Pacino, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his...

) was not in the game as Al Pacino sold his likeness and voice exclusively for use in the Scarface
Scarface: The World is Yours
Scarface: The World Is Yours is a video game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games. The game is based on and is a quasi-sequel to the 1983 motion picture Scarface starring Al Pacino reprising his role as Tony Montana, with André Sogliuzzo providing Montana's...

 video game. Francis Ford Coppola said in April 2005 that he was not informed and did not approve of Paramount allowing the game's production, and openly criticized the move.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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