The Godfather Opened in March 1972

On the Ides of March (March 15) in 1972, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) opened in theaters. Both Coppola, who was only 31 when he signed on to direct the film, and the book’s author Mario Puzo fought together to convince Paramount Pictures to cast Marlin Brando as Vito Corleone, despite the studio’s concerns about Brando’s notorious moody behavior.

Orson Welles and Edgar G. Robinson, among others were considered for the lead role, and Burt Lancaster reportedly sought the role too. It is interesting but hard to imagine anyone besides Brando as the Godfather.

Coppola and Puzo were right about the casting, of course, as Brando went on to win the Best Actor Academy Award, although he famously sent Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse the award on his behalf. The film also won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Now, the movie is considered one of the greatest of all time, with a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film went on to spawn two sequels, but in recent years Coppola has argued that it should have ended with the first film. He stated that the first movie “wrapped up everything” and “[t]o make more than one Godfather was just greed.” Do you agree? Leave your two cents in the comments.

Bonus Godfather Trivia
: For the anniversary, Time Entertainment has “40 things You Didn’t Know About The Godfather.”

  • Marlon Brando’s Lonely Oscar
  • Nevada’s Legalized Gambling and Bugsy in the Movies
  • The Perfect Song for Every Film: “Walk of Life”
  • That Time George Kennedy Gave a Great Movie Its Name
  • Breaking Down the Ending Segment of “Goodfellas”
  • Tommy Lee Jones and “The Homesman” (Missed Movies)
  • (Some Related Chimesfreedom Posts)

    2 thoughts on “The Godfather Opened in March 1972”

    1. Thought I’d have to watch the movie again, but that clip shows pretty much enough to tide me over. wfuv is doing a Godfather theme for the Question of the Day, too. Meanwhile, my strongest association with the movie is that my dad used to whistle the theme song all the time. I don’t know if he even saw the movie (he’s not much of a moviegoer). Is it a coincidence that the movie was released on the Ides of March or is there a connection to Caesar? Do I live under a rock that I didn’t know about it?

      1. I only noted the Ides of March connection because I was thinking it was that day as I wrote the post. But you’re right, that perhaps there was a plan to make the Caesar connection all along. A quick Google search of the terms only discovers comparisons of the recent film, “Ides of March,” with “The Godfather.” It is interesting, though, that the film was released in March when nowadays most Oscar-worthy films come out late in the year. Thanks for the comment.

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