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.”
(Some Related Chimesfreedom Posts)