Brando’s Cue Cards! Real Horse Heads! The Godfather’s BEST Stories!

Time to celebrate the greatest film ever made!

The Godfather

“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

This is probably the most iconic line EVER from a movie…and yes, from the greatest film ever made…so my only question is this: did “The Godfather”, Marlon Brando read that line from a cue card?

The Godfather Brando cue cards

Yes, He Probably Did!

Look at this behind-the-scenes picture, from the filming of the movie…priceless! Robert Duvall holds cue cards for Marlon Brando to read – just one of the many legendary tales of making “The Godfather”!


“The Godfather” Behind-The-Scenes!

Film buffs rejoice “The Godfather”! It’s not only the greatest single film ever made, it also is one of the most dissected and analyzed films ever – especially from the Director, Francis Ford Coppola himself!

the-godfather Marlon Brando

Based on the most popular book of the late 60’s, “The Godfather” immediately became the most popular film ever made – and won the Academy Award for Best Picture as well.


You know the plot: Don Corleone, the aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty, transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son, Michael.

The_Godfather_1972 cast

There are SO MANY incredible stories about the making of the film, starting with the behind-the-scenes antics of Marlon Brando!

Marlon Brando Godfather makeup

Brando’s Transformation!

Marlon Brando wanted to make Don Corleone “look “like a bulldog,” so he stuffed his cheeks with cotton wool for his audition.

Marlon Brando The Godfather Makeup

For actual filming, Brando wore a mouthpiece made by a dentist; this appliance is on display in the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.

Marlon Brando The Godfather

If you really want to immerse yourself in this film, there is the perfect way to do it!

The Godfather Blu-ray

The Epic Godfather On Blu-Ray!

Thanks to a phenomenal effort by Paramount home video, you can now go deep, deep, DEEP into the history of “The Godfather”…like this blu-ray release, an amazing collection including all three films, plus hours and hours of extras!

The Godfather blu-ray

Here are just some of the extras that are included:

“The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t,” reviewing in detail much of what has been said about Paramount’s mistreatment of Coppola, about casting fights (Steve McQueen as Michael?), about the studio’s assumption they were getting a quick-and-dirty B-movie, and about producer Robert Evans’ determination to keep his choice of director and unlikely actors under his wing.

The Godfather Coppola_and_Evans

Also on the discs: “… When the Shooting Stopped,” a study of post-production on “The Godfather”, with several surprising and fascinating facts. And Coppola himself gives a fascinating talk on the commentary track as well…


“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

There are so many great lines from the film – as well as great stories about the making of the movie, especially about the iconic cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and John Cazale.

The_Godfather cast

The Infamous “Horse Head” Scene!

And how about scenes like this one – when The Godfather makes a Hollywood Producer “an offer he can’t refuse”…

The Godfather real horse head

During rehearsals, a false horse’s head was used for the bedroom scene. For the actual shot, a real horse’s head was used, acquired from a dog-food factory. According to John Marley, his scream of horror was real as he was not informed that a real head was going to be used.

Cue The Cue Cards!

And yes, this is a photo of a scene where Brando takes his lines directly from Robert Duvall’s chest!

The Godfather Brando cue cards

Marlon Brando did not memorize most of his lines during filming, and instead he read from cue cards during most of the film. Word was he also held a sandwich just out of camera range while shooting the dramatic scene at the funeral home where he sees Sonny’s bullet-riddled body…

Michael Corleone The Godfather

And of course, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton became stars as Michael Corleone and his new wife, Kay.

Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

The Godfather Michael Corleone

James Caan sonny-corleone

James Caan Is Hot-headed Sonny!

Of course, James Caan also became a star as the hot-headed Sonny, who gets set up by his brother-in-law at a toll booth in Jersey…

Sonny Corleone whacked

Here’s a behind-the-scenes picture of the bullet angles for the blood squibs that have been put on Sonny’s face…

The Godfather Sonny Corleone

And don’t even ask about Luca Brasi…

Tessio brings in Luca Brasi’s bulletproof vest, delivered with a fish inside]
Sonny: What the hell is this?
Clemenza: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.


Luca Brasi Sleeps With The Fishes!

The best way to explore this collection is to watch a movie, then RE-WATCH it with the commentary tracks on, then watch the supplements! You hear plenty of stories like this:

How Francis Ford Coppola tricked Marlon Brando

Paramount executives were adamant that Brando not be hired to play Vito Corleone because of the actor’s reputation for problems on set. Finally, they relented by providing conditions that they thought could never be met, including that Brando give them a screen test.

The Godfather Marlon Brando

Director Francis Ford Coppola told Brando he wanted to test equipment and get a sample take, very carefully not phrasing the filming as a screen test. When the take had been filmed, even Brando was happy with it, saying he thought he’d gotten the appearance of being “mean-looking, but warm underneath.” In later years, Brando said he’d known all along it was a screen test.

The Godfather behind-the-scenes

There are many more great anecdotes about the film HERE:

Go Behind-The-Scenes Of “The Godfather”!

The Godfather

There are many more of these great features on the expanded blu-ray set, including additional scenes, tons of information about the making of the films, and yes, all three Godfather movies…


What An Oscar Run!

As you know, “The Godfather Part 2” was the only sequel to ever win Best Picture, and Coppola took home the Oscar for Best Picture twice in three years, 1972 and 1974 – and he was nominated for Best Picture in 1974 as well for “The Conversation!”


If you don’t own all of these, you are not a real film buff, so get them now and enjoy!

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, documentary films, Golden Globes, James Caan, Movies, Movies About Movies, New York, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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20 replies

  1. What a lovely stroll I have had through this page and the links! The Godfather movies are one of my all time favorites! Every few years, I watch them all again. For my step-father’s retirement party which we had at a hall every guest had to dress up as a Godfather character. My speech was laced with quotes from the movies and I wore a black suit with a black pinstriped blouse. My Sicilian great grandfather was a rum runner and I have long been fascinated with stories like the Godfather. Did you know that Johnny (the singer) was rumored to be based on Frank Sinatra?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What else is there to say, I think Leonard Maltin said “The Godfather is the 1970s Gone with the Wind.” Just a classic and very interesting information you put here about the various conflicting anecdotes and how they probably all are real after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holy cow, you are a fan! Your love for the Godfather matches my love for Apocolypse Now as the best movie of the 1970s. Anyway, great post. Love the first one, not so thrilled about 2 or 3 while I respect it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Some trivia about the greatest film of all time…


  5. Where do you get this stuff? Is it on the Blu-ray? I’ve got the films on Blu-ray but i havent watched the extras – I think I got a bit annoyed with Part III…


    • Don’t let 3 shut you down! Yes, this stuff is from the blu-ray…if you listen to Coppola’s audio commentary, it’s amazing. The story of how they salvaged Luca Brasi’s horrendous acting in the early wedding scene is priceless!



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  2. TIL John Marley's scream of terror after seeing the horse head in The Godfather is genuine, as they used a fake in rehearsals and swapped for a real head during shooting without Marley's knowledge | Awesome Facts
  3. “The Godfather” Screen Tests! Robert DeNiro IS Sonny Corleone! Godfather Trivia! « johnrieber
  4. Madman Marlon Brando! “Lost Soul” Of Dr. Moreau! “Best Bad Movie!” The Cinema Sewer! | johnrieber
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  6. Destroying Hollywood’s Soul! Goodbye Dominick’s! “Vintage Los Angeles”! Alison Martino Fights To Save Tinseltown’s Iconic Past! | johnrieber
  7. Real Horse Head Used Godfather | Bambosick
  8. “The Godfather”! “Star Wars!” Simon Cowell! My Favorite Movie Trivia! – johnrieber
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  10. Tribeca’s “The Godfather” Reunion! Great Film Trivia! DeNiro! Pacino! Keaton! Coppola! – johnrieber

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