Time to celebrate the greatest film ever made!
“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?
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!
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.
There are SO MANY incredible stories about the making of the film, starting with the behind-the-scenes antics of Marlon Brando!
Marlon Brando wanted to make Don Corleone “look “like a bulldog,” so he stuffed his cheeks with cotton wool for his audition.
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.
If you really want to immerse yourself in this film, there is the perfect way to do it!
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!
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.
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 Infamous “Horse Head” Scene!
And how about scenes like this one – when The Godfather makes a Hollywood Producer “an offer he can’t refuse”…
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!
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…
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?
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…
Here’s a behind-the-scenes picture of the bullet angles for the blood squibs that have been put on Sonny’s face…
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.
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.
There are many more great anecdotes about the film HERE:
Go Behind-The-Scenes Of “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!