“What The Friday” Celebrates The Film That Started It All!
My London-based blogging friend Caz has a great blog that celebrates movies of all kinds, and this weekend, she is sharing all of the films that made us love cinema!
Her great series is called “The Film That Started It All”, and I’m jumping in with some “What The Friday” facts about the greatest film of all time – “The Godfather!”
Sure, this photo of James Caan, getting ready for his bullet-riddled closeup is fun to see, as is this shot of Don Corleone himself, Marlon Brando, making faces in the makeup chair…and yes, here’s your first bit of trivia: it was Brando’s idea to stuff oranges in his cheeks to give him that distinct look!
Caz asked all movie lovers to share the film that started it all, and I am about to do just that! She is going to share all of them on her blog, which you can easily access!
You can see her terrific blog here:
“The Godfather” won Best Picture in 1972, and the sequel won Best Picture in 1974, something that has never happened again! Here is why: the film tells the story of a family that sticks together against all outsiders, a family run by Don Corleone, the most powerful man in New York:
Director Francis Ford Coppola made a masterpiece that has incredible performances as well as a story told on a massive canvas.
Now, time to share some fascinatng facts about the movie that started it all for me!
Robert DeNiro IS Sonny Corleone!
That’s right, before he was cast as the young Don Corleone in “The Godfather Part II”, DeNiro auditioned for the role of hot-headed Sonny in the original “Godfather”…
Hard to imagine anyone other than James Caan as Sonny – brilliantly hot-headed and always revved up for a fight – especially when it involved beating up his brother-in-law in the streets of New York…
Marlon Brando won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as “The Godfather”, which famously he refused to accept, choosing instead to send up a Native American Indian, Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse it on his behalf:
On set of “The Godfather”, Brando was a notorious practical joker – I posted an entire story about his shenanigans, which you can read here:
There is so much more great “Godfather” trivia as well, like this:
The Horse Head Was Real!
And how about scenes like this one – when The Godfather makes Hollywood Producer Jack Woltz “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 Actor John Marley, his scream of horror was real as he was not informed that a real head was going to be used!
Oh, and I live two miles from Jack Woltz’s estate!
I didn’t even realize this until my wife Alex pointed it out – here’s all you can see from eh street in Beverly Hills:
But inside it’s a real Beverly Hills Mansion, and that’s where they shot the meeting between Woltz and Robert Duvall when Woltz rejects the Godfather’s request for a favor, leading to the infamous horse head scene…
Duvall was doing all sorts of heavy lifting for Don Corleone:
Yes, Brando was notorious for not learning his lines, so Duvall carried cue cards in this scene so Brando could say his lines as Duvall stood off-camera!
And finally, remember this scene when Clemnza shows Michael Corleone how to cook for a big group of Mobsters?
Well, I’ve made “Clemens’s meatballs” and they are delicious! You can see the entire recipe here:
There you go, some “What The Friday” facts about the greatest film of all time, and the one that started it all for me!
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