“The Godfather” – The Film That Started It All For Me! “What The Friday” Says The Horse Head Was Real!

“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!

Marlon Brando The Godfather

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 audition for The Godfather

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 Godfather real horse head

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!

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, James Caan, Movies, New York, Pop Culture, Recipes, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities

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20 replies

  1. Still my favorite “Godfather”. Went to see it the day after I graduated high school, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great tribute to a great film. The 1970s had some of the best films ever made. Coppola was magic. Apocalypse Now was my fav film from the 70s. Anyway, can’t disagree The Godfather wasn’t superior filmmaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Godfather is such a great movie. I’ll admit that I wasn’t much into it when I first watched it. But after several viewings, I understood what all the commotion was about. As I watched it more and more, I found more and more things to appreciate and understand why it is as highly regarded as it is. Great entry for the blogathon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment! We all have our favorites, and if I told you some of the films EVERYONE loves that left me cold…that’s why sometimes I will try again because everyone else CAN’T be wrong, can they!?!?!?! (hint: Pan’s Labyrinth)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Both brilliant and that horse head scene was a universal gasp maker in the cinemas.. I remember very well. Terrific post John.x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a brilliant film, John. But I think the part two was on par. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. He also used real cadavers in Apocalypse Now.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The Film That Started It All Blogathon! – Let's Go To The Movies
  2. “The Godfather 3” Will Be Re-Cut And Reissued! A Neglected Masterpiece Or Disappointing Last Chapter? “Cult Movie Monday” Has Details! – johnrieber
  3. “The Wrath Of Caan!” James Caan’s Greatest Hits! This Iconic Actor Was A “Gambler” And Sonny Corleone! – johnrieber
  4. “The Godfather” Turns 50! Here’s A New Trailer For The Upcoming Re-Release! – johnrieber
  5. RIP James Caan….Here’s His Incredible Career…A Celebration Of the “Wrath Of Caan”… – johnrieber
  6. Simon Cowell Worked With Stanley Kubrick! Here’s Some Wild Movie Trivia! – johnrieber
  7. Have You Taken The “Godfather” Tour Of Corleone Sicily? We Did And Here Is Video! – johnrieber

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