Producer Jack Woltz Will See You Now!
One of the great movie locations for “The Godfather” was movie mogul Jack Woltz’s Beverly Hills estate: it’s home to the most shocking scene in the movie!
And now, this massive Beverly Hills estate is being discounted – by $90 million dollars!
As The Los Angeles Times reports:
The famed Hearst estate — a Mediterranean Revival-style mansion with ties to William Randolph Hearst, John F. Kennedy and “The Godfather” — just relisted for $89.75 million.
The Newspaper reports that a bankruptcy court is forcing the sale. The home’s longtime owner, attorney Leonard Ross had it on the market in 2016 for more than $180, but it didn’t sell and he since racked up a debt of more than $50 million on the estate.
The property went into bankruptcy and is now up for sale at a heavily discounted price.
Jack And Jackie’s Honeymoon Getaway!
That’s right: the future President and First Lady stayed at the estate for their honeymoon in 1954! It was also the site of one of cinema’s most shocking moments, thanks to the character Jack Woltz in “The Godfather!”
My wife Alex read that the mansion was close to where we live, and as it turns out, she was right – it was less than two miles away from us!
We drove by, and Alex was so excited when she realized that behind this simple front entrance was the legendary estate used in “The Godfather!” Here’s an aerial view of what lies behind the gate:
The exterior of Woltz’s mansion was also used as Whitney Houston’s estate in the film “The Bodyguard”. It’s an enormous Beverly Hills estate located just north of Sunset Boulevard and The Beverly Hills Hotel. The address is 1011 North Beverly Drive.
This magnificent estate was built in the 1920s, and had once been owned by William Randolph Hearst. It has sold several times in the past few decades, and was listed for sale at more than $115-million!
The Infamous “Horse Head” Scene!
Of course, this is the estate where Producer Jack Woltz refuses to grant Don Corleone just one favor: to let Johnny Fontaine star in his new war picture. The next morning, Woltz woke up with someone else in his bed with him…
Yes, he woke up with his triple crown-winning horse, Khartoum, in his bed – well, the head at least!
And It Was Real!
This is some of the best “Godfather” trivia. 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 – because it was all a secret: no one told him that a real head was going to be used!
“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” 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”!
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.
“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.
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…
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.
A few years ago, the Tribeca Film Festival held a cast reunion, which would have been a blast to see – and now, you can see Coppola’s re-imagining of the maligned “Godfather 3!”
The Director reworked several sequences int he film, added some new material and created a much stronger film – see the trailer and more information about it by clicking on my story here:
All of this “Godfather” talk is making me hungry – time for some of Clemenza’s meatballs:
When the families “go to the mattresses”, Michael Corleone gets a lesson on cooking for a bunch of holed-up Mobsters.
Well, I’ve made “Clemenza’s meatballs” and they are delicious! You can see the entire recipe here:
If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…
Thanks so much for reading and if you like this story, share on social media!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures