Have you seen, Dharmatma (Hindi film), Nayakan (actor – Kamal Hassan), Sarkar (Hindi film)? You may have seen at least one of them, even though not a movie buff. They all find inspiration from one film and one novel written by Mario Puzo. The GodFather. Period. The world stops at this instant. Although the novel achieved international fame, Francis Ford Coppola gained worldwide recognition after directing the film. And yes, the background music. It will haunt you for years to come.
Quick Facts about GodFather the Movie
1. Although in the US, the underworld existed, the story focuses on the Italian mafia crime families. Fictional, no doubt. But the betrayal and politics thaw on your heartstrings.
It gives the story of the family head Vito Corleone, his first son Sonny’s death and the gradual transformation of the third son, Michael Corleone from a normal person to a ruthless mafia leader.
2. Paramount pictures had got the rights to the novel. There were many hiccups, they faced to find a director. The best directors backed out including Francis Coppola. But finally, he had to pitch in, because of severe financial restraints. Some of the names, Peter Bogdanovich and Sergio Leone.
3. The director and production house also was at war, about the characters playing Vito and Michael. The production house was not too happy with Coppola’s selection of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone.
4. The GodFather introduced a new genre of crime drama films. In 1972, it became the highest grossing film of the year.
5. It was nominated for ten Oscars. It won the coveted award for the Best Picture, Brando got the Best Actor award and also for Puzo and Coppola (Screenplay). Similar to other popular films, it was also followed by sequels. The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990).
6. Its popularity can be related to the fact, that the film rolls are still preserved in US National Film Registry of Library of Congress in 1990. It has been ranked as one of the greatest film in American movies (next to Citizen Kane) as per American Film Institute.
7. Coppola was a fan of Orson Welles. He wanted to play the lead character of Vito Corleone, but since Coppola had already finalized Marlon Brando, he had no option but to turn Welles’ wishes down.
8. It was Marlon Brando’s idea to give the look of Marlon Brando as a “bulldog.” For the audition, he used cotton wool and stuffed his cheeks. In the film, he had used a mouthpiece. The appliance, you can see at the American Museum of Moving Image in Queens, New York.
9. We have seen accounts of how actors used to go to extreme levels for giving the best performance. Chiyaan Vikram bulked up his weight for the film I and Kamalhasan spent four hours for the make-up of the American character (Fletcher0 in Dasavatharam. But Marlon Brando in 1972, spent three hours every day for his makeup. The steel dentures were fixed in his lower teeth, and he pulled the part of Don Vito Corleone to perfection.
10. The Godfather received the best appreciation from another noted director, Stanley Kubrick. He gave the review of Godfather as the best film ever made. In 1977, the films were made into television serials as the Godfather Saga.
11. Coppola was constantly on the firing line in the initial stages. The Production house even went to the extent of having stand-in directors during the shooting process. The turn of events came when Michael kills Sollozzo as well the police chief in the hotel. Coppola’s fortune changed on the moment.
12. Al Pacino played the part to perfection. But he was not the first choice for the role. The actors who tested for the role are James Caan (who played the role of Sonny), Martin Sheen, Ryan O’Neal and Robert Redford.
13. One scene, that gives you the shivers is when the Producer sees his favorite horse’s head in the bed. The screams were real (actor John Marley) as is the head.
14. Although he won the award, Brando did not go on stage. The reason – he did not approve of the way the film industry treated the American Indians.
15. The term ‘Don’ does mean “respected uncle” but Mario Puzo made the word sound different. In the novel and film, the word meant crime boss who lived a stylish life.
16. The killing of Don Corleone’s first son was a thrill to watch. You can see the extravaganza in sets. Sonny pulls up to the toll gate and the enemies swoop down on him with guns.
The scene where Sonny beats his brother-in-law to a pulp is also a costly scene. Sonny arrives to beat the heck of his relative. The rollover, the water and the man-handling. It must be a treat for the views of that era as they had seen only gunslinger movies.
There are some movies which once made, attain cult status. They also get a noble following. The screenplay gets filmed again and again with new characters, new stories. The Godfather is certainly one among them. If you want to watch God Father movie again then you can watch it on putlocker.