With each passing decade, the stature of the blockbuster movie The Godfather grows, not just among film buffs, but also among audiences throughout the world discovering, or re-viewing, the film on television and DVD. In polls, Coppola’s masterpiece consistently ranks among the two or three greatest films ever brought to the screen. This saga of an Italian-American family and its immersion in Mafia traditions has been imitated and satirized—but never equaled.
How to explain the enduring appeal of The Godfather and its two sequels? This book concentrates on the elements that combined, against all odds, to make the Paramount production so successful when it appeared in 1972: the screenplay from Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel; a cast of actors who, apart from Marlon Brando, had not yet achieved celebrity; the vivid locations in New York and Sicily; and the inspired direction of Francis Ford Coppola (only 31 years old when shooting commenced).
Containing many previously unseen behind-the-scene images from the Paramount Archive, this book is also unique in containing 15 facsimile documents, including:
• A poster publicizing the original film
• A special leaflet on the prosthetic teeth worn by Marlon Brando
• Continuity sheets
• A page from Puzo’s novel annotated during the writing of the screenplay