The Godfather
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The Godfather

175 min
Crime | Drama
IMDB rate:
Francis Ford Coppola
Won 3 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 19 nominations
Country: USA
Release Date: 1972-03-24
Filming Locations: NY Eye and Ear Infirmary, 2nd Avenue & East 13th Street, New York City, New York, USA
Budget: $6,000,000
Opening Weekend: $302,393 (USA) (19 March 1972)
Gross: $134,966,411 (USA) (11 May 1997)
Marlon Brando
Don Vito Corleone
Al Pacino
Michael Corleone
James Caan
Sonny Corleone
Richard S. Castellano
Robert Duvall
Tom Hagen
Sterling Hayden
Capt. McCluskey
John Marley
Jack Woltz
Richard Conte
Al Lettieri
Diane Keaton
Kay Adams
Abe Vigoda
Talia Shire
Gianni Russo
John Cazale
Rudy Bond
Al Martino
Johnny Fontane
Morgana King
Mama Corleone
Lenny Montana
Luca Brasi
John Martino
Paulie Gatto
Salvatore Corsitto
Richard Bright
Alex Rocco
Moe Greene
Tony Giorgio
Bruno Tattaglia
Vito Scotti
Tere Livrano
Theresa Hagen
Victor Rendina
Philip Tattaglia
Jeannie Linero
Lucy Mancini
Julie Gregg
Sandra Corleone
Ardell Sheridan
Mrs. Clemenza
Angelo Infanti
Fabrizio - Sicilian Sequence
Corrado Gaipa
Don Tommasino - Sicilian Sequence
Franco Citti
Calo - Sicilian Sequence
Saro Urzì
Vitelli - Sicilian Sequence
Norm Bacchiocchi
Luca Brasi's Assassin
Max Brandt
Extra in Furniture-Moving Scene (uncredited)
Tybee Brascia
Dancer in Wedding Scene (uncredited)
Carmine Coppola
Piano Player in Montage (uncredited)
Gian-Carlo Coppola
Baptism Observer (uncredited)
Italia Coppola
Extra (uncredited)
Roman Coppola
Boy on Street Who Attended Funeral (uncredited)
Sofia Coppola
Michael Francis Rizzi
Don Costello
Don Victor Stracci
Robert Dahdah
Crowd (uncredited)
Richard Fass
Tom Hagen's son (uncredited)
Gray Frederickson
Cowboy on the Set at Woltz's Studio (uncredited)
Ron Gilbert
Usher in Bridal Party (uncredited)
Anthony Gounaris
Anthony Vito Corleone
Joe Lo Grippo
Sonny's Bodyguard
Sonny Grosso
Cop Outside Hospital (uncredited)
Louis Guss
Don Zaluchi
Merril E. Joels
Toll Both Collector (uncredited)
Randy Jurgensen
Sonny's Killer #1
Tony King
Tony - Stablehand (uncredited)
Peter Lemongello
Singer (uncredited)
Tony Lip
Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Frank Macetta
Lou Martini Jr.
Boy at Wedding (uncredited)
Raymond Martino
Corleone Family Member (uncredited)
Joseph Medeglia
Priest at Baptism (uncredited)
Carol Morley
Night Nurse
Rick Petrucelli
Man in Passenger Seat (uncredited)
Joe Petrullo
Pallbearer (uncredited)
Burt Richards
Floral Designer (uncredited)
Sal Richards
Drunk (uncredited)
Tom Rosqui
Rocco Lampone
Nino Ruggeri
Mobster at Funeral with Barzini
Frank Sivero
Street Extra (uncredited)
Filomena Spagnuolo
Extra in Wedding Scene (uncredited)
Joe Spinell
Willi Cicci
Gabriele Torrei
Enzo the Baker
Nick Vallelonga
Wedding Party Guest (uncredited)
Ed Vantura
Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Ron Veto
Extra in Hospital Scene (uncredited)
Matthew Vlahakis
Clemenza's Son (uncredited)
Did you know?
Paramount was in severe financial trouble in the early 1970s and really needed a big hit. They specifically asked Francis Ford Coppola to make the film more explicitly violent.
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According to Ardell Sheridan, Mafia captain (and future boss) Paul Castellano visited the set and spoke with Richard S. Castellano. It was not until after Paul was killed in 1985 did Richard reveal to her that Paul was his uncle.
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The hospital scenes were filmed in two different locations: the exterior scenes were filmed at a side entrance to the Bellevue Hospital; and the interior shots were filmed at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in Manhattan, New York City.
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During the sequences filmed in Sicily, Michael's broken-jaw make-up does not match the make-up used during the sequences filmed in New York. This is because Paramount Pictures would not pay the costs of sending makeup artist Dick Smith to Italy with the rest of the crew.
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The typefaces shown in the headlines of the various New York City newspapers depicted are almost all incorrect for the newspapers shown.
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During Vito's death scene, he removes the orange peel from his mouth before start coughing. The camera then cuts to Anthony and back to Vito, and the peel is back in his mouth.
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Sonny: Tom-anuch! Hey, a hundred button men on the street twenty-four hours a day. That Turk shows one hair on his ass, he's dead. Believe me.
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Michael: Some people will pay a lot of money for that information; but then your daughter would lose a father, instead of gaining a husband.
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Jack Woltz: All right, start talking!
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Why does Sonny destroy the guy's camera? Why does Barzini have the other photographer's camera seized?
The obvious reason was that the guy was getting too close to the party (he was standing near the gate to the Corleone compound) taking photos of who came to the wedding and their cars, even license plates. The event was, of course, a private one and the Corleones had hired their own photographers. The photographer was probably working for the FBI, whom Sonny had spit at when the agent flashed his badge moments earlier.An event like this one would have many of the Corleone's own operatives in attendance (for security purposes) and perhaps even some of Vito Corleone's rivals there as well. Such is the case with Barzini. It's also entirely possible the man was a reporter and doing a story on the wedding. Sonny was angered at the fact that someone would try and violate his family's privacy, especially at his sister's wedding. The scene also serves to introduce us to Sonny's famous hair trigger temper.Real life mafiosos of the era, unlike the modern dons like John Gotti, mostly maintained a very low profile and kept up a modest life-style (at least publicly) to such an extent that even photos of Mafia heads were rare. There were a few exceptions, like the flamboyant Bugsy Seigal who cavorted with movie stars and maintained a glamorous life-style, which caused great consternation among his fellow mob confederates, as it called attention to their illegal dealings. Most mob dons of the era represented in The Godfather (mid-'40s to the late '50s, the time-frame altered slightly from the novel) were unknown to the general public and even the FBI was unsure of which individuals actually ran the rackets and who answered to whom.Also, the very hierarchical structure of the Mafia was largely unknown until major figures turned federal informants decades later. By observing Mafia figures at weddings and funerals, the only public events the press-shy dons would regularly attend, hints as to the ranks and strengths of the various families could only be ascertained by observing them in the public sphere. This is why the FBI regularly stalked Mafia members at public events, which were considered "civilian" family events by the families, and off-limits for business and crime dealings, which would have added to Sonny's frustration at their privacy being invaded. This is why Barzini makes sure to personally destroy the negatives of any photos taken of him and his associates, which might have been passed on to law-enforcement. The photographer taking the wedding photos himself might even have been an FBI plant.
Who are the "Five Families"?
In the canon of The Godfather, there are five organizations, or "Families," in the New York area--Corleone, Barzini, Tattaglia, Stracci, and Cuneo. While the Tattaglia and Barzini Families weigh pretty heavily into the plot, due to the tensions between their organizations and the Corleones, there is little mention of the Cuneo and Stracci families, who are mentioned only as part of the Commission "sit down" with all of the major mafia bosses from around the country. The idea of the "Five Families" is based on real-life Cosa Nostra structure. Believe it or not, there are rules and an expected code of conduct within the mafia, and there are certain actions that require the approval of a family Boss. The "Commission" acts as a kind of mafia board of directors or mini U.N. to ensure that all of the families stay in line and avoid actions that might be dangerous to organized crime as a whole.
Why was there an attempt on Vito's life?
Vito, as the Don of the Corleone family, was against allowing his people dealing narcotics. Vito considered such a product to be much more dangerous than alcohol, gambling and prostitution, the mainstays of business conducted amongst the Five Families. He believed that the politicians and judges that did business with his family, enabling them to become as powerful as they were, wouldn't be willing to continue to do so if his business was drugs. Virgil Sollozzo, a big-time drug dealer, wanted the Corleones on his side because of their numerous connections with these politicians and judges. Sollozzo hoped they could be influenced, coerced or bribed to be lax on the trade of illegal drugs, but Vito refused. However, Sollozzo noticed that Sonny was interested in doing business with him, so he arranged for a hit on Vito, which would place Sonny as the new Don and then, hopefully, a deal with the Corleones would soon follow.
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Photos from cast
Simonetta Stefanelli