On today in 1972, The Godfather-a 3-hour epic chronicling the lives of the Corleones, an Italian-American crime family led by the powerful Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando)-is released in theaters.
The Godfather was adapted from the greatest-selling book of exactly the same name by Mario Puzo, a novelist who was raised in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen and got his start writing pulp stories for men’s magazines. Controversy surrounded the film right from the start: Soon following Paramount Pictures announced its production, the Italian-American Civil Rights League held a rally in Madison Square Garden, claiming the film would quantity to a slur against Italian Americans. The uproar only enhanced publicity for the film, which Paramount was counting to cultivate to become a massive-money hit following great results of Puzo’s novel.
The studio’s production chief, Robert Evans, approached numerous directors-including Sergio Leone and Costa Gavras-about The Godfather ahead of hiring the relatively unknown Francis Ford Coppola, who was simply only 31 yrs . old at that time. As an Italian American himself, Coppola strove to help make the film a geniune representation of that time period period and the culture, also to do justice to the complicated relationships in the Corleone household, rather than concentrating on the violent crime facet of the story mostly. He caused Puzo on the screenplay and persuaded Paramount to improve the price selection of the film, that your studio had envisioned as a reasonably meager $2.5 million.
Perhaps most of all, Coppola and Puzo fought to cast Marlon Brando in the coveted role of Vito Corleone. At enough time, Brando’s profession have been in decline for ten years, and he previously grow to be notorious for his moody on-set behavior, especially through the entire filming of 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty. When Paramount insisted that Brando execute a screen test, the legendary actor complied because of the fact he wanted the proper part so badly. Reading his lines from hidden cue cards, Brando turned in a phenomenal, intuitive efficiency because the Godfather, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor (which he declined to simply accept). Combined with Coppola’s meticulous direction and memorable performances by all of those other film’s cast, such as for example Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton, Brando’s star turn propelled the film to record-breaking box-office great results, as nicely as 3 Academy Awards, for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Godfather has remained a perennial decision on critics’ lists of the all-time absolute best films ever sold. In 2007, it ranked second on the American Film Institute (AFI)’s set of the greatest movies ever, behind Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941). Its sequel, The Godfather: Part II, premiered in 1974 and won six Oscars, which include Best Picture and Best Director. A third installment, The Godfather: Part III (1990), received the right evaluations but was regarded to function as weakest of the three films generally.