There are certain films that are often uttered in the same breath as 'Best Movie Ever'. The Shawshank Redemption. Citizen Kane. Gone with the Wind. But the film that's arguably become the most synonymous with masterful cinema is The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel is an absolute treasure. Modern viewers can still appreciate the work put into this epic crime drama, proving that time hasn't hindered a single frame of The Godfather, even after half a century.
The cinematography is gorgeous, the score is stirring, and the dialogue is iconic. Despite all those factors, it's the performances that stand out above all else. Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and James Caan are phenomenal actors but each of them probably deliver their best work in this very film.
Because The Godfather has been analysed and reanalysed for decades, there is a ton of trivia revolving around it. If you're a massive fan of Coppola, you probably already know the Don's cat was a stray or you're probably aware the studio originally didn't want Pacino. But there are still a lot of things that even the most devoted cinephiles probably didn't know about The Godfather.
20. The Director Didn't Like The Godfather Book
When a director agrees to adapt a story to the big screen, you naturally assume they're a huge fan of the source material. After all, why would you invest time, effort, and money in a property if you didn't love it?
But that wasn't the case at all with Francis Ford Coppola. In fact, he said he was initially 'not impressed' when he read Mario Puzo's The Godfather. So, why did he agree to adapt it?
And the answer is: money.
You see, Coppola was the executive producer for George Lucas' sci-fi flick, THX 1138. When the film ran over budget, Coppola had to pay Warner Bros. for overruns, putting him in massive debt. When he was offered the chance to direct The Godfather, he felt like it was an offer he couldn't refuse. Since the book sold nine million copies in two years, he was certain the movie would be a hit, despite his feelings towards the story.