“Leave the gun- take the cannoli”- Interesting facts about the Godfather!

The Godfather is one of my favorite books and movies. Recently the movie just had it’s 50th anniversary so I thought to share some interesting facts about the movie.

-Marlon Brando wanted Don Corleone to have similar features like a bulldog. So he would put tons of cotton in his mouth in addition to wearing a mouthpiece.

-One of my favorite lines in the movie: “Leave the fun, take the cannoli.” was made on the spot by Richard S. Castellano.

The cat the Marlon Brando has in the movie was a random stray that director Francis Ford Coppola found on the Paramount studio lot.

Paramount Studio wanted Laurence Olivier to play the role of Vito Corleone:

However Francis Ford Coppola was so convinced that Marlon Brando was his Vito Corleone that the studio agreed to do a screen test. Marlon was not one to do a screen test however Coppola kind of tricked the method actor thinking it was a makeup test. He turned that into the executives at Paramount and upon reviewing it decided that Marlon Brando was Vito Corleone.

Orson Welles wanted to play the role of Vito Corleone and was even trying to persuade Francis Ford Coppola to cast him. Welles even offer to lose a lot of weight for the role however at that point Francis found his “Vito Corleone” in Marlon Brando and had to decline Welles offer.

Robert De Niro wanted to play the role of Sonny:

The role of Sonny went to James Caan (side note: James Caan had to wear lifts in his shoes to match the height of the other actors). However Francis Ford Coppola did not forget about Robert De Niro and later cast him as young Don Vito Coppola in The Godfather part 2.

Francis Ford Coppola wanted Al Pacino as Michael Corleone:

However the studio wanted to cast either Ryan O’ Neal or Robert Redford as Michael Corleone. James Caan (who was later cast as Sonny Corleone) and Martin Sheen also screen-tested for the role.

The famous wedding scene in the movie was shot over a period of two days and the direction Coppola gave to the actors was to act how they naturally would act.

Director Sergio Leone was asked to direct the film but turned it down. Citing that he felt that book over praised the mafia. However when the movie was super successful he felt that was a bad choice to turn down. Then decided to make the movie “Once upon a time in America” in 1984.(also one of my favorite movies!)

Mario Puzo based his book character of Don Vito Corleone on two New York City bosses named Vito Genovese and Joe Profaci. However he based Corleone’s personality on his mother’s.

These are just some of the facts about this amazing movie. What other interesting facts do you know about “The Godfather”? Comment below!

Source. Internet movie datebase, Mental Floss

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