26 Curiosities about The Godfather (that you didn't know)

The Godfather is not just a movie: It is a religion. There are few lists of the best Hollywood movies that do not feature the saga of the Corleone family.

The film is so powerful, that many guys lie about having seen it just to avoid getting on the wrong side of things. You probably know all about the story, but are you aware of what went on behind the scenes?

We have separated some curiosities about The Godfather that you probably didn't know, check it out:

Before Coppola, the direction of "The Godfather" was offered to Sergio Leone, responsible for such Western classics as "Three Men in Conflict" and "Once Upon a Time in the West," but he refused because he thought the story glorified the Mafia too much. Later, Leone regretted not having directed it and ended up making his own film of the genre: "Once Upon a Time in America.

Coppola wanted Marlon Brando to play Don Vito, but Paramount executives did not want the actor because of his reputation for causing trouble on the set. Among those considered for the role were Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Anthony Quinne, and Burt Lancaster, but Coppola managed to convince them after shooting a video with Brando transformed into the character.

► As predicted by the studio, Marlon Brando caused problems on the set and simply could not memorize most of his lines from the film. To solve the problem, he scattered cards all over the studio with the text he was supposed to perform. He even pasted posters with his lines on the clothes of other characters who were acting with their backs to the cameras.

Another contested role from the beginning was that of Michael Corleone, which was offered to Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman, but they all turned it down. The studio didn't want Al Pacino, since he only had theater experience. Hundreds of candidates were tested for the role, but Coppola managed to beat the producers to the punch. The role went to Pacino.

► Coincidence of life: Al Pacino's maternal grandparents emigrated from the town of Corleone in Sicily to the United States, as did Don Vito.

Among the actors who were tested for the role of Michael were Martin Sheen, Robert Redford, James Caan - who got the role of Sonny Corleone, and Robert de Niro, who was nominated by Martin Scorsese and ended up getting the role of Don Corleone in "Godfather Part II".

Brando won Best Actor for "The Godfather" in 1973, and De Niro won Best Supporting Actor for "The Godfather II" in 1975.

When he won the Oscar for his performance as Don Vito Corleone, he refused to receive the statuette in protest against discrimination against Native Americans by the government and Hollywood. Instead, he sent an actress who pretended to be an American Indian. You can see the video here.

At first Coppola didn't want to direct the film because he thought it was too commercial, but his production company Zoetrope, in partnership with director George Lucas, owed Warner Bros. $400,000 for the failure of Lucas' first feature film "THX 1138," and in the end Francis Ford only agreed to join the production to pay the bills.

► Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather, was invited to do the screenplay for all three films together with Francis Ford Coppola, and the two won Oscars for the first two films.

► Despite the duo in the script, one of the most important scenes in the film was not written by them. The passage with the Vito and Michael Corleone conversation, just before the son takes over the father's role in controlling the family for good, was written by Robert Towne, author of film classics such as "Chinatown", "Operation Yakuza" and "Mission: Impossible".

► The word mafia is not said even once in the entire film. The reason? The feature was made with the help of members of the Civil Society for the Rights of Italo-Americans, who asked that both the word Mafia and Cosa Nostra not be used.

► Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford, who would go on to play Mary Corleone in the last part of the trilogy, also appears in the first film. She was Connie and Carlo's baby, Michael Rizzi, who is named for Michael Corleone.

► Marlon Brando wanted Don Corleone's face to resemble that of a bulldog, so for the first test shots he stuffed his mouth with absorbent cotton, and for the recordings he used prosthetics made by a dentist that are now on display at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Coppola liked the idea, but the cat's purring ended up interfering with some of Brando's lines. The lines had to be re-recorded later.

► Sylvester Stallone even auditioned to play the characters Paulie Gatto and Carlo Rizzi, but was not approved.

► Some actors like Brando, Pacino, Caan, andDuval prepared for the film by meeting real mobsters. Among one of the few criminals who had his name revealed is Carmine "The Snake" Persico.

►Don Corleone's raspy voice is inspired by mobster Frank Costello, one of the most powerful gangsters in U.S. history. The actor saw the gangster giving testimony to the U.S. Congress in the 1950s and decided to imitate him.

► The presence of oranges in any scene from any of the three films in the trilogy means that either someone is going to die in the scene or that something bad is going to happen to her soon.

► In rehearsals for the scene with the horse's head, a fake head was used, but in the actual shooting, the production got a real head. Actor John Marley's fright upon finding it was genuine.

► The actor who plays Luca Brasi, Lenny Montana, was so nervous about acting with Marlon Brando that he got part of his line wrong. The scene in which he practices what he is going to say to Don Corleone is actually a preparation that he did before the scene and that Coppola was able to record on camera.

► Despite being nominated, Al Pacino boycotted the Oscar ceremony. The actor was nervous about being nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, since his character had more screen time than Marlon Brando's.

► In the first film of the "The Godfather" trilogy, there are 18 deaths (including the horse).

► During the filming of the scene where Sonny hits Carlo, James Caan broke two of Gianni Russo's ribs.

► The production of the film was so eventful that Coppola was sure it would be a failure. In order not to receive negative reviews personally, he traveled with his family to Paris. When the film became a success, his friends called for him to return to the U.S.

After the success of "The Godfather", the studio wanted Coppola to write and direct the sequel. Again, the director did not want to get involved and suggested Martin Scorsese for the direction. To convince him, Paramount paid him $1 million dollars.

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