Theatrical release: March 11, 1972
THE GODFATHER is number three on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
THE GODFATHER was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1990.
The baby in the baptism scene is the director's daughter, Sofia Coppola, who later starred in THE GODFATHER, PART 3. The scene was shot at the St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan's Chinatown. (Also, part of Martin Scorsese's MEAN STREETS was filmed in the cathedral's cemetery.)
Singer Vic Damone was originally cast in the role of Hollywood crooner Johnny Fontane, eventually played by Al Martino. The character is supposedly based on Frank Sinatra.
Marlon Brando was a no-show at the 1972 Academy Awards and sent a stand-in, an "Apache" woman, who came with a 15-page speech to read if the star won. Howard Koch, the show's producer, said that if she went over 40 seconds, he would forcibly remove her from the stage. When Brando's name was called, the woman, Sacheen Littlefeather, explained that Brando would not accept the award, as he was protesting the treatment of American Indians by the film industry. The speech met with a mixed reaction, and certainly left most of the audience stunned. Jane Fonda told the press, "I think what he did was wonderful." Actor Michael Caine said, "If you're going to make a humanitarian gesture, I think a man who makes $2 million a picture should at least give half of it to the Indians." Coppola's response was "I was so sure I was going to win Best Director." (He didn't.)
The film was shot on location in New York and Sicily. The estimated budget was $6 million. The film was originally 177 minutes but was cut by six minutes when it was released theatrically. The film was released with its two companion pieces on video as part of the reedited 450-minute THE GODFATHER SAGA.
Jack Woltz's horse, which ends up decapitated in his bed, is named Khartoum.
Louis Malle did the English-French translation of the film for its release in France.
Marlon Brando was only 47 when he played Vito Corleone, whose age ranged from 53 to 62 in the film.
Academy Awards Best Picture 1972
Academy Awards Best Actor 1972 Marlon Brando Oscar winning american actor/director, THE GODFATHER (1972)
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay 1972 Francis Ford Coppola American Director, THE GODFATHER SAGA
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay 1972 Mario Puzo Oscar-winning novelist, screenwriter, THE GODFATHER