|Posted by: Naomi on 2008-04-08
One of my favorites, I've GOT to post some trivia on this one!
- Despite his reported distaste for the novel and opposition to the film, Frank Sinatra had discussions with Francis Ford Coppola about playing the role of Don Vito Corleone himself and at one point actually offered his services. Coppola, however, was adamant in his conviction that Marlon Brando take the role instead.
- A supporting cast member became so committed to his role in this film that he accompanied a group of Mafia enforcers on a trip to beat up strike breakers during a labor dispute. But the enforcers had the wrong address and were unable to find the strike breakers. The actor's name was never revealed.
- Martin Sheen and Dean Stockwell auditioned for the role of Michael Corleone. Oscar-winner Rod Steiger campaigned hard for the role of Michael, even though he was too old for the part. Warren Beatty, Alain Delon and Burt Reynolds were all rejected by Francis Ford Coppola, then, Paramount production chief Robert Evans suggested Robert Redford. Evans explained that Redford could fit the role as he could be perceived as northern Italian. Evans eventually lost the struggle over Al Pacino, the actor he derided as The Midget.
- Laurence Olivier, Ernest Borgnine, Carlo Ponti, Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles and George C. Scott were all considered for the role of Vito Corleone. Burt Lancaster wanted the role as well, but was never considered by Paramount Pictures brass.
- According to an interview with actor Gianni Russo, he used his organized crime connections to secure the role of Carlo.
- There was a rumor that Burt Reynolds was originally cast as Sonny Corleone but Marlon Brando wouldn't act with him, because he considered him more of a TV star.
- Marlon Brando wanted to make Don Corleone look like a bulldog, so he stuffed his cheeks with cotton wool for the screen test. For actual filming, he wore an appliance made by a dentist. Al Pacino wore a foam latex facial appliance that covered his entire left cheek and was made up with colors to match his skin tone and give the effect of bruising. This was to simulate the effect of having his jaw broken by Captain McCluskey.
- The cat held by Marlon Brando in the opening scene was a stray the actor found while on the lot at Paramount, and was not originally called for in the script. So content was the cat that its purring muffled some of Brando's dialogue, and, as a result, most of his lines had to be looped.
- Marlon Brando did not memorize most of his lines and read from cue cards during most of the film.
- Don Vito Corleone's distinctive voice was based on real-life mobster Frank Costello. Marlon Brando had seen him on TV during the Kefauver hearings in 1951 and imitated his husky whisper in the film.
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