The Corleone family and then some got back together Saturday night to recount the making of “The Godfather” during the Tribeca Film Festival’s closing night.
Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire took the stage to discuss the film’s complicated origin story during the panel hosted by Taylor Hackford.
Paramount bought “The Godfather,” Hackford intro-ed the talk, but they didn’t believe that mafia movies could work.
“I was attracted to it because I thought it was a foreign author, and an intellectual book about power,” Coppola recalled seeing the book before he had signed onto the film adaptation. But upon cracking the cover, he had some hesitations. “I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it’s very long,” he said. “Much of the book — about a third — is about Lucy Mancini’s anatomy.”
The director remembered members of the cast and crew who have passed since the films were made, including Marlon Brando who hovered behind the panel in a framed photo.
Shire, Coppola’s sister, remembered her involvement in the movie was a bit contentious. “I asked for an audition,” she remembered. “It was tough for me, and it was tougher for my brother. The director’s job was up for grabs.”
Coppola concurred that the film’s origin had many moving parts, not limited to his own job. “The cast was always up in the air and there was a lot of controversy,” he said. The director remembered a moment in the creation when he was sure he would be let go by Paramount. “As long as I’m going to get fired, probably, my sister should at least get a chance,” he said.
SOURCE: Seth Kelley