Unseen photos from the set of The Godfather, 1971

By almost any account, the Godfather movies are monuments to the landscape of American cinema. Of course, there are differences of intent and achievement between the three, but the first, The Godfather (1972), stands in popular and critical opinion as one of the enduring works of American cinema.

The position of The Godfather Part II (1974) is almost equal to that of the fist, not only in its art, but in its approach, as a symbol of the American as a flawed American hero rare in American films from the early 1970s. Is. Empire. The Godfather Part II brings up the theme of redemption present in Coppola's vision from the very beginning.

It is natural to consider these films as a trilogy dealing with the continuation of a directorial vision of the century working through economic crime and punishment in the inner sanctum of an American dynasty.

As a commercial venture, The Godfather and, to a lesser extent, The Godfather Part II were blockbusters. In its time, The Godfather was one of the most profitable films of all time. It is said that over the years, the trilogy grossed over a billion dollars.

Marlon Brando's performance as Vito Corleone in 1972's The Godfather was a mid-career turning point. Director Francis Ford Coppola persuaded Brando to take a "make-up" test, in which Brando did his own makeup (he used cotton balls to simulate the puffy-cheek look). Coppola was electrified by Brando's characterization as the head of a crime family, but had to fight the studio over casting the temperamental Brando.

An important scene occurs early in the film when, while browsing a fruit stand outside his office, Brando's Vito Corleone is ambushed and shot by rival mobsters. The scene was filmed at 128 Mott Street in New York City, between Hester and Grand in the center of Little Italy.

The images shown here are taken by New York Daily News photographers who were informed by neighborhood friends and had to escape the fire to catch a glimpse of Marlon Brandon as the Godfather.

The Godfather continues to be loved by the public and remains one of the few enduring, still popular classics of American cinema. The films were successful, critical successes as well, earning over two dozen of them Academy Award nominations.

The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974) both won Academy Awards for "Best Picture". Coppola and Puzo won for "Best Adapted Screenplay" twice. Brando and De Niro both won acting awards.

Furthermore, the first two films amounted to a social phenomenon – they permeated every level of American culture – high and low – sometimes by point of view, sometimes by quote, and sometimes through their iconic, signature visuals. From.

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