The movie “The Godfather” is released. Coming in way over its $2M budget at an estimated $6M, it grossed almost $250M (as of 1997), becoming the highest grossing movie, a record that had been held by “Gone With the Wind” since 1939. (“Jaws” displaced Godfather in 1975). While previous Mafia movies had looked at the gangs from the perspective of an outraged outsider, this movie presents the gangster's perspective of the Mafia as a response to corrupt society. Some interesting trivia includes:
· The studio thought more violence would help the “dark, boring” movie, so the scene where Connie smashed dishes was added just for this reason.
· The quote “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” was ranked the #2 movie quote, following Rhett Butler’s “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” ( click here to see the clip.)
· The studio also wanted Robert Redford or Ryan O’Neal for the part of Michael, but director Francis Ford Coppola held out for Pacino, who looked more Italian-American. (seriously? Some studio head honestly said, “Let’s get some blonde, California-beach type of guy to play the Italian part!”?)
· The cat that Brando holds in the opening scene was just some cat that had been hanging out the set. It was dropped in Brando’s lap at the last minute.
· The horse head, which drew great criticism from animal rights groups, was sent to the studio from a dog food company. A horse was not specifically killed for this scene.
· Real life crime-family members altered their actions to that in the movie, i.e. one who would swear and use poor grammar began to copy Corleone by speaking properly and philosophizing more.