The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives tells the fascinating story of the movie that nearly didn’t happen, through objects from the official archives and on-set photography. Film historian, and The Godfather aficionado, Peter Cowie (who’s written extensively on Francis Ford Coppola) delves deep into the trilogy’s history. With the help of many previously unseen behind-the-scene images from the Paramount Archives, Cowie explores the filming and editing process, as well as the trilogy’s critical reception upon release.


how the casting was assembled, and how Pacino was eventually cast as Michael Corleone, after some complex negotiations
how Coppola was determined to underpin every sequence with authenticity
how a special denture device was used to create Brando’s distinctive and evocative ‘hamster-cheeks’
how production designer Dean Tavoulis’s fascination for classical and ancient architecture influenced expansive scenes such as Barzini’s murder on the New York County Courthouse steps
how the ‘lived-in’ costume design look was achieved
page after page of rare and previously unpublished scripts and script notes,
The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives covers assembling the cast, production, costumes, cinematography, location work, shooting, editing, making the music, the Premiere and press reception, the awards, the deleted scenes and the parts II and III, as well as the film’s influence and legacy.

This book concentrates on the elements that combined – against all odds – to make the Paramount production so successful when it appeared in 1972, and how that popularity has endured to the present day.

About the author:

Peter Cowie is a film historian who has written extensively on the work of Francis Ford Coppola, and in particular The Godfather trilogy, and was formerly International Publishing Director of Variety.

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