The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay (50th Anniversary Edition) by Jenny M. Jones

Around the same time, exactly 50 years ago, one of the greatest films of all time was released for an unsuspecting film: the film adaptation of Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel The Godfather.

Somehow, due to a lot of skepticism and reluctant feelings from Paramount Pictures, the project almost never got off the ground. At first, Paramount was reluctant to choose the option for The Godfather because previous gangster pictures produced by the studio flopped at the box office (however, they changed their minds when the book became a bestseller). -best seller and has sold over one million copies); a total of 12 directors rejected the prospect of working on the film, even Francis Ford Coppola; however, Paramount originally did not want Coppola due to his lackluster track record as a director (i.e. Finian’s Rainbow and The Rain People); the majority of the cast was made up of strangers, with the exception of Marlon Brando, who was experiencing a number of flops at the time (i.e. Burn!, A Countess from Hong Kong, and Candy, for n to name a few); and Italian American community groups across the country protested the making of the film, due to its characterizations of Italian Americans and their culture.

The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Scenario

Despite all of these negative factors, the film was made and is now a pop culture icon and a recognized classic in movie history.

In 2007, film book author Jenny M. Jones published The Annotated Godfather, a fact-filled, lavishly illustrated book with the complete shooting script (the third draft written by Coppola and Puzo) as its core. And for the film’s golden anniversary, the book was reissued (with a new preface by Coppola), but it hasn’t lost its luster.

This book is a must-have for your Godfather library, whether you’ve read the novel, seen the movie dozens of times, or both. Not only does it include rare behind-the-scenes photos, many unknown production facts regarding the making of the film, but it also includes dialogue from scenes that were deleted from the original 1972 film, but were later used for The Godfather Saga during its broadcast. NBC in 1977.

Al Pacino – The Godfather

But it’s the facts that are included in the book’s margins that set it apart from millions of Godfather fans. For example, how the scene that involved the horse’s head in movie mogul Jack Woltz’s bed was made (the head was real, it was from a factory that made dog food; the blood was syrup from Karo); the mechanics behind the scene when Sonny Corleone was machine-gunned to death by the Barzini family at the causeway tollbooth (this was done in one take at a cost of $100,000 – in 1972 dollars – and sacrificed genuine 1941 Lincoln Continental with 200 bullet holes drilled in it and filled with explosive charges); the significance behind the oranges that were used as props throughout the film, which many believed symbolized a certain character’s impending death (Coppola said the oranges reminded him of Sicily and were used as a contrast colored with the dark, earthy tones that were used in most of his scenes); Marlon Brando’s penchant for practical jokes, which was epitomized by the scene where Don Corleone comes home from the hospital and is carried to his room on a stretcher. Before he was filmed, Brando loaded him with sandbags and the total weight of the stretcher with him and the sandbags totaled over 500 pounds; and most importantly, the word “mafia” was never used in the entire film and was not found in the script at all.

Additionally, the book includes full closing credits (in front and behind the camera), a list of all the awards and accolades the film has received since 1972, and an index to every immortal line of dialogue in the film.

So let this fascinating book that is the 50and the anniversary edition of The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay be your godfather bible, because if you don’t, expect a visit from Luca Brasi (when he’s not sleeping with the fishes, of course).

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