Here Are 6 Facts About The Godfather That Hardly Anybody Knows

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece is undoubted “The Godfather”. It's hard to imagine that there are still some facts about the film most people don’t know. But we've rounded up some fascinating facts we bet you've not heard before!

Photo: @marlonbrando/Instagram

Marlon Brando's Cue Cards

Legendary actor Marlon Brando insisted on reading cue cards during the takes. He believed it increased spontaneity. With a general idea of the words and looking at the card, he believed that the viewers would feel the character is truly thinking of what he’s going to say. So the directors taped cue cards everywhere: on bushes, lamps, and even on other actors.

Part III Could've Been Without Michael Corleone

Coppola almost wrote Al Pacino’s character out of Part III. The producers offered Pacino $5 million to reprise his role as Michael Corleone, but Pacino demanded $7 million and a percentage of the movie’s box office gross, which upset Coppola so much so that he threatened to write him out. There was even a draft script without Michael in it. The story would have opened with Michael’s funeral. The actor accepted the $5 million.

Luca Brasi's Nerves

The first Godfather movie introduces the audience to a very nervous Luca Brasi. The nerves were real. Lenny Montana, who plays Brasi felt terribly intimidated to do a scene with Brando. He could barely get through his dialogues. But Coppola decided to use the nervous energy. It worked out brilliantly for both characters and the storyline. 

Photo: The Godfather: The Game/ Electronic Arts

No Mention of “Mafia” and “Mob”

Coppola's decision to remove the two words from the script came after he met with the Italian-American Civil Rights League which worked to fight cultural stereotypes. Perhaps the only place the film mentions the word is in a newspaper headline: “Mobster Barzini Questioned in Uniworld Feud.”

The Real Meaning of “Don”

“Don” in Italian doesn’t mean “murderous mafia boss.” The closest equivalent is “respected uncle” or someone you treat with respect – even nobility, perhaps. Coppola said that Mario Puzo, the author of the Godfather novels made up the word’s usage, which unfortunately stuck.

Sofia Coppola Appears in all Three Films

In the first Godfather film, Sofia is the baby in the baptism scene. She also plays the immigrant girl on board a ship who brings Vito Corleone to Ellis Island in The Godfather II. Sofia appears again as Michael Corleone’s daughter in part III.