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40th Anniversary Tribute to “The Godfather” — Archival Memorabilia

posted by Nell Minow

There are two big releases in honor of the 40th anniversary of one of the most critical and popular successes in film history, The Godfather.  First, coming out October 1, is The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives, the definitive behind-the-scenes guide to the making of one of modern film’s greatest works from Peter Cowie, a film historian who has written extensively on the work of Francis Ford Coppola, and in particular The Godfather trilogy.


The films received 52 Oscar nominations and 29 Oscar wins, and netted $484,000,000.00 in worldwide box office sales.  It is second on the American Film Institute’s top American films of all time.

This stunning book of memorabilia and never-before-published photos takes you behind the scenes to reveal the seldom-told story of how this epic was created against great odds. Despite the critical acclaim and financial success of the venture, the initial Paramount production was made under pressure-cooker conditions. Coppola was Paramount’s third choice for director; no one wanted to gamble on an unknown actor named Al Pacino; and the studio initially wanted Robert Redford or Ryan O’Neal to play Don Corleone. This production is brought to life through previously unpublished photos of experiences on the set and on-location filming that captures the grit of 1970s New York and glimpses of deleted scenes.

Second, Paramount studios has granted permission for replicas of fifteen items of archival memorabilia, including a poster publicizing the original film, a special leaflet on the prosthetic teeth worn by Marlon Brando, and a page from Mario Puzo’s novel annotated during the writing of the screenplay.

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