* AllStarCast: Creator/AlPacino, Robert Duvall, Creator/JamesCaan, Alex Rocco, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Abe Vigoda, Talia Shire and Creator/EliWallach were big names in the sequels, most of them owing it to [[StarMakingRole the roaring success of the original]]. During the making of the first film only Brando was a bona fide huge star and Sterling Hayden a household name.
* AwardCategoryFraud: Creator/MarlonBrando won Best Actor for playing Vito Corleone, even though the lead character is Michael, played by AlPacino, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
* BreakthroughHit: Because of the original, you know who Creator/FrancisFordCoppola is.
* DawsonCasting: Inverted in ''Part III'' - Mary Corleone ''should'' be in her twenties (she was about 5 in ''Part II'', which took place 21 years earlier) but Creator/SofiaCoppola was still a teenager when she played her.
* EasterEgg: In the [[VideoGame/TheGodfather videogame]], on the mission where you help protect Vito in the hospital, if you go up to Vito's room while Michael is talking to him and listen in, the conversation is one of MarlonBrando's last recorded performances. A [[TheOtherDarrin Marlon Brando soundalike]] was used for Vito's other scenes, as Brando was too ill to complete his work.
* EnforcedMethodActing: In the "Woltz's bedroom" scene, John Marley (who played Woltz) was not told that they would be using an actual horse head for the scene, as they had used various props in rehearsals.
* FakeNationality:
** American Actor (of Anglo-Irish extraction) Marlon Brando plays Italian immigrant Vito Corleone. Jewish American actor James Caan plays his son Santino. The Jewish actor Abe Vigoda plays the Italian Sal Tessio. And in an unusual subversion of Jewish actors in Hollywood playing Italians, Italian-American actor Alex Rocco plays Jewish gangster Moe Greene.
** Cuban American Andy Garcia plays Italian American Vincent Mancini.
** Creator/EliWallach, of Jewish extraction, playing Italian Mob boss Don Altobello.
* ExecutiveMeddling:
** According to Coppola & Puzo, ''The Godfather Part III'' was meant to be titled ''The Death of Michael Corleone'' to highlight the fact that it did not follow on directly from ''Part II'', but rather was meant to be "[[DistantFinale an epilogue]]." They were overruled, with executives saying "You can't make a Godfather movie without 'The Godfather' in the title!" This after Coppola had to '''demand''' the second film be titled ''The Godfather Part II'' instead of something else.
** This also occurred during the first film as well. Stanley R. Jaffe, who was then Paramount's executive vice president and chief operations officer, along with producer Robert Evans, frequently fought with Coppola over creative matters during the film, from his decision to cast Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in the main roles, to his editing of the final product. It got so bad, that Coppola had to have the film's on-set physician prescribe him sleeping pills in order to combat his stress related insomnia. [[http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/03/godfather200903 "The Godfather Wars"]] gives a very thorough account of the whole odyssey.
* LifeImitatesArt: The real life mobsters were so flattered by the classy characterization of Brando and the Corleones in general that they started to style themselves after don Vito, invoking all kind of manerisms old-fashioned or forgotten by then.\\
A real-life mob-boss was [[http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/142-mob-boss-arrested-while-playing-godfather-game apprehended while he was playing the videogame adaptation.]]
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** Luca Brasi may sleep with the fishes, but Sal Tessio (Abe Vigoda) ''is'' [[BarneyMiller Fish]].
** For the younger audiences Joey Zasa is [[Series/CriminalMinds Rossi]] and also [[TheSimpsons Fat Tony]]
** [[{{Film/Rocky}} Adrian]] is a Corleone. Kinda makes you wish Rocky was around to protect her while Carlo abused her.
* MoneyDearBoy: Coppola's reason for making all three films. He was head of a very unprofitable film company when he was offered the first one (offered purely on the grounds that he was Italian), and thought it was a stupid genre movie that he didn't want to waste his time on... but he really needed the money. Coppola wanted to now move away from the studio and focus on his personal film projects ''Film/TheConversation'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', which he could get finance for... Providing he made another Godfather film. Then many years later he was struggling with debts from failed projects... people went to see my Godfather movies, didn't they? Yeah, let's make another one of those. People sometimes cite this trope as a reason the third one sucked, but it was there the whole time.
* NumberedSequels: Cinema's TropeMaker. The first major film to use this trend was ''The Godfather Part II''. It was one of Creator/FrancisFordCoppola's three demands for working on the sequel. His two other demands were approved, but the studio highly objected to simply following the title with a number. Its success began the tradition of numbered sequels. Oddly enough, this was inverted for ''Part III''. Coppola, now without AuteurLicense, wanted to call it ''The Death of Michael Corleone'', but the studio wouldn't let him.
* PlayingAgainstType: Michael (especially in ''Part II'') is a more subdued and quiet role than what Creator/AlPacino usually plays. This, ironically, was also Pacino's first major role. It could be considered a positive, actor-specific example of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness.
* RealLifeRelative: Coppola defines ''The Godfather'' as his own family business because several of his relatives had minor acting or production-related roles in the movies. His sister Talia Shire played Connie Corleone in all three movies. His daughter Sofia was the baby being baptised at the end of Part I, and also played Mary Corleone in Part III. His son Roman played the young Sonny Corleone in Part II. Coppola's father Carmine composed part of the score.
* RefittedForSequel: Vito's backstory in ''Part II'' is taken from scenes in the original novel that were left out of the first film.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Danny Aiello (''Film/DoTheRightThing'', ''Film/HudsonHawk'') plays one of the Rosatto Brothers in Part II.
** Also in Part II, Harry Dean Stanton (''Film/{{Alien}}'') is one of the FBI guys guarding Frank Pentagelli when he's a witness for the Senate against Michael.
** Furthermore, Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior in ''Series/TheSopranos'') plays Johnny Ola
* SequelGap: ''Part III'' was released in 1990, 16 years after the previous installment.
* StarMakingRole:
** Al Pacino (Michael), Diane Keaton (Kay), and John Cazale (Fredo), who sadly didn't get much time to enjoy it due to his early death from cancer.
** Robert De Niro (Young Vito) in ''Part II''.
* ThrowItIn:
** The actor playing Luca Brasi was so nervous about acting opposite Brando that he flubbed his line. Coppola liked it and kept it in, and later filmed the scene of Brasi [[CrowningMomentOfFunny rehearsing his line over and over]] to make the flub funnier.
** Clemenza's famous "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli" was ad-libbed by Richard Castellano.
** In the "You can act like a man!" scene, Vito suddenly jumping, shaking and slapping Johnny Fontane was an improvisation by Brando, who felt that actor Al Martino was not showing enough emotion. Fontane's surprised face was unusable and is never shown, only his back.
* TroubledProduction: [[ExecutiveMeddling Paramount]] was not helpful to Coppola at all, and the troubles during the first film's production enjoy a quasi-mythological status in the Hollywood metascene. [[note]]The book originates from Mario Puzo being a TheGamblingAddict no less[[/note]] The in-fighting with Robert Evans (among others) was so crude that Coppola banned him from the sequel, and there were several Mafia interferences with [[ActorSharedBackground striking similarities]] to the events of the movie. The title of the Vanity Fair article on this ([[http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/03/godfather200903 The Godfather Wars]]) is not sensationalized at all.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** A large list of actors were considered for the part of Vito Corleone:
*** Music/FrankSinatra tried very hard to be cast. This would have made Vito's conversation with Johnny Fontane one of the funniest {{Actor Allusion}}s ever.
*** Creator/OrsonWelles lobbied heavily for the part. Coppola felt so bad about turning him down that he offered him the part of Colonel Kurtz in ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', but for some reason Welles didn't take it.
*** Others considered for the role: Creator/LaurenceOlivier, Creator/ErnestBorgnine, Anthony Quinn, George C. Scott, Edward G. Robinson, and [[OddNameOut Danny Thomas]].
** Creator/RobertRedford and Ryan O'Neal were considered for the part of Michael Corleone. Almost enforced by ExecutiveMeddling as Coppola wanted the black-haired Mediterranean type but admitted that many Italians have blond hair and blue eyes.
** Creator/RobertDeNiro was very nearly cast as Vito's driver Paulie Gatto ("Won't see him no more") in the first film, which would have precluded him from taking his StarMakingRole in the sequel.
** ''Part III'' was originally to be about the breakdown between Michael and Tom. However, Tom was written out when his actor, Robert Duvall, demanded to be paid the same as or marginally close to the amount that Al Pacino was getting.
** WinonaRyder was supposed to play Mary in ''Part III'' but she opted to film ''Mermaids'' instead. Rebecca Schaeffer was also up for the part of Mary before she was murdered.
** Originally Clemenza was to return in ''Part II'' but the actor made too many demands, and the character was replaced with Pentangeli. Given the scenes of Clemenza bonding with Michael and [[spoiler:advising him on his first hit]] in the first film, it would have made the events of the second even more tragic.
** Marlon Brando was supposed to appear in the birthday party flashback at the end of ''Part II''. But due to a dispute with Paramount he never turned up for the shoot, forcing Coppola to rewrite the scene on the spot, in which Vito is TheGhost.
** Joe Spinell was originally supposed to reprise his role as Willi Cicci in ''Part III'', in which he would have taken over the Corleones' New York operation, but Spinell died before production. Cicci's role in the story was replaced by new character Joey Zasa, played by Joe Mantegna.
** Coppola wanted to make a fourth movie with a similar layout to ''Part II'', focusing on both the Corleones' rise to power under Vito and Sonny's leadership, and the present-day fall of the Corleone empire under Vincent, but many of the actors were disinterested, and the project was abandoned after the [[AuthorExistenceFailure death of Mario Puzo]].
** Coppola initially didn't want to direct ''Part II'', and instead recommended a young, up-and-coming director: Creator/MartinScorsese. Paramount rejected the idea because Scorsese was too unknown at the time.
* Coppola wanted to call the third movie "The Death Of Michael Corleone" but the studios nixed it. It might not be a big deal but it would probably have lessened the comparisons to the first two movies and made it clear it was an epilogue as Coppola intended. Also the title would have gotten audiences to expect Michael would be killed and made the ending where [[spoiler: his daughter Mary is killed and instead and he actually dies years later]] a complete surprise.
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