So you couldn't make it to the Tribeca Film Fest for "The Godfather" 45th reunion -- you can watch the whole thing right now!
On Saturday night, the film fest (which was co-founded by Robert De Niro) hosted a back-to-back screening of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather, Part II," followed by an epic discussion with director Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and De Niro. Director Taylor Hackford (who just directed De Niro in "The Comedian") was the moderator.
Marlon Brando, who passed away in 2004, was there in spirit: A framed photo of him in his Oscar-winning role as Vito Corleone hung behind the assembled actors. There was also a bust of a horse's head, but, apparently, no cannolis.
Among the topics discussed:
- How Brando and Duvall mooned everyone during the wedding scene. Coppola reminded the two actors, "There are women and children present, Bobby!" And the kicker: A women then approached Duvall, saying, "Mr. Duvall, you are fine, but my god, did you see the balls on that Brando?!?"
- Pacino and Keaton -- both primarily known as theater actors at the time -- were so nervous about working on a film set, they got drunk together after the wedding scene. Pacino recalled, "We got so loaded after that wedding sequence... The whole thing had sort of a surreal feel to it. So we got back and started drinking: 'Where do we go from here? We're done, it's over! This is the worst film ever made!'" Gladly, he was dead wrong. (The two dated on and off up through "The Godfather, Part III.")
- Pacino initially wasn't interested in playing Michael Corleone. "It"s not a good role," he remembers thinking. "Sonny [the hothead older brother who was played by James Caan] is the part I can play!" The studio famously didn't want him to play Michael either and made him keep screen testing even after he had the part.
- Lenny Montana, the former wrestler who played hitman Luca Brasi, was very likely "the real deal." Coppola recalled asking Montana if he would be able to convincingly play the scene where Brasi sits on his bed, loads his gun with bullets and spins the chamber. The actor replied, "Are you kiddin' me?" Hackford asked if Lenny was, "the real deal." Coppola responded with a broad, silent shrug that got the biggest laugh of the evening.
Watch the entire 90-minute panel here:
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