15 March, 2011

The Duchess Celebrates . . .

"The Godfather"

On this, the Ides of March, the Duchess celebrates the release of "The Godfather" ("Der Pate") thirty-nine years ago today.  Written by Mario Puzo, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and produced by icon Robert Evans at Paramount, "The Godfather" has been appropriately lionized:  It won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and was ranked second (after Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute on its list 100 Years . . . 100 Movies

The wedding of Connie Corleone and Carlo Rizzi
The wedding of Michael Corleone and Apollonia
The "killing scene".  Pacino reportedly was in danger of being fired from the film until Coppola shot this scene, when Pacino's embodiment of the Michael Corleone character became fully revealed. 
Moe Green, whose ghost comes back to haunt Michael in "The Godfather:  Part II" ("con Hyman Roth").
The long-suffering Kay Adams Corleone (a spectacular Diane Keaton). 
Passing the torch.
Coppola and Evans.  The two got along infamously during production.  Evans had plenty of less than favorable things to say about Coppola in his memoir, "The Kid Stays in the Picture".  Being deeply in love with Evans as she is, the Duchess easily could fall prey to the temptation to loathe Coppola based on his accounts of bad behavior.  But she once read an interview where Coppola, when asked for what he would most like to be remembered, said that he wanted to be remembered as someone who was kind to children.  That's such an honorable aspiration that there must be some good there.

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