How The Godfather’s Best Pacino Scene Saved The Movie

By | November 12, 2022

A key scene in The Godfather saved Al Pacino’s work and the movie itself. Francis Ford Coppola’s movie, primarily based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the identical title, is usually ranked as one of many best movies ever made. It tells the story of a person’s transformation from “a very good boy” at “Unhealthy boy.“Michael Corleone, performed completely by Al Pacino, was Vito Corleone’s second youngest son and the primary protagonist of the epic story. Pacino’s efficiency, together with Coppola’s route, have been two key parts that made The Godfather the enduring movie it has develop into. Nonetheless, the 2 won’t have occurred with out a explicit scene.


Throughout the casting course of for The Godfather, Coppola, who had seen Pacino in Panic in Needle Park (his first starring function in a film), needed him for the function of Michael Corleone. Paramount Photos needed an enormous title actor, nevertheless. Depart the gun, take the cannoli, by Mark Seal, detailed how the studio did not assume Pacino was proper for the function. Beneath stress from his casting alternative, Coppola sped up filming of the now-iconic restaurant scene through which Michael kills Corleone Household rival Virgil Sollozzo and police captain Mark McCluskey. Pacino’s efficiency was visceral. The viewer knew the violence was coming, and the rawness of it was juxtaposed with Michael’s managed feelings. As soon as the studio noticed Pacino on this scene, they relented, permitting Coppola’s imaginative and prescient for the movie to return to fruition.

Associated: How Al Pacino Was Forged For The Godfather (& Why It Was Controversial)

The Godfather restaurant scene additionally saved Coppola

Al Pacino in The Godfather II.

The GodfatherThe director of, Francis Ford Coppola, was additionally beneath fixed menace of being fired by the studio. They objected to his casting selections and his collection of Gordon Willis as his cinematographer. Coppola fought with Paramount over the size of the movie, with Coppola’s 175 minutes far exceeding the 120 minutes dictated by the studio. Coppola needed the movie to be darker, slower and extra intentional, whereas Paramount needed it brighter with intercourse, medicine and violence, a low-budget crime drama. Each events have been harassed, and Paramount went as far as to have backup administrators on set prepared in case they fired Coppola. Nonetheless, the scene that saved Pacino’s job additionally saved Coppola’s. The studio realized that Coppola was onto one thing after the restaurant scene, subsequently giving him extra freedom to implement his imaginative and prescient.

Why The Godfather’s Restaurant Scene Is So Good

Godfather restaurant scene

The restaurant scene in The Godfather is studied to today. As Michael sat on the desk with Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey, brief takes alternated with lengthy takes in a rhythm of trepidation, the enhancing bringing the strain to a fever pitch. Michael’s frantic seek for the gun within the restroom and his return to the desk got here to a crescendo as he stood up and fired. The absence of music for a lot of the scene accentuated the sound of the passing practice, which in flip served to focus on the turmoil in Michael Corleone’s thoughts as he was about to to cross the assassin’s threshold. It was a scene of violence in that two folks have been shot and killed, however there was additionally a violent intent that was conveyed in the best way Al Pacino as Michael Corleone quietly simmered. His physique language and icy stare confirmed menace in a person who up till that second needed nothing to do with such issues, however in these six minutes or so he went inextricably at it. immersed. This complexity explains The Godfatherthe lasting legacy of the restaurant scene.

Behind the scenes of The Godfather was stuffed with battle and indecision, however the finish product is likely one of the most influential movies of all time. Pacino and Coppola have been beneath fixed menace of being fired. Paramount Photos lastly determined to offer in. The movie went on to gross over $740 million, and Pacino and Coppola grew to become revered names within the business. If it wasn’t for The Godfatherit’s doubtless that this legacy would have been very completely different.

Subsequent: The Godfather E-book & Film Timeline Defined (And What The Provide Modifications)