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A Photo Set You Can't Refuse | Photos from Behind the Scenes of 'The Godfather'

Posted on January 05 2015

During the production of The Goddfather, photographer Steve Schapiro was on deck to capture the magic that is Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 masterpiece. A few years ago, The Godfather Family Album was published - a lavish coffee table book containing more than 400 of Schapiro’s behind-the-scenes images from the Godfather trilogy. Here are some to wet your whistle...

 
Francis Ford Coppola considered bringing Marlon Brando back to play Vito Corleone as a young man, convinced that he could play the role at any age. As he worked on the script, though, he remembered Robert De Niro’s exceptional audition for The Godfather and cast him without offering the part to Brando.
 
 
The wedding scene, with Marlon Brando and Al Martino.
 
 
Coppola directs Brando and the cast in the wedding scene at the start of The Godfather.
 
 
Coppola, center, with cast members James Caan, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and John Cazale.
 
 
Makeup artist Dick Smith turns Brando into Don Corleone.
 
 
Marlon Brando having some fun during his makeup session.
 
 
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Francis Ford Coppola. 
 
 
Coppola and Brando work on the choreography of the scene in which Don Corleone is shot.
 
 
Red Buttons, Mario Puzo and Marlon Brando.
 
 
Marlon Brando is Don Vito Corleone, and his kitty.
 
 
Filming an early scene with Marlon Brando.
 
 
Salvatore Corsitto playing Bonasera, with Brando.
 
 
Marlon Brando with a young Robert Duvall in the background.
 
 
Marlon Brando and Al Pacino on set.
 
 
Francis Ford Coppola sets up an early scene with Marlon Brando.
 
 
Don Vito Corleone: A Man of Reason.
 
 
Coppola with his two leading actors. The Godfather would launch Pacino’s film career and revitalize Brando’s.
 
 
Diane Keaton and Al Pacino break character between takes.
 
 
James Caan takes a break during filming of the tollbooth assassination scene in which his character, Sonny Corleone in gunned down.
 
 
Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton filming The Godfather in New York City.
 
 
Al Pacino and Diane Keaton.
 
 
The family.
 
 
The cast gets positioned for pictures of Connie Corleone’s wedding party. Notice that Brando and Caan, at center, are out of character and Robert Duvall, far left, is mugging.
 
 
Brando betrays amusement at one of his on-set pranks: he added weights to the gurney in order to make it more difficult for his castmates to carry him up the stairs.
 
 
Al Pacino and Marlon Brando.
 
 
Michael (Al Pacino) & Fredo Corleone (John Cazale).
 
 
Al Pacino and Dick Smith during makeup session.
 
 
Pacino and Brando rehearse a scene.
 
 
Brando receives a drum as a present at his farewell party.
 
 -rbjs
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