Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Godfather (1972) - Michael Corleone

The Godfather is based on the novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In the film Al Pacino play Michael Corleone, the youngest son of head of the Corleone family, Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), and later became the next Don.

Alongside with Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), Michael is the only college-educated member of the family. Michael initially wants nothing to do with the underworld, so the other mafia families consider him a "civilian" uninvolved in mob business. But a second murder attempt to his father at the hospital arranged by Bruno Tattaglia and Tattaglia family's associate Virgil Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), and helped by corrupt Irish American police Captain McCluskey (Sterling Hayden) lead his evolution from doe-eyed outsider to ruthless new mafia boss following his father death.

Al Pacino play Michael CorleoneAl Pacino was not a well known actor at the time, and Paramount originally wanted Ryan O'Neal or Robert Redford to play Michael Corleone. Warren Beaty, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, and Martin Sheen also auditioned for the role. Coppola insist to use Pacino, and threatened to quit the production if Pacino wasn't given the role. Paramount were opposed to casting Pacino, who did poorly in screen tests (and in part because of his height), until they saw his excellent performance in The Panic in Needle Park (1971).

However, Paramount executive still don't like him. When they only saw the early scenes of Michael at the wedding, they were exclaiming, "When is he going to do something?" and Pacino nearly got fired midway through filming. But when they finally saw the scene where Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey, they changed their minds and Pacino got to keep his job.

Al Pacino received $35,000 for his work on The Godfather. For his role as Michael Corleone, Pacino had been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The Godfather then received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.


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