Who Was the First Choice To Direct American-Italian Movie ‘The Godfather’?

Heather McKeever

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This Legendary Western Director Was the First Choice To Direct 'The Godfather'

This week marks 50 years since the movie “The Godfather” came out. Here are some things about this well-known movie that you might not know. In 1967, it only cost Paramount Pictures $80,000 to turn Mario Puzo’s famous book about a thief into a movie. It looks like Puzo’s agent told him not to sell the rights to make a movie for so little money.

When the agency told him to wait until the book was done, he was very smart. He wasn’t listening. When he went to the bathroom in the morning, Puzo would hit his head against the mirror because he didn’t think he had done enough for himself.

Sergio Leone, not Francis Ford Coppola, was the first person chosen to direct The Godfather. People in charge of the movie thought that Leone, who is Italian-American, would be the best person to direct a great story about an Italian survivor who becomes a hero in America.

But Leone was busy making the crime movie Once Upon a Time in America. Coppola looks like she first said “no” and then “yes.”

Who Was the Director of The Godfather?

When you first start to watch movies, you know that The Godfather is a good example of status. People say it’s one of the best movies ever made. It’s amazing that the movie is as important as everyone says it will be.

Everyone will always remember how well Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and James Caan played their parts and how Francis Ford Coppola directed the movie.

This Legendary Western Director Was the First Choice To Direct 'The Godfather'

How well Coppola did as a director showed how good a director can be. Sergio Leone almost made Mario Puzo’s book into a movie, even though Coppola’s The Godfather is one of the best movies ever made.

Even though Paramount had doubts and fears about Coppola’s vision, they chose from the beginning to hire a director with Italian roots to show how the sweet and delicate culture of Italy was different from the cruel ways of the Corleone family in the underworld.

Before choosing Coppola, the company was interested in Sergio Leone, a great Italian director who was one of the first to really change the way Westerns were made. Leone is best known for the Dollars Trilogy, which stars Clint Eastwood and is often called a “Spaghetti Western.”

Even though he has only made a few movies, each one is a gem in its own right, mixing grimy pulp tastes with stark pictures of the tragedy of violence and capitalism. In other words, Leone was the right director to take The Godfather’s garbage core and turn it into an epic story about family.

Leone couldn’t say no to directing The Godfather. He was almost done with his last Western, Duck, You Sucker!, when Paramount asked him about it. Leone didn’t say yes because of two things. He didn’t like the way the story talked about the characters because he thought it made the mafia look good.

This is a complaint about mob flicks that came out after The Godfather. Because organized crime and living in wealth are so interesting, it’s hard for directors to make people turn away in disgust. Leone also said no because he was already planning to make a movie about the mob.

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