Facts About ‘The Godfather’ Even The Most Die-Hard Fans Can’t Refuse To Read About

“You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me ‘Godfather.'” There are many classic lines from the iconic 1972 film The Godfather. And for good reason: the film, directed by Francis Coppola, is critically acclaimed, won three Academy Awards for the year it was released, and is considered by many to be, quite simply, one of the greatest films of all time. And typically, those who disagree only do so because they think it IS the absolute best!

A lot of fans know the tale of the Corleone family, but they don’t know the behind-the-scenes stories that brought the film together. Here are a few things you may have missed, including something you might not have known at all about the classic horse head scene.

Marlon Brando Wasn’t The Studio’s First Choice

marlon brando smiling and wearing a black dinner suit with a white shirt, with wing-tip collars, and a black bow tie,
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

It’s a role that has largely defined his career. Although Marlon Brando was a big Hollywood star before The Godfather — he won an Academy Award for his part in On The Waterfront, for instance — Paramount Pictures didn’t think he fit the role as Vito Corleone. Francis Coppola saw things differently, however, and pushed for Brando to do a screen test.

The test worked, and Brando impressed the studio with how well he actually brought the character to life. Coppola knew what the studio heads didn’t — that’s Brando’s acting chops, from the way he spoke to the way he carried himself, was the perfect portrayal for Don Corleone.