101 Greatest Screenplays

Some facts about the writing of the film:

  • Well before The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola had an interest in making a film about a father and son at the same age. "In the father you see the potential of the son, and in the son you see the influence of the father," said Coppola. Peter Cowie, Coppola: A Biography
  • The flashback sequences with Young Vito were part of Mario Puzo's original Godfather novel, but not used for the first film. Peter Cowie, Coppola: A Biography
  • Puzo and Coppola passionately disagreed over whether Michael should have Fredo killed. Coppola agreed only on the condition that Michael would wait until their mother was dead. Peter Cowie, Coppola: A Biography
  • The film, according to Coppola, was not meant to be a sequel in the traditional Hollywood sense; it was written as if it were part two of a novel. This influenced all parts of production even the same camera and lenses for the first film were used in the second, even though by 1974 they were less advanced technologically. Peter Cowie, Coppola: A Biography
  • In an early version of the script, an ongoing story line was Tom Hagen having an affair with Sonny Corleone's widow. This was later discarded, but the line where Michael Corleone tells Hagen that he can take his "wife, children and mistress to Las Vegas" was kept. IMDB
  • On the DVD, one of the deleted scenes shows Vito, Genco and Clemenza meeting in a shop owned by a "Signor Coppola." Clemenza asks if Coppola's young son, Carmine, will play them a song on the clarinet while they work. The boy comes in and plays them a song. This scene supposedly was written by Francis Ford Coppola in honor of his father, Carmine Coppola, who provided much of the music for the first two films. DVD extras, The Godfather II

Read a page from the screenplay of The Godfather II.