Skip to comments.The Godfather: What if Olivier had portrayed him instead of Brando?
Posted on 08/13/2011 4:18:16 PM PDT by EveningStar
Would Lord Laurence Olivier have made a better Don Vito Corleone than Marlon Brando in The Godfatherc?
Coppola's casting choices were unpopular with studio executives at Paramount Pictures, particularly Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone. Coppola's first two choices for the role were both Brando and Laurence Olivier, but Olivier's agent refused the role, saying, "Lord Olivier is not taking any jobs. He's very sick. He's gonna die soon and he's not interested" (Olivier lived 18 years after the refusal)...
I would have preferred Ernest Borgnine. I think Brando played him to wimpy...a real Godfather would probably have a temper and be pretty dominant. Just IMHO. Never met a mobster, so what do I know?
Good stuff. The IMDB trivia for this picture is fascinating for movie buffs.
Recently saw it again on AMC and it looked better than ever. Maybe a new/restored version? Just great.
He shoulda’ made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Olivier would have just asked him, “Is it safe?”
Thanks to that, Sir Laurence went on to do the narration for “The World at War.” I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing that.
Buonnaserra: [Whispers in the Godfather’s ear...]
Godfather (played by Olivier): “Now is the winter of my discontent made glorious summer by this Son of Sicily...”
Nahhhhhhh. You’ve got to be joking. Brando was brilliant in the Godfather. When I saw it first run in the theater, my jaw dropped in amazement as Brando was how I visualized him from Puzo’s book.
From what I’ve read it can really depend on the person...There have been Godfathers with extreme violent tempers(like Albert Anastasia/ Known as the Mad Hatter..Worked for Murder Inc.)and then there are Godfathers like Carlo Gambino who was refered to as a servile cringing Squirrel of a man by Bonnano..
But what one of the most clever Godfathers who increased the Gambino family to one of the most powerfull in NY and stayed in power for 18 years and died peacefully in bed.
My money was on Rudy Vallee.
How and why does one attempt to second guess an Oscar winning movie? Kinda like asking if the Beatles could have performed “Satisfaction” better than the Rolling Stones.......or Little Richard singing “New York, New York” better than Sinatra..........
That was the point, to paint the Godfather as a sympathetic character, who only killed people who needed killing, not as some raving bloodthirsty madman.
It was funny seeing Pacino doing the screen tests for the role of Sonny, thank god that didn’t happen.
The studio also wanted Burt Reynolds to play Sonny instead of James Caan. I think Burt would’ve done a good job, but Caan was great.
When I see Caan, I still think of him as Brian Piccolo.
Anthony Quinn would also have been a good choice for the role of Don Vito Corleone.
I think John Cazale had the best performance overall of any of the actors, Fredo was probably the most difficult character to play, and Cazale was just absolutely perfect.
Very surprised to see “Uncle Junior Soprano” played Johnny Ola in Godfather II.
He was great. Died of bone cancer I think.
Maybe somebody can help me out with this: What exactly did Fredo do to help Hyman Roth and Johnny Ola, thereby betraying his brother Michael?
I only found out recently that when he died, he was with Meryl Streep....and DeNiro personally bankrolled the insurance with the movie studio so he could be in The Deerhunter.
I’m not sure, but I think he inadvertently helped them set up Michael that time they shot up Michael’s house and tried to kill him.
Bingo! The family used people’s vices as a means of income; they were going to drink or gamble anyway.
The Solazzo thing with drugs turned off Don Corleone who saw it as a different means of corruption. That went against the younger, greedier Dons who didn’t emigrate here and go through the hardships he did as a young man. That is why they tried to bump him off and lead to “the mattresses.”
Speculation was he was the one who opened the curtains in the bedroom when they tried to kill Michael. He also provided key information to the Congressional Committee who was investigating the Corleone Family, knowing the key Senator on the committee was on Roth’s payroll.
Cazale was dying of cancer. His last movie was the Deer Hunter, I believe, and he died soon after it was completed.
I have, and he lived across the street from a good friend of mine just north of Detroit. In fact, he owned a huge vacant lot next to my friend's house where he supplied soccer nets and installed a goal post for the local kids to either play soccer or practice field goal kicking. He was also active in my friend's Catholic church........
For all intents and purposes, he was a wonderful old man to his neighbors but his "business" finally landed him in prison.........
It's typical hollywood hype, today's mobsters are your friendly neighbors taking their kids to soccer and ball practice or having the grandkids over for the weekend..........
He died even before completion, they altered the filming schedule, so they could film his scenes first.
I thought Brando was great in the Godfather, in fact it is the only movie I have seen him in where I didn’t think he was over acting. I am certainly not a Brando fan, I think in most of his movies he sucks. but I am no critic, I thought Betty Davis was overacting in most of her movies too and though most Hollywood interviews called her beautiful I thought she was a dog.
However, Fredo claims he had nothing to do with the hit attempt, and only wanted to break out on his own with Roth's help, since he knew he would always be the runt in the Corleone clan with no chance for his own family.
I only wish in Godfather II, they had Clemenza, instead of Pentageli. We never really learn what happend to Clemenza, other than the guy saying, “That was no heart attack.”
That is the stereotype.
Brando killed it (no pun intended).
Goidfather II wasn’t too bad , although the flashbacks were the best part of it, but Godfather III Reeked, it sucked so bad. I have never been able to watch it in it’s entirety.
There were a lot of rumors about Brando’s sexuality.
That was the original intent, however, the actor who played Clemenza, Richard Castellano, wanted too much money to do the sequel, so they killed him off and replaced his character with Frankie Pentageli.
Good one...I missed that connection.
One Saturday afternoon Eddie's girlfriend came looking for my wife, who was a nurse. I told her my wife was at work at the hospital. Girlfriend went across the street, and the guy over there was drafted to drive Eddie in his Rolls to the mob doctor to get his hand stitched up after cutting it with the hedge trimmer.
On an Easter Sunday afternoon Eddie was using spray cans to paint a big Lincoln in his driveway a different color while a Dallas police helicopter circled overhead, watching the paint job in progress. Life as Eddie's neighbor wasn't exactly dull. He moved to Houston after defaulting on his mortgage on the house, and we never heard of him again.
I read Puzo’s book well before the movie was produced....it was right to fear Luca Brazzi....my God, what an animal
Also the real reason Connie “had to leave” was just nasty
After seeing Morolon’s twitching fat ass nekkid in “Last Bango in Paris”, that was it for me......didn’t bother with anything to do with him after that.
Olivier would have been miscast as a low order Sicilian.
Brando, however, was a natural for the part, and was at his best playing tough guy, “earthy” roles.
The Godfather: What if Olivier had portrayed him instead of Brando?
The movie would have bombed!!
Any in show or movie, that we remember, the cast has a certain chemistry. We have to believe that they are the character in the story that they pretend they are.
I look at Marlin Brando, and I see a mafia don. Watch his little actions in the film. When he plays with the cat in the opening scene, when he plays with his grandson and he dies. Everything you see is inline with a powerful mafia Don circa 1950's.
Not to say anything about Olivier as an actor. He's fantastic, but he isn't a Mafia Don. He is, however, a fantastic e-Nai (Marathon Man)
Can’t stand Brando...never could...
LOL....I guess your description of Eddie as "smalltime" was right....Yo, Vinnie! Yo, Rico!