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.
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