• The Film
  • The Story
  • The Influence
  • Facts and Figures

One of the greatest films
in world cinema!

Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather (1972) is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time.

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola.
Based on Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, the film stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family.

The story, spanning the years 1945 to 1955, centers on the transformation of Michael Corleone from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while also chronicling the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone.

The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema, and as one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre.

Now ranked as the second greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1990.

The film was for a time the highest grossing picture ever made, and remains the box office leader for 1972. It won three Oscars that year: for Best Picture, for Best Actor (Brando) and in the category Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola.

Its nominations in seven other categories included Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall for Best Supporting Actor and Coppola for Best Director.
The success spawned two sequels: The Godfather Part II in 1974, and The Godfather Part III in 1990.

To this day, the Godfather and the Godfather Part II remain the only original and sequel to both win the Oscar for Best Picture.