soundtrack

The film’s famous score was composed by Nino Rota. Francis Ford Coppola’s father Carmine Coppola contributed music to the film.
Later, his son would call on him to compose additional music for the score of The Godfather Part II (1974) and most of the score for The Godfather Part III (1990).

When director Francis Ford Coppola turned novelist Mario Puzo’s The Godfather into one of the greatest accomplishments of modern American cinema in 1972, one of his shrewdest decisions was to hand the scoring assignment to the great Italian film composer Nino Rota. Rota achieved international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s for his work with Italian directors Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, scoring movies including White Nights, The Leopard, La Dolce Vita and 8½, and whose scores for La Dolce Vita (1960) and 8 1/2 (1963) remain some of the finest in movie history. Rota brought Neopolitan jazz stylings and a Sicilian melodic sensibility (characterized perfectly by the main title’s mournful solo trumpet, which has since become a cinematic icon) to a story of corruption and betrayal.

The Godfather soundtrack won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written Specifically For A Motion

Picture or for Television. In 1972, the album stood at number 21 (peak) in the Billboard 200 charts. Although Nino Rota’s score for The Godfather (1972) was refused an Oscar nomination because he reused the same theme from his previous score for Fortunella (1958), he was still awarded the Oscar for Best Original Score for the sequel even though it still used the same love theme from the first film.

Nino Rota’s compositions come to life in a dark, looming, and elegant soundtrack. The soundtrack’s “Main Title” is a classical recording, and establishes a theme for the rest of the score. “I Have but One Heart” is the sole vocal track on the album, featuring Al Martino switching from English to Italian lyrics. “The Halls of Fear” develops the theme even further by adding a dark, jazzy slant to it. The standout cut is “The Godfather Finale.” This is where the theme becomes undeniable, and simply striking.

The AFI voted The Godfather score the #5 Greatest Film Score of All Time.

Anyone who has seen the film has undoubtedly fallen in love with Nino Rota’s amazing score, thematically beautiful and with more than a hint of his Italian roots.