Behind Francis Ford Coppola's Magic, the Work 'The Godfather Notebook'

Apr 10, 2017 1813


When actor Alex Rocco died in July 2015, I felt a twinge of sadness for the passing of the man who was a key part in my favorite scene from The Godfather (1972). While the movie impacts everyone differently, there was something hilarious yet awesome in Rocco’s portrayal of Moe Green and his righteous indignation when Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) offers to buy him out. My friend William and I often trade the dialogue back and forth: “You goddamn guineas really make me laugh.” or “He was banging cocktail waitresses two at a time.” Or “Do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene. I was making my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders.”

The Godfather was, and always will be, associated with the man who took Mario Puzo’s novel and turned it into what many consider the best or perhaps the second-best film of all time (often losing to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane). Francis Ford Coppola has written, produced, and directed over 40 films, but he will always be known for The Godfather. And yet, almost half a century after its debut, I found myself in the remarkable situation recently of learning more about Coppola and the making of the film than I had previously known, thanks to the release of Regan Arts’ The Godfather Notebook.

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