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The Godfather Part II: Coppola at His Most Powerful

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“Generally, making The Godfather, the first Godfather, was just like non-stop anxiety and, you know, wondering when I was going to get fired.” –Francis Ford Coppola, A Look Inside

Hollywood loves you when you’re on top.  Until then, watch your back.  At least, that was the case for Francis Ford Coppola.  Paramount questioned his direction of The Godfather at every turn and hired a second director to follow him around on the set.  That way, when he was fired, this “shadow” could immediately take over control of the film.  It’s a testament to Coppola’s character that he not only handled the added pressure but retained his own vision while executives demanded he change the casting, revamp the look, add more violence, etc.  It wasn’t easy.  In A Look Inside, his wife Eleanor said, “…we had two kids and I was pregnant with the third and it was like kind of a horrifying time because it seemed like at any moment the whole thing would collapse.”

His sister Talia Shire, who played Connie in the trilogy said, “No one knew when you were going to be fired on that first movie so the thing was just get enough footage in the can you know.”

After The Godfather was such a success, Paramount couldn’t wait to have Coppola direct the sequel. The newly crowned Don of directing had power and this time he did it his way.  Some say it’s better than the original.  It received 11 Academy Award nominations and became the first sequel to win Best Picture.  Oh and Coppola, finally getting the recognition he deserved, found himself in the unique position of being nominated as Best Director for two films at the same time.  His loss for The Conversation was tempered by his win for The Godfather: Part II .

Enjoy what might be the greatest sequel of all time tonight, Tuesday, February 19 on AMC @ 9PM | 8CFor a complete schedule of the series click here.

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