Michael Corleone

Michael Corleone red

The Godfather Part II – little known trivia

  • Michael Corleone was the last role in which Al Pacino was able to be convinced that the scenes in which he featured would not benefit from him shouting every line as loudly as he could.
  • To prepare for his role in Part II, renowned method actor Robert De Niro grew a real moustache and lived with it for 3 weeks before filming began.
  • In the famous scene where Michael Corleone confronts brother Fredo about his betrayal, the script actually called for him to say “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my Optimus Prime action figure.” Pacino, drunk on his own hubris (and as a result of pounding Cuba Libres all day on location), blurted out: “you broke my heart” and refused point blank to do another take. Reviews were mixed.
  • Originally the actors in the flashback scenes wore trousers with zippers. One of the musicians, however, pointed out that the zipper had not been invented at that time, so they fired the musician and gave everything two zippers.
  • During the filming of part II, Diane Keaton was in the teeth of one of her more ferocious methamphetamine binges and had to have the vomit combed out of her hair between takes.
  • When he read the original script, the actor who played Don Ciccio (Giuseppe Sillato) expressed plaintive reservations about his character having a “really gay name”. After lengthy negotiations however, he was persuaded to play the part as written, even wearing a three piece white suit and drinking coffee from a very small cup with his little finger sticking out like that.
  • Since this was not made explicit in the script, Al Pacino has been quick to claim credit for suggesting that the character of Michael should have two legs. This has subsequently been feted as a masterstroke of characterisation.
  • James Caan, who reprised the character of Sonny for a flashback towards the end of the film, used to enjoy distracting his fellow cast members by whipping out his genitals while they were filming. In fact, in the heartrending scene where Kay confesses to Michael that she has had an abortion, you can clearly see the dancing silhouette of Caan’s cock playing across the hotel suite wall.
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