The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss. Paramount Pictures obtained the rights to the novel for the price of $80,000, before it gained popularity. Studio executives had trouble finding a director; their first few candidates turned down the position before Coppola signed on to direct the film. They and Coppola disagreed over who would play several characters, in particular, Vito and Michael. Filming took place on location, primarily around New York and in Sicily, and was completed ahead of schedule. The musical score was principally composed by Nino Rota, with additional pieces by Carmine Coppola. The film was the highest-grossing film of 1972, and was for a time the highest-grossing film ever made. with a gross of around $245-286 million at the box office. The film received universal acclaim from critics and audiences, with praise going towards the performances of its cast, particularly from Brando and Pacino, the directing, screenplay, cinematography, editing, score, and portrayal of the mafia. The film revitalized Brando's career, which was in decline during the 1960s before going on to star in hits such as Last Tango in Paris, Superman, and Apocalypse Now, and launch the successful careers of Coppola, Pacino, and the rest of the cast. At the 45th Academy Awards, it won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for Puzo and Coppola). Its seven other Oscar nominations included Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall (Best Supporting Actor), and Coppola for Best Director. Since its release, The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema and one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1990, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and is ranked the second-greatest film in American cinema (behind Citizen Kane) by the American Film Institute. It was followed by sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990).
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