The unusual agreement of a producer of “The Godfather” with the Italian mafia of New York

The unusual agreement of a producer of “The Godfather” with the Italian mafia of New York
The unusual agreement of a producer of “The Godfather” with the Italian mafia of New York

Next December 12th will mark 50 years of “The Godfather II”, the sequel to one of the best trilogies in the history of cinema. The second of three films directed by Francis Ford Coppola was the first sequel to win an Oscar in Academy history.

And despite having countless anecdotes, “The Godfather” was possible thanks to a agreement between one of the film’s producers and the Italian mafia. This fact was remembered by the journalist and writer Brian Viner.

The Godfather

“The Godfather”: why they had to make an agreement with the real mafia

The year was 1970 when Coppola was chosen by Paramount to adapt Mario Puzo’s novelwhich had already been acquired by the production company a few years before, even prior to its completion.

Thus, both the director and Puzo each wrote a script, which was later merged and edited together. On another lane I was Albert S. Ruddy, one of the film’s producers and the person in charge of bringing it to the big screen.

And someone who could prevent the feature film from being made was Joseph Colombo, a leader of the Italian-American community who fought against the stereotypes of the Italian mafia and the typical profile of a person of his nationality. He in turn was the head of one of the five families that controlled the mafia in New York.

So the creator of the Italian American Civil Rights League barely heard about the film. began threatening to hinder the production of “The Godfather”. And since at first Ruddy did not respond, he was followed, received threatening calls and shots fired at the windows of his car.

That became an agreement between the two parties. First Ruddy gave the 155-page script to Columbo, to show him that Italian stereotypes were not reinforced. But it was not enough. Additionally, he got a percentage of the film’s profits for his league, as well as extra roles for Columbo’s associates and a special screening of the film for themselves. In other words, an offer I couldn’t refuse.

When the production found out about this pact they decided to fire Ruddy, who was quickly reinstated to the team at Coppola’s request. Anyway the film was a success at the box office and ended up becoming a cult favorite for all film fans.

Incredibly, as if it were another script, Joseph Colombo never saw the filmsince four blocks from where the attempted murder of Michael Corleone (the character played by Al Pacino) was being filmed, Colombo He was shot three times in the head during a political event that he himself led..

The murderer, Jerome A. Johnson, died at the hands of the mafia leader’s bodyguards. After spending seven years in a coma, Colombo died in 1978.

Source: Ambito

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