1. A gun was drawn in auditions.
Shockingly, during the auditions, Francis Ford Coppola had a gun drawn on him by actor Timothy Carey at Paramount Pictures. Oddly, Coppola didn’t mind, in fact he loved it! Turns out Carey had turned down the role of Luca Brasi in the first film yet returned to audition for Part II. Carey pulled the gun and shot at Ford with blanks, luckily! Despite Coppola loving the rogue move, Carey didn’t get the part.
2. The Godfather Part II was the last film shot in glorious Technicolor!
Technicolor started releasing films as far back as 1928, using a process initially patented in 1880! The Godfather Part II was the last major release to use the process. There was a slight resurgence in popularity in the ‘90’s however, Kodak stopped manufacturing the tools to make it possible for use in ‘94. The technicolor process has given the movie a rich, rogue effect which gives the scene’s a lot of grit and depth they may not have captured otherwise.
3. Only eight English words.
If you’re observant, you may have noticed that Robert De Niro didn’t have much to say in The Godfather Part II. Not in English at least! Only eight words were spoken in English by the actor and the rest spoken in the Sicilian Dialect of Italian. De Niro spent months studying the dialect and even visited Sicily for research. He said he noticed of the locals; “Sicilians have a way of watching without watching; they’ll scrutinize you thoroughly and you won’t even know it.”
4. De Niro didn’t go for the role of Vito Corleone.
In fact, Robert De Niro actually auditioned for the part of Sonny Corleone originally. We’re pretty pleased that De Niro ended up playing Vito, he made an indelible impact on the role and we can’t imagine our beloved Vito being played by anyone else. You can see De Niro playing Sonny here.
5. You can visit the ship that carried Vito to America.
The heartbreaking scene where we first see the ship, see’s a young Vito sailing into Ellis Island back in 1901 on a huge ship filled with immigrants from all over the world. You can watch it here. Well, it turns out you can actually visit that ship to this day, not just visit it in fact, eat aboard it. The ship named The Moshulu was built in Scotland in 1904, it was used to carry goods across the world and was later taken over by Nazi pirates to store weapons and ammunition. Eventually the ship ended up being used in movies, including Rocky and The Godfather Part II. After it’s stint in the bright lights of Hollywood, the ship was moved to Philadelphia where it’s now a restaurant on the Delaware River.
So there you go, a few little behind the scenes facts that you might not have known about The Godfather Part II.
What’s your favourite Godfather movie? Who’s your favourite character? Let us know in the comments.