Monologist Spalding Gray and director Jonathan Demme come together to create a bridge between theater and film.
One of the greatest Christmas films ever made was all created in the mind of America's most prolific storyteller.
The first in a series of novels by author Mario Puzo becomes one of the greatest films ever made.
This is Storytelling Weekly for the week of February 3rd, 2020.
This week, we feature The Godfather.
The Godfather was the first in a series of novels by author Mario Puzo. It became a 1972 film directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola. It stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and many other actors who came to prominence after its release. The film won three Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and although it was well-received after its release, it was a very difficult production process, especially towards the beginning when the studios didn't want, Marlon Brando in his respective role of Don Corleone to lead the film, or Al Pacino for his role of Michael Corleone, the son of Don Corleone. And can you imagine this film without both of them? Francis Ford Coppola could not either. And he pushed forward with his vision and he advocated and thankfully, he won out because the rest is history. And we're left with those performances. With a budget of over $6.5 million, the film grossed over 280 million dollars. And at that time, there was more money than any other film in history. The story centered around the Corleone crime family in New York City was unprecedented. It was seismic. It changed American pop culture. For creatives, it influenced filmmakers, cinematographers, lighting designers, writers, actors for generations to come. Although Mario Puzo's story was centered in the stereotypical Italian-American gangster genre, Francis Ford Coppola's film version, the portrayal of Italian-American family and immigration and culture, was nuanced. It was layered. That type of portrayal had not been seen in American cinema. Its language and quotes are still used today in popular culture. Quotes like "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse". And "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". A fun fact, Mario Puzo, the author of the original novel, also wrote the screenplay for the 1978 Superman film starring the late Christopher Reeve's.
Remember, keep watching, listening, creating and sharing stories. They are the fabric that bind humanity together. I'll see you next time.