Little known fact: each of the male main actors got Oscar nominations. Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and James Caan were all nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Marlon Brando won for Best Actor, but he turned down the Oscar, instead sending a Native-American activist in traditional Apache dress to state his reason: an objection to the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood films.
Deleted Scene No. 1: Michael Shoots His Wife's Killer
Little known fact: in a deleted scene, Michael shot his wife’s killer. In a scene cut from the film, Michael comes back to America to track down his former bodyguard and the man who killed his wife. Finding him, Michael blows him away with a shotgun. Though the scene was never used, the still was distributed widely during the film’s promotion.
Little known fact: the oranges didn’t signify a death to come. The reason for their presence is likely a more practical one. Harlen Lebo writes, “...oranges were simply another carefully chosen compliment to otherwise somberly dressed sets. We knew this film wasn’t going to be about bright colors, and oranges make a nice contrast.”
Little known fact: the baptism scene was a montage of footage. It cuts back and forth between Michael’s godson’s baptism and the brutal slaying of the family’s enemies. In the book, the planning and execution of the murders consumes dozens of pages, so Coppola unified the scenes with the baptism. He used 67 shots over five minutes.
Little known fact: many Italians were offended by the movie. There were various politicians and advocacy groups who were pre-offended by movie and what they assumed would be a stereotypical view of violent Italian men.
Little known fact: Luca Brasi froze and fumbled his lines in his opening scene. Hoping to take advantage of the misstep, Coppola later flip-flopped scenes so in his scene Luca is nervously practicing his lines while waiting to see the Don, implying that Corleone is the one man Brasi fears.