The 2022 Oscars celebrated 50 years of The Godfather with its stars, Al Pacino, director Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert De Niro. All three took the stage after Sean “Diddy” Combs introduced the crew, thanking the “legends” who brought us such fantastic films through the years.
“I feel moments like this should be sincere and brief, and I’m so grateful for my wonderful friends to come here to help me celebrate with you,” Coppola said about his comrades, Pacino and De Niro.
Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert De Niro commemorate 50 years of ‘The Godfather’
“This project that we began 50 years ago with really the most extraordinary collaborators, many of them legends and so many of them that I can’t take the time to list them all, but you know them all well,” he continues on. Coppola also went on to recognize Maria Puzo, author of the Godfather novels, and the late producer, Robert Evans. “So I’m going to only thank two from the bottom of my heart.”
Coppola concluded his speech with, “Thank you. Viva Ukraine!” Coppola recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ahead of the induction ceremony, Coppola recently told Variety that he wasn’t overly excited about the film and what it would eventually turn out to be, the impact it would go on to make—he didn’t know it at the time.
“I thought it was going to be a special failure,” he said. “When you make a film going against the grain of what’s going on at the time, those kind of films are tough. You’re not doing what everyone expects or wants you to do.”
Coppola also said that if it were up to him, he’d give away that Walk of Fame star to his fellow filmmaking pal, George Lucas, the mastermind behind Star Wars.
Talking more about The Godfather films, he says, “I can remember so intimately all that went on… You’re always so anxious when these movies come out because of those first opinions; you hope it will go well, and it’s not in your control. But by far the greatest treasure is the test of time. When people are looking at what you did 50 years later, that’s an award in and of itself.”
As for the film’s stars? Well, Pacino was originally not going to take on the role of Michael Corleone. “It just seemed so outrageous. Here I am, talking to somebody who I think is flipped out. I said, ‘What train am I on?’ OK. Humor the guy. And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, ‘OK, I’ll go along with this.’ I said, ‘Yes, Francis, good.’ You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say, ‘Yes! Of course! Yes!’ But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was given the part,” he told The New York Times.
Imagine if Al Pacino didn’t take on that role, what the movie would’ve been, how it would’ve changed. Here’s to 50 years.