The Annotated Godfather

The Complete Screenplay with Commentary on Every Scene, Interviews, and Little-Known Facts

Jenny M. Jones

For the millions of Godfather-obsessed comes the first fully authorized, annotated, and lavishly illustrated edition of the complete screenplay, now available in paperback.

“It’s like seeing the movie all over again, but with Francis Ford Coppola sitting next to you on the couch.”
—Daniel Okrent, Fortune Magazine

“Jones offers a streamlined version of the backstory, highlighting the difficulties that swirled around the production. The beauty of The Annotated Godfather is that it puts all this in context…. It’s a delicate dance, but she pulls it off, allowing us to see it fresh after all these years.”
—David Ulin, The Los Angeles Time

The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made — celebrated for its brilliant cinematic innovations and unforgettable script to its magnificent cast. Yet the history of its creation is so chaotic, so turbulent, that one cannot help but marvel at the seemingly insurmountable odds that had to be overcome for the film to make it to the silver screen, let alone to become a cinematic masterpiece that continues to captivate viewers more than four decades after its release.

The Annotated Godfather presents all the little-known details and off-screen intrigue surrounding this landmark film, including:

  • The complete screenplay (with scenes that didn’t make the cut)
  • Technical details about filming and locations
  • Interviews with former Paramount Pictures executives, cast, crewmembers, and director Francis Ford Coppola
  • Tales from the set, including arguments, accidents, and practical jokes
  • Profiles of the actors and how they were cast
  • Goofs and gaffes that made it into the film
  • More than 200 stills, behind-the-scenes photographs, and cutting room-floor gems
  • and much more

Excerpt: Casting the Don
“The casting of the title character from the novel was quite contentious. A plethora of actors were interviewed for the part, including Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Quinn, and Raf Vallone. Every older Italian actor in existence was considered. Two actors who were in contention but then hired for smaller parts in the picture were Richard Conte (Barzini) and John Marley (Woltz), who had appeared in Paramount’s extremely successful Love Story. Evans had the idea of Sophia Loren’s husband, producer Carlo Ponti. Coppola pointed out that he spoke like an Italian, but not a New Yorker. Besides, he wasn’t well-known enough. George C. Scott was also at the top of the list. Even Frank  Sinatra was rumored to want to play him. Of course, Marlon Brando finally got the part, over strenuous Paramount objections. The role garnered him an Academy Award® and a firm place in film history.”

Is there anybody unable to quote at least one line? Every scene, practically every shot, is highlighted with fascinating facts about technical aspects, set design, and shooting locations. The Annotated Godfather is fully authorized by Paramount Pictures, and includes over 250 full-color photographs. This illustrated and commentated book is a must-have companion to arguably the best movie of all time.

Jenny M. Jones has worked at several nonprofit film exhibition organizations, from The Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon, to the Oak Street Cinema in Minneapolis. She is currently the Program Manager of the Film/Video department at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband Josh and daughter Madeline.

Available now from –
Barnes & Noble