Vintage: Behind the Scenes from ‘The Godfather’ in Little Italy (1971)

Vintage: Behind the Scenes from ‘The Godfather’ in Little Italy (1971)


Back in 1971, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s hit novel ‘The Godfather’ was in the process of being filmed. It was to be released the next year, and would come to be known as one of the greatest films ever made.

The producers selected the heart of Little Italy in New York City-128 Mott Street between Hester and Grand to be exact-and guarded the scene intensely from the media.

As the studio hadn’t released any photos of Marlon Brando in his Vito Corleone makeup, they tried extra hard to keep any cameras away from the filming.

A Little Italy resident watches the production while eating lunch on his fire escape.

A Little Italy resident watches the production while eating lunch on his fire escape.

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Marlon Brando has his hair fixed up for shooting. Brando plays Don Corleone in the movie and is gunned down outside Genco Olive Oil. (Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Actor Marlon Brando plays Don Corleone in the movie and is gunned down outside Genco Olive Oil. (Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Actor Marlon Brando plays Don Corleone in the movie and is gunned down outside Genco Olive Oil.(Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Marlon Brando has his hair fixed up for shooting. Brando plays Don Corleone in the movie and is gunned down outside Genco Olive Oil. (Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Simulated blood dripping from his mouth, Brando is surrounded by movie people after scene, in which Don Corleone was gunned down. (Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Making of movie The Godfather on Mott Street in Manhattan. Marlon Brando and Francis Ford Coppola talks about the scene where Marlon Brando plays Don Corleone in the movie and is gunned down outside Genco Olive Oil. (Photo By: Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Marlon Brando in character as Don Vito Corleone.

Marlon Brando in character as Don Vito Corleone.

Producer Albert S. Ruddy (left) and actor Marlon Brando (1924 – 2004) on the set of ‘The Godfather’, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City, 1972. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)


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