You come to me, on the almost-50th anniversary of my daughter’s wedding, and you tell me that Francis Ford Coppola has revealed his favorite scene from The Godfather? In a new interview with Hollywood Insider, the film’s director opened up about creating the most influential release of his career, which officially crosses the half-century mark in March. It’s often regarded as one of the (if not the) best film of all time, but the director admitted that, at the time of its release, he wasn’t sure how it would go over with audiences. “I was so scared because it seemed like people didn’t like it,” he says, “and then I had this delightful surprise that people liked it.”
As for which moment he loves most, you might expect that it would be one that birthed one of the franchises’s more iconic lines. Or maybe that horrific horse head scene. That’s not where the creator’s answer heads.
“I think my favorite scene is when the little boy is with his grandfather, and Marlon surprised him with the orange in his mouth in the garden,” Coppola says. For deep cut fans of the franchise, that may not be all that surprising. Vito Corleone’s semi-peaceful death was, somewhat, a creation of Marlon Brando himself. In a 2017 interview with Playboy, Coppola revealed that the “orange peel in the mouth” moment that Vito shares with his grandson was developed by Brando. Once Coppola saw it in action, he knew that’s how he wanted his infamous patriarch to go out. Corleone comes across like a monster to even his grandson and then bang—heart attack.
Watch the clip in its entirety below.
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