Vito Corleone, the Godfather’s mafia patriarch, is evident. From Star Wars to Futurama, any corpulent mob leader is a play on Marlon Brando’s. But, Who Is The Godfather Based On?
The Godfather films were not based on a real mafia family, despite their authenticity to reviewers and fans. The Godfather was based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel, but Vito was inspired by real mobsters. Here’s a list of Puzo’s Vito mafia personalities, which Brando and Francis Ford Coppola used to make a masterpiece.
- 1 Who Is The Godfather Based On?
- 2 Which Of The Characters From The Godfather Are Based On Real-Life Mobsters?
Who Is The Godfather Based On?
“The Godfather” is based on a book about severed horse heads and stolen cannolis. The picture came three years after Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel. In the 1940s, the Corleone family fought the other four major New York City crime families. CBS sold nearly 9 million copies in two years, attracting Paramount Pictures to adapt the book.
Puzo and Coppola co-wrote the script after the studio bought the rights to adapt the book. He wrote “The Godfather Part II” and “The Godfather Part III” with the director again in 1974 and 1990.
The Godfather: Part II (1974) dir. Francis Ford Coppola pic.twitter.com/nusN3gszfJ
— best of al pacino (@bestofpacino) December 25, 2022
The first film follows the source material about Michael’s determination to avenge his father’s attempted murder by fleeing to Sicily and becoming the Godfather.
The film’s honor, betrayal, and deceit were expertly directed by Coppola and written by Puzo to introduce people to a world they didn’t understand. Though “The Godfather” was fantastic, Michael Corleone’s world was similar to ours.
Which Of The Characters From The Godfather Are Based On Real-Life Mobsters?
1. Frank Costello Inspired Don Corleone
Don Vito Corleone resembles Joe Profaci, who used his olive oil distributorship to hide his criminal operations, and Carlo Gambino, who rose to power quietly. Corleone most resembles Frank Costello, “The Prime Minister” of the Mafia.
Costello used diplomacy and his political and business contacts to keep control and avoid attention. After listening to Costello’s Kefauver Committee on Organized Crime testimony, Marlon Brando modeled Corleone’s raspy voice on his.
2. Casino Tycoon Moe Greene’s Life And Death Resemble Bugsy Siegel’s
In The Godfather, Moe Greene popularised Las Vegas. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, a Jewish mobster, established the Flamingo, the earliest Las Vegas Strip resort. Siegel, like Greene, was shot in the head for allegedly stealing mob money to establish his casino. The day after Siegel was slain, the mob took over the Flamingo like the Corleones did Greene’s gambling enterprise.
3. Michael Corleone’s Restaurant Hit Resembles A Mob Classic
Michael shoots his father’s enemies in a restaurant to “fix” their argument in The Godfather. Charles “Lucky” Luciano met his employer Joe Masseria at an Italian restaurant in 1931.
Source: Den Of Geek
When he went to the bathroom, hit men entered the restaurant, shot Masseria over 20 times, and fled.
4. Mobsters Escape To Italy
After the restaurant hit, Michael Corleone goes to Sicily and marries Apollonia Vitelli. Real mob boss Vito Genovese fled to Italy after a murder charge was dropped and returned to the U.S. Lucky Luciano traveled to Italy after being deported and ran the Mafia from there. Luciano loved a 20-year-old woman in Italy. He lived with her for 11 years until her 1959 death, but they never married.
5. The Mafia Harassed The Godfather’s Executives Like Corleone To Stop Production
When mob boss Joe Colombo and the New York Mafia protested The Godfather, fact, and fiction collided most clearly. Some think the mobsters didn’t want a Hollywood limelight, while others say they were tired of seeing Italian-Americans portrayed negatively in movies.
The mob followed and smashed into producer Al Ruddy’s car and seized valuable equipment. Robert Evans, a Paramount executive, received a threatening phone call at home.
Al Ruddy met with Colombo to negotiate terms, and Colombo agreed to back off provided the word “Mafia” was removed from the script, which was easy to accomplish as it only appeared once.
Don’t miss Mob Monday, August 3 at 1:30/12:30c on AMC, followed by The Godfather: Part II at 5:30/4:30c. Then watch AMC’s The Making of the Mob: New York finale at 10/9c to learn more about American Mafia. Exclusives and news first. Join AMC Weekly.
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