Godfawwther: Coppola Changed One Thing About Don Corleone, And It's... Cute?

Godfawwther: Coppola Changed One Thing About Don Corleone, And It's... Cute?
Image credit: Legion-Media

Cute characters in the iconic criminal drama about the Mafia? Oh yes.

The Godfather is as classic as it gets. Paramount Pictures managed to recognize Mario Puzo's original novel's upcoming success before it even happened, so they bought the rights to the novel immediately.

So, only three years after the novel was published, in 1972, the first part of The Godfather the film hit the theaters.

Just like the novel, the film became a classic as soon as it came out, and it's no wonder: the cast had more stars than a clear night sky, and Coppola put in serious work.

But speaking about the cast and the director, there was one character that was not even supposed to be in the movies, and it appeared on the spot thanks to Francis Ford Coppola.

Any educated guesses?

It was the cat Vito Corleone's holding in the opening scene of the film.

You see, in the novel, Don Corleone detested animals, so there were no pets planned for him in the movie, either. But Coppola found a stray cat in the studios' parking lot and decided to make it famous — so before shooting the opening scene, he gave the stray to Marlon Brando, who played the Godfather.

Rumor has it, Brando decided to make use of this opportunity and wrote his lines on little cards that he placed on the cat.

Apart from just being helpful, it can also explain why Vito's watching his cat so closely during the scene — it's basically his prompter!

The cat didn't only bring the benefits. During the shooting of the scene, the stray, who wasn't used to being such a center of attention, kept purring in Brando's hands, so most of his dialogue was muffled, and he had to dub it later to make it coherent.

However, according to people from the industry, Brando always relied on voice line dubbing so he used to mumble his lines quietly during the shooting to later re-record them with full dedication.

And in the Godfather, he wore a special mouthpiece to change his face's shape, which also could've been the reason for looping.

Regarding the stray's further life, there are two speculations: some say that Brando kept the cat, and others claim that it was safely returned to its friends in the parking lot.

Either option is good — living with the famous actor has obvious benefits, but staying on the studio's lot does too. The Paramount Pictures' lot contains a massive gang of friendly cats that are often fed and cared for by the studio's employees.