January 17, 2024

The Godfather Notebook

The Godfather Notebook
Francis Ford Coppola


(January 17, 2024)

When he first considered directing The Godfather, Coppola took a copy of the Mario Puzo novel and pasted each page onto a 8½×11 page. On nearly each sheet, he made copious notes about casting and directing the film. Between chapters, he added fascinating memoranda discussing ways he could establish period detail, atmosphere, and ways he could wreck the movie by doing that scene badly. Coppola’s notes are direct and insightful: for example, as soon as the undertaker Bonasera appears, Coppola reminds himself that this small part must be played by a superlative actor. A fascinating record, especially for people who study note-taking.