Al Pacino and Robert De Niro team up for ‘The Godfather saga cast reunion

The Godfather
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection

Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and James Caan were among the Hollywood legends who teamed up for The Godfather franchise cast reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The closing weekend of the annual New York event, co-founded by De Niro, brought together the stars of Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning movies, The Godfather from 1972, and the 1974 sequel The Godfather: Part II, for a special screening.

Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire also took part in the get-together on Saturday (29Apr17), when they sat down for a panel discussion led by Coppola, who regaled the audience with stories about the chaotic production on the iconic films.

“I haven’t seen these movies for years,” he said. “I found (watching) a very emotional experience. I forgot a lot about the making of it and thought about the story, and the story used a lot of family and my personal stuff.”

Pacino recalled almost missing out on his role as Michael Corleone in the crime thriller because Paramount producer Robert Evans thought he was too short, which the 77-year-old actor admitted was “sorta true”, and favored someone like Robert Redford.

After at least six screen tests, Pacino finally landed the part: “It seemed like I was always testing,” he said.

Coppola added, “I remember calling him (Pacino) after he’d tested six times. His girlfriend got on the phone and said, ‘What are you doing to him? You’re torturing him’.”

Missing from the line-up was the late Marlon Brando, who starred as the intimidating mob boss and family patriarch Vito Corleone. However, his presence on set was fondly remembered by his co-stars.

Duvall, 86, who played family lawyer Tom Hagen in the movies, joked about a time he and other cast members, including Brando, mooned each other as they filmed the famous wedding scene in The Godfather.

Laughing, he remembered how one of the women on set pulled him aside, and said: “Listen, Bob, you’re fine, but did you catch those balls on Brando?”

The Godfather saga celebration helped to close out the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, which also featured a Reservoir Dogs reunion with director Quentin Tarantino on Friday (28Apr17), before it officially wrapped on Sunday (30Apr17).

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