'The Godfather': 10 behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the classic films

From Tom Santopietro's new book 'The Godfather Effect,' a behind-the-scenes peek into making one of the greatest film series of all time.

10. Robert De Niro did his best research in Sicily

'The Godfather: Part II' actor Robert De Niro in 'Taxi Driver' AP

Before playing the younger version of Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone in "The Godfather: Part II," actor Robert De Niro studied Sicilian at a language school as well as privately with linguist Romano Pianti. He also went to Sicily to get a sense of the residents and their culture. "Suspicion runs high," he later said of his encounters with the residents. "And although they are very cordial to you as a tourist, you are still aware of this. Sicilians have a way of watching without watching; they'll scrutinize you thoroughly and you won't even know it."

10 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.