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The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy, based on Mario Puzo's best-selling eponymous novel. It stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a fictional New York crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of Michael Corleone (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss.
Paramount Pictures obtained the rights to the novel for the price of $80,000, before it gained popularity. Studio executives had trouble finding a director; their first few candidates turned down the position. They and Coppola disagreed over who would play several characters, in particular, Vito and Michael. Filming was done on location and completed earlier than scheduled. The musical score was composed primarily by Nino Rota with additional pieces by Carmine Coppola.