the godfather, 1972

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Cast



visit the film locations

New York: Flights: JFK Airport

New York: Accommodation: stay in luxury, like Michael and Kay, at the St Regis, 2 East 55th Street (tel: 212/767.0525) on the corner of Fifth Avenue or, more modestly, the Edison Hotel, 228 West 47th Street near Times Square

Visit: Sands Point Preserve, the Guggenheim estate, 95 Middleneck Road on Long Island

Staten Island: Take the Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park to St George. The Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway will take you from St George Station, four stops to Grasmere. From here, it's about a half hour's walk north to Longfellow Road, a leafy cul-de-sac running east from Ocean Terrace. Numbers 110 and 120 are the last houses at the end of the road. PLEASE NOTE: these are private residences.

Continue on to Pleasant Plains (about an hour's ride) to visit Mission of the Immaculate Virgin, Hylan Boulevard, Mount Loretto, down in the southwest corner of the island.


Trivia

Most guide books identify the Corleone compound neighbourhood on Staten Island as Todt Hill – which translates melodramatically as ‘Death Hill’ – but Todt Hill is actually nearby.

Godfather Part II is regarded by many as one of the few sequels to exceed the original. The Godfather Part III didn’t exceed either.

The Edison Hotel’s glamorous deco lobby is seen again in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway

The Godfather filming location: Corleone compound, Longfellow Road, Staten Island

The Godfather filming location: Luca Brasi goes to meet Sollozzo: Edison Hotel, West 47th Street, New York

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and Kay (Diane Keaton) are staying at the grand St Regis Hotel, now the St Regis, 2 East 55th Street on the corner of Fifth Avenue.

Nearby stood Best & Co, the New York department store where the pair do their Christmas shopping, on Fifth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets in the fashionable stretch of ‘Ladies’ Mile’. Although already closed, the store briefly blazed back to life for filming before being demolished.

Sadly, the model-train heaven, Polk’s Hobby Shop, which stood at 314 Fifth Avenue near 31st Street, is also gone. This is where Tom Hagen stocks up on presents when Sollozzo’s men invite him for a car ride. It’s since been replaced by a pizza joint.

The bar, where Sollozzo meets up with Luca Brasi, is the Edison Hotel, 228 West 47th Street. The hotel itself is standard tourist accommodation in the Times Square area, but the art deco lobby is a joy. You’ll recognise the slightly redecorated corridor with its circular mirrors as the lobby of mobster Nick Valenti’s penthouse in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway. It’s inside what is now Sophia’s Restaurant, the Edison’s coffee shop, that Brasi is pinned down to the counter and garrotted.

The Godfather filming location: ’Genco Olive Oil’ offices: Mietz Building, Mott Street, New York

The Godfather filming location: The ’Genco Olive Oil’ offices: Mietz Building, Mott Street, New York

The 'Genco Olive Oil’ premises, supposedly on Mulberry Street, outside which the Don is gunned down, was the Mietz Building, 128 Mott Street, a then-unchanged area between Little Italy and Chinatown. The relentless encroachment of Chinatown into Little Italy means that the building has since been gutted and has become a Chinese market, though the 'Mietz’ name is still visible on the frontage. The art deco entrance was created especially for the movie.

The Godfather filming location: Radio City Music Hall, Sixth Avenue, New York

The Godfather filming location: Michael and Kay hear that the Don has been shot: Radio City Music Hall, Sixth Avenue, New York

With astonishing speed, the news hits the papers while Michael and Kay watch The Bells of St Mary’s at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Avenue at 50th Street.

The exterior of hospital where Michael visits his wounded father is the Lincoln Medical Center, 234 East 149th Street in the Bronx, though the deserted interior is the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, 310 East 14th Street in the East Village.

Michael is subsequently picked up outside Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Bar, which stood on Broadway between 49th and 50th Streets (it closed its doors in 1974), and taken towards New Jersey, which ought to mean taking the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson. The bridge used for the U-turn scene, however, is the Queensboro Bridge over the East River.

Louis’ Restaurant, where Sollozzo and McCluskey are gunned down over the veal, was the old Luna restaurant under the elevated White Plains Road IRT in Belmont, New York’s largest Italian community.

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