The Godfather was released into theaters on March 14th, 1972. Filming locations include Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Ross, Ca. and Bronx, Brooklyn, Garden City, New York City, Pleasant Plains, Queens and Staten Island, NY. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who would also be at the helm of the second (1974) and third (1990) installments in the trilogy. He also directed horror genre film Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992. The Godfather was adapted from Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, which was published on March 10th, 1969. It remained on The New York Times Bestseller list for sixty-seven weeks and sold over nine-million copies in two years. Both Coppola and Puzo wrote the screenplay for the film, which they won an academy award for in 1973. The film also won Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Marlon Brando). On October 19th, 1990 the film was added to the National Film Registry. The score was composed by Nino Rota and won the 1973 Golden Globe for Best Original Score as well as the 1973 Grammy for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special. The films first DVD release was on October 9th, 2001. You'd be hard-pressed to find a respected movie critic who hasn't included the film in, at least their top three films of all time, and in most cases number one.
Corleone compound - 110 Longfellow Dr. Staten Island, NY. 10301
The central house of the compound was built in 1930. It's three stories tall with five bedrooms and 6,248 square feet. It's changed owners as recently as October 25th, 2016, when it sold for $2.4 million. The other portion of the compound is a completely separate house altogether, located at 120 Longfellow Ave. It was built in 1940. It's two stories tall with four bedrooms and 3,012 square feet. At the time of writing this article (6/19/19), it was on the market with an asking price of $1.3 million. To give the illusion that the Corleone residence was much larger and more imposing than it really was, the production constructed a fake gate and walls near the end of the dead-end street, in order to make it all look like one large property.
Best & Co. - 645 5th Ave. New York, NY. 10013
The store had been at this location since 1944. It closed in late 1970 and the building was demolished shortly after filming. In 1972, construction began on the fifty-one story Olympic Tower, and it was completed in 1976. St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was constructed in 1878, can be seen in the background.
Genco Pura Olive Oil Company - 128 Mott St. New York, NY. 10013
It was built in 1912 and known as the Mietz Building.
Don Vito Corleone assassination attempt - 137 Mott St. New York, NY. 10013
This location is directly across the street from Genco, as depicted in the film.
Radio City Music Hall - 1260 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY. 10020
The 5,960 capacity in-door theatre opened on December 27th, 1932. It was designed by architects Donald Deskey and Edward Durell Stone. It's part of the Rockefeller Center. It has hosted a variety of award shows, which include the Daytime Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards and the Tony Awards as well as the NFL Draft from 2006 to 2014. It was designated a New York City Landmark on March 28th, 1978 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 8th, 1978.
All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.
Clemenza's house - 1999 E. 5th St. Brooklyn, NY. 11223
The three-story, 2,492 square foot house was built in 1925.
Louis Restaurant - 3531 White Plains Rd. Bronx, NY. 10467
At the time of my visit, the ground floor was vacant.
Sonny beats Carlo - 503 E. 118th St. New York, NY. 10035
The structure where Carlo was sitting on the rail was built in 1900.
Sonny is gunned down - Near* Endo Dr. and Perimeter Rd. Garden City, NY. 11530
(Formerly Mitchel Air Force Base, runway 5/23)
Mitchel Air Force Base was in operation from 1917 to June 25th, 1961. Since it was decommissioned, chunks of the runways have given way to new development, with the most recent being in 2012. The surviving buildings and facilities were recognized as a historic district and added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4th, 2018. Filming took place at the northern-most end of runway 5/23, which was the longest runway (6,700 ft.) at the base during it's time of operation. For the film, they built fake tollbooths on the abandoned former access road to runway 5/23. At the time of my visit, the exact spot where they constructed the tollbooths was fenced off and just out of my reach, as they were doing some kind of construction to the area. I got as close as I possibly could. I sincerely hope their current project doesn't include doing away with the precise spot from the film, as well as the only existing portion of runway from the former Air Force base that still remains.
All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.
Crime families meet - 33 Liberty St. New York, NY. 10045
(Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
The building was constructed in 1924. It was designed by architectural firm York and Sawyer with decorative ironwork by Samuel Yellin. It consists of fourteen stories with five additional floors underground. It contains a vault which currently holds approximately 6,350 tons of gold which is valued at around $415 billion dollars. It was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on December 21st, 1965. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 6th, 1980.
All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.
Don Vito Corleone's funeral - Gale St. and Greenpoint Ave. Queens, NY. 11101
The cemetery was established in 1848 and there have been over three-million burials there to date. The funeral scene from Zoolander for Brint, Rufus and Meekus was also filmed here.
Ross School - 9 Lagunitas Rd. Ross, Ca. 94957
The school was constructed in 1941. It's academic ranking is in the 99th percentile, the highest any school can achieve. I think it's impressive how production chose this one location, all the way on the other side of the country from most of the films other locations, for just one scene. Goes to show the lengths they went to in order to make the film feel as authentic as possible.
Barzini is assassinated - 60 Centre St. New York, NY. 10007
(New York State Supreme Court)
Designed by architect Guy Lowell, the building opened in February of 1927 as the New York County Courthouse. The exterior was designated a New York City Landmark on February 1st, 1966 and the interior was designated a New York City Landmark on March 24th, 1981. The building has been in a number of productions through the years, some of which include the Chief of Police's office from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and the building shown in the title sequence of the television show Night Court.
Church (exterior) - Near* Hylan Blvd. and Cunningham Rd. Pleasant Plains, NY. 12580
(Old Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne)
It was constructed in 1891. In 1973, a fire destroyed the entire church, with the exception of it's fascade. It was rebuilt in 1976, although must smaller in size. The original fascade still remains. The interiors were filmed inside the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral at 263 Mulberry St. New York, NY. 10012.