Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro Celebrate 'The Godfather's 50th Anniversary at 2022 Oscars

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This year marks 50 years since Francis Ford Coppola made cinematic history with the release of his film The Godfather, and this year's Academy Awards paid tribute to one of the greatest films of all time during Sunday's ceremony.

Coppola took the stage alongside stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and he three were met with a long, standing ovation from a revering audience.

"I think I feel moments like this should be sincere and brief," Coppola shared. "I'm so grateful to my two wonderful friends who have come here to help me celebrate with you this project that we began 50 years ago with really the most extraordinary collaborators"

Coppola used his time on stage to highlight two men who made the Godfather films possible, and to thank them "from the bottom of my heart."

"One is a collaborator who I thank many times, every time you see The Godfather, his name is above the title. Mario Puzo,"he shared. "And another -- and another I've never thanked, but the time is due that I do, because it was his participation and his decisions at the end that made it possible -- is Robert Evans."

Coppola closed out his brief time on stage with a powerful final message, "Thank you. Viva Ukraine!"

Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, The Godfather was the highest-grossing movie of 1972 and went on to dominate that year's Academy Awards, with wins for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Brando, as well as nominations for Pacino, Caan, and Duvall, and a Best Director nod for Coppola.

Brando and Pacino famously both boycotted the 1972 Oscars -- Brando sent American Indian Rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor statuette on his behalf, over protest of Native American depictions in television and film.

The film's anniversary comes just as a new Godfather-inspired series is set to launch on Paramount+. The Offer -- which tells the chaotic story of the making of the now-legendary film -- stars Miles Teller, who leads an all-star ensemble as Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy, Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey) as Paramount Studios chief Robert Evans and Ted Lasso star Juno Temple as Ruddy’s secretary and closest ally, Bettye McCartt. 

Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts films) stars as Coppola and Patrick Gallo (The Irishman) as Mario Puzo, the co-writer and author of the best-selling book the film is based on, while Giovanni Ribisi (Sneaky Pete) appears as crime boss Joe Colombo, who forced the film to make some changes.

Rounding out the cast are Grey’s Anatomy alum Justin Chambers as Brando, Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk) as Lenny Montana, Frank John Hughes (Band of Brothers) as Frank Sinatra, Anthony Ippolito (Grand Army) as Pacino, and Michael Gandolfini, James Gandolfini’s son and recent star of The Many Saints of Newark, as Andy Calhoun. 

The Offer premieres April 28 with three episodes on Paramount+. The remaining seven episodes will debut weekly on Thursdays. 


The 2022 Oscars are on Sunday, March 27 from 8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT on ABC. Stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Oscars coverage.

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