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  • Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

  • The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather
  • By: Mark Seal
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Art
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Summary

This “wickedly pacey page-turner” (Total Film) unfurls the behind-the-scenes story of the making of The Godfather, 50 years after the classic film’s original release.

The story of how The Godfather was made is as dramatic, operatic, and entertaining as the film itself. Over the years, many versions of various aspects of the movie’s fiery creation have been told - sometimes conflicting, but always compelling. Mark Seal sifts through the evidence, has extensive new conversations with director Francis Ford Coppola and several heretofore silent sources, and complements them with colorful interviews with key players including actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, and others to write “the definitive look at the making of an American classic” (Library Journal, starred review).

On top of the usual complications of filmmaking, the creators of The Godfather had to contend with the real-life members of its subject matter: the Mob. During production of the movie, location permits were inexplicably revoked, author Mario Puzo got into a public brawl with an irate Frank Sinatra, producer Al Ruddy’s car was found riddled with bullets, men with “connections” vied to be in the cast, and some were given film roles.

As Seal notes, this is the tale of a “movie that revolutionized filmmaking, saved Paramount Pictures, minted a new generation of movie stars, made its struggling author Mario Puzo rich and famous, and sparked a war between two of the mightiest powers in America: the sharks of Hollywood and the highest echelons of the Mob.”

“For fans of books about moviemaking, this is a definite must-read” (Booklist).

©2021 Mark Seal. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

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Bada-bing

If you like the Godfather ..you’ll love this insight into the making of perhaps one of the best films ever made 👌🏼

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Very well researched

A very worthy book about the greatest film ever made.
Great performance and the book is so well researched.

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A Book You Shouldn't Refuse

Just loved every second of this fascinating, meticulously researched account of a perfect film. BADA-BOOM!

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The story behind the greatest of films

For anyone like me who places the Godfather (and no doubt GF2) at the very top of their all time best films lists, this is a fascinating journey into how the film came about (and almost didn’t). Learn how everyone played their part - the writer, director, producers, film studio, the actors and even the mob. Perfectly narrated. Enlightening and enjoyable.

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  • DARBY KERN
  • 11-04-22

A great book that draws from many, many sources

Every time I find the definitive book, someone comes out with another.

Because the film is now fifty years old many of the creators are no longer with us. At the Academy Awards this year even Francis is showing his age, but he graciously gave credit to Robert Evans publicly for the movie coming together. If you want to know why that was a monumental moment in the history of cinema- or at least this terrific movie, this book will help. The author almost certainly did some interviews himself, but he openly admits that he has drawn from fifty (or more) years of interviews, articles and documentary information. Mark Seal has delivered an authoritative history of one of the greatest films in cinema history.

The detail is amazing, even before the film is a thought in anyones mind. He tells a detailed, yet still concise history of Mario Puzo creation of the novel, the deals he went through, risks he took, and recklessness he embraced. It's a great story even before a brilliant, yet still young and untried, director named Francis Ford Coppola entered the picture.

If you're a fan of The Godfather, cinema history, or filmmaking in general this book will be right up your alley. It's well told and detailed. It surpasses The Godfather Legacy by Harlan Lebo (a darn good book in it's own right) and uses it as a primary source. Then it includes 25 more years of scholarship to create the definitive book on the subject- and maybe the last one while several key players are still with us.

The narration was well done. Phil Thron didn't do impressions, but he changed his voice enough to match the characters he was quoting- those who have a distinctive cadence or voice.

I know I'll listen to it again, probably on my next long road trip. There are lots of great stories associated with this film. If we're very lucky Mark Seal will have culled enough material for books on G2 and G3 as well.

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  • DF
  • 25-06-22

Great story. Compelling characters.

Breezed through it. Great supplement to a rewatching of The Godfather. Do it. It won't waste your time.

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  • Susan
  • 13-06-22

Made me feel like the movie producer!

Great story about the making of one of the epic movies of all time. Mark Seal does a great job of putting the reader right on the movie set!

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  • Robert
  • 07-04-22

One of the best listens

One of the best listens. You'll want to watch the movie again after this listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stanner
  • 16-11-21

An ofter you can’t refuse

I loved the movie and loved this book too. All of the behind the scenes stories and just how difficult it was to bring it all together is entertaining and fascinating. I keep hindsight is 20 20, but the thought of anyone BUT Brando, Pacino, Caan, Duvall and Keaton in the roles and the Nino Rota soundtrack is hard to imagine.

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  • Barbara Capozzi
  • 16-08-22

Perfect! Truly did not want it to end

Fabulous book about a classic movie, The Godfather! Rich in details and never known stories, i can’t wait to watch the movie again to see all that i missed! well worth the time to listen! barbara capozzi

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  • KathrynVB
  • 31-07-22

Absolutely wonderful

I listened to this book while my husband oohed and aahed over "The Offer", the Netflix story of Al Ruddy's experience as producer of "The Godfather". When I finished the book, my husband started reading it. He couldn't say enough about how much more of the story is here, in this book by Mark Seal. Fantastic reporting and great narration.

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  • LC
  • 19-07-22

Thoroughly enjoyable & enlightening!

What a great adventure I experienced listening to Take the Gun Leave the Canoli.
I was transported back in time and I learned so many interesting behind the scene stories.
The only bad part was that it had to end!!

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  • Ray Bergen
  • 17-07-22

sensational audio of how The Godfather came to be.

Great audio book with all the background into the making of this fabulous book and film. Terrific narration, too.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-07-22

Fascinating!

Fun behind the scenes look at the struggle to bring this bestselling book to the screen. The characters involved in the making of the movie are as complicated and interesting as the story itself.

1 person found this helpful