Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Reunite for 50th Anniversary of ‘The Godfather’

by Emily Morgan

Two Hollywood legends, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, recently appeared together for a special screening of The Godfather, half a century after the blockbuster mafia movie premiered. 

The icons reunited on Thursday to celebrate the significant milestone at United Palace, hosted by the Tribeca Film Festival, which De Niro co-founded in 2002 to put new life in lower Manhattan following the tragedy of 9/11. In addition, to celebrate the upcoming anniversary Paramount placed The Godfather back in theaters in February.

Pacino and author Michael Hainey discussed the global phenomenon that is The Godfather before Tribeca screened the film’s restoration. Despite Pacino’s incredible performance, he nearly lost the role.

The actors had previously reunited when they joined the film’s director Francis Ford Coppola onstage at the 94th Academy Awards, where the iconic director reflected on the anniversary of the tour de force of a film. 

“I feel moments like this should be sincere and brief,” he said, turning to De Niro and Pacino. “And I’m so grateful for my wonderful friends to come here to help me celebrate with you.

“This project that we began 50 years ago with really the most extraordinary collaborators, many of them legends and so many of them that I can’t take the time to list them all, but you know them all well. So I’m going to only thank two from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

Pacino also told The New York Times that he’s been “deeply honored” to see how the film has had lasting success over the past 50 years” while recognizing the significance of the anniversary of The Godfather.  

The Godfather proves to have a lasting impact 50 years after premiere

“It’s a piece of work that I was so fortunate to be in. But it’s taken me a lifetime to accept it and move on,” he said several months ago. “It’s not like I played Superman.”

The Oscar winner added that he’s nothing less than “surprised” when people tell him they’ve never seen the The Godfather. “They’ve heard about it. You get that,” he added. “Oh, I heard — were you in that? That was a film, wasn’t it?'”

The Godfather follows the Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone, played by legendary Marlon Brand. Viewers watch as his youngest son Michael, played by Pacino, joins the mafia. Viewers watch as he tries to grasp the violent family business while maintaining his marriage.

The Godfather, based on screenwriter Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, has long been considered as one of the best films of all time ever since it premiered back in 1972.

After its release, the film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Additionally, Coppola and Pacino received their own nominations for the movie. 

Robert De Niro also starred in The Godfather Part II later in 1974, as a younger version of Vito.