The Godfather is a 1972 American gangster film based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne. It stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte and Diane Keaton, and features John Cazale, Talia Shire, Al Martino and Abe Vigoda. The fictional story, which spans ten years from 1945 to 1955, chronicles the development of the Italian American Corleone crime family. Two sequels followed: The Godfather Part II in 1974, and The Godfather Part III in 1990.
The Godfather received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In addition, it had been ranked third - behind Citizen Kane (1941) and Casablanca (1942) - on the AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies list by the American Film Institute. It was moved up to second when the list was published again in 2008.