Nino Rota: The Sound of Italy Infuses The Godfather

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Francis Ford Coppola’s choice of composer Nino Rota for The Godfather Parts I and II was a stroke of genius on the director’s part. For 25 years leading up to the first film, Rota defined the sound of Italian cinema in 8 ½, La Strada, Rocco and His Brothers, The Leopard, The Nights of Cabiria, and La Dolce Vita. For a period, it seemed as if every great film coming out of Italy had to have a Rota score. Yet The Godfather wasn’t just good-intentioned gimmickry. Indeed, for some, The Godfather showcases Rota at his best. The longtime Fellini collaborator was nominated for an Academy Award for the first one; then took home the gold statuette for the second. The only reason he didn’t make music for The Godfather Part III is that he died a decade before that film was even made. 

Listen to Rota’s lush orchestrations when The Godfather airs with The Godfather II this afternoon on AMC at 1:30 PM | 12:30C. For the complete schedule of the Godfather films on AMC, click here.

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On April 28th, our commenting features will become unavailable while we upgrade the site. We apologize for the inconvenience. Commenting and the Talk forum will relaunch along with a range of new site features early next month. If you would like to be notified when commenting and the Talk forum have relaunched you can sign up for our newsletter here.

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