The Godfather is a 1972 American gangster film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola, and Robert Towne (uncredited). 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 story spans ten years from 1945 to 1955 and chronicles the fictional 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 is ranked as the second greatest film in American cinematic history, behind Citizen Kane, on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list by the American Film Institute.