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Marlon Brando, with cat, as ‘The Godfather’

Marlon Brando (as the titular godfather, Don Vito Corleone) pets a distracted cat in the 1972 mafia movie The Godfather. The Oscar-winning film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, kicked off the unfortunate mobster phase in American movies that lasted for decades and decades, helped along by other mob obsessives such as Martin Scorsese. Perhaps the craze will burn itself out by the year 2172; let's hope so. Marlon Brando was born in 1924, so he was only 48 when the film was released.

We probably shouldn't call Marlon Brando *the* titular Godfather. The twist of the title (spoiler alert!) is that his straight-arrow, war hero son Michael (played by Al Pacino) eventually takes over the family business, himself becoming The Godfather after Don Corleone's death. So the title could refer to Pacino's character just as much as to Brando's.

See our biography of Marlon Brando