Godfather, The: Music Controversy

Score Controversy of Coppola’s 1972 movie.

The Godfather (1972)

Nino Rota’s score was removed at the last minute from the list of 1973 Academy Award nominees when it was discovered that he had used the theme in Eduardo De Filippo’s 1958 comedy Fortunella.

Although in the earlier film the theme was played in a brisk, staccato and comedic style, the melody was the same as the love theme from The Godfather, and for that reason was deemed ineligible for an Oscar.

The winner of the 1972 Best Original Score was Chaplin’s Limelight, which was made in 1952 but qualified for awards 20 years later.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

Despite this, The Godfather Part II won a 1974 Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score, although it featured the same love theme that made the 1972 score ineligible.

The other nominees for Best Original Score were:

Chinatown, Jerry Goldsmith

Murder on the Orient Express, Richard Rodney Bennett

Shanks, Alex North

Towering Inferno, The, John Williams

The Godfather Part III

This movie did not get Original Score nomination