#1 The Godfather (1972) Director: Francis Ford Coppola Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of the fictional Corleone New York crime family, the story spans the years 1945-55, concentrating on the transformation of Michael Corleone from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while chronicling the family under the patriarch Vito. Based on Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name, The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinemaand as one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre. Ranked second to Citizen Kane by the American Film Institute in 2007, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1990 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film was the box office leader for 1972 and was, for a time, the highest-grossing picture ever made. It won three Academy Awards for that year: Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and in the category Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola. Its nominations in seven other categories included Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall for Best Supporting Actor and Coppola for Best Director. The success spawned two sequels: The Godfather Part II in 1974, and The Godfather Part III in 1990.