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The cast reunited and shared behind-the-scenes stories.

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Getty Images Kevin Mazur

The cast of The Godfather reunited at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday night to share memories and stories from the time when they were making the film, including how Francis Ford Coppola decided to direct the cinematic masterpiece.

"I knew nothing about [the book] or the author. I was attracted to it because I thought it was a foreign author, and an intellectual book about power," Coppola said of the Mario Puzo novel on which the film was based, but interestingly, on the same day he was reading the book, Brando called Coppola to turn down the lead role in The Conversation , which went on to star Gene Hackman.

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Coppola also admitted he was not happy with the book at first, saying, "I was very disappointed when I first read it because it's very long. Much of the book—about a third—is about Lucy Mancini's anatomy," he joked.

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Diane Keaton, who played Michael's wife, Kay, remarked that she auditioned with "about 100 Michaels," referring to how difficult it was to cast the part of Godfather heir Michael Corleone, even though Coppola only wanted Pacino for the part. "Every time I read the book, I saw his face," he said, adding, "Once you see someone in the role [while reading it], it is very hard to get that out of your head."

But producer Robert Evans disagreed, so Pacino had to audition "countless" times. "It seemed like I was always testing," Pacino said, and even after he was cast, producers pushed for another actor. "I kept testing after I got the part," he said. He tested so much, Pacino's girlfriend got on the phone with Coppola to say, "You're torturing him!"

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Pacino and Diane Keaton bonded after shooting the opening wedding scene: "We got so loaded after that wedding sequence. We were theater actors, and we were not used to film," he said. "The whole thing had sort of a surreal feel to it. So we got back and started drinking: 'Where do we go from here? We're done, it's over! This is the worst film ever made!'"

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10/10/2016 10:45 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2017
By Brianne J. Gorod

With the Supreme Court now starting its second term at diminished capacity, Angara Tanzanite Heart Pendant with Diamond Double Halo DCdne
are trying to make lemonade out of lemons, suggesting that it’s a good thing that the Court only has eight justices. According to of these commentators, for example, we’re better off if the Court doesn’t make big decisions and instead leaves those questions to be worked out through the political process. The problem with this view is simple: our nation’s Framers deliberately decided we shouldn’t leave all questions to the political process. That’s why they enshrined certain rights in our Constitution and entrusted the federal courts — including the Supreme Court — with the power to enforce them. And that’s why we should want the federal courts to do their job — and Republican Senators to do theirs.

Our Founding Fathers believed in democracy, but they also recognized its limits. They recognized that majorities will sometimes trample on the rights of minorities, that emergency circumstances can sometimes cause people to forsake values that would be cherished in calmer times, and that even fundamentally important rights may not always be popular. That’s why they wrote into our nation’s enduring charter — the Constitution — certain values and principles that must always be respected, no matter the political preferences of the moment. As the Supreme Court has said, “A citizen’s constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be.” Indeed, just five years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated this point in a campaign finance case, saying that “the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speakers against unjustified government restrictions on speech, even when those restrictions reflect the will of the majority.”

The federal courts — including the Supreme Court — have always played a critical role in enforcing the Constitution’s protections. Indeed, the nation’s Framers created the federal courts in large part for that reason: they wanted them to enforce the Constitution’s protections. As one proponent of the Constitution explained, the federal courts were granted broad powers to ensure that “the Constitution should be carried into effect . . . [and] justice equally done to all the community.”

Perhaps the most significant recent example of the Supreme Court ensuring that “the Constitution should be carried into effect,” even if it meant displacing majority will in some parts of the country, was last year’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges , which recognized a nationwide right to marriage equality. Before Obergefell was decided, many opponents of marriage equality argued that the question was one that should be decided by the political process and not by the courts.

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