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"The Godfather" Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Paramount/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of what many consider to be one of the greatest films ever made: The Godfather.

Based on the book of the same name by author Mario Puzo, the film starred Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, a leader of a Mafia family in 1940s New York.  It was his character that uttered the famous line, "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Al Pacino joined Brando as Vito's son Michael, the godfather-in-waiting who seeks revenge on his family's enemies.

The Francis Ford Coppola-directed film, which also starred James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Abe Vigoda, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for best picture, best actor for Brando and best adapted screenplay.  It spawned two sequels, released in 1974 and 1990.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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