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At 36:38 in The Godfather, Fredo and Michael arrive at the casino for the meeting with Mo Greene. I've seen that scene (and movie) tens of times before I notice that it's not John Cazale who gets out of the car!

The character has the same suit and shirt, but the scarf looks a little bit different. And the head is definately not the same (hair is not as high on the forehead looking semi-bald, and not greasy, more muscular body too).

John Cazale might have already been sick and unable to play some parts of the movie, or it's shot by the second team maybe. There must be a reason why one of the main characters of such a movie would use a body double, but what puzzles me more is:

Why did they use a body double for Fredo in this scene?


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    alas, sometimes (or, more often than not) they go uncredited. Commented Apr 22 at 11:21
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    @blobbymcblobby : yep, preliminary reseach just shows nothing, unfortunately...
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Apr 22 at 11:53
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    To get credit for the job, he should have done them an offer they can't refuse :)
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Apr 22 at 12:43
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    @Luciano The "why" part of the question is still on topic.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Apr 22 at 17:33

1 Answer 1

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Heck knows who the guy is, but as to why, Francis Ford Coppola said in the audio commentary:

We, of course, didn't go to Las Vegas for the sequences in Las Vegas. These are second unit shots of signs of the period. ... This is one of those really cheap second unit shots we did. I was very embarrassed by this, because in the background you there there's, like, hippy-looking guys that are not correct for period. ... Again, you know, it's hard to imagine, but The Godfather was, you know, a modest budget film. And as I said, it cost $6.5 million. It was budgeted for $2.5 million. So I was way over budget, and that was partly because I made it period. So there was no money for any of the little extra shots, and we just sort of did them ourselves, almost, without our photographer or art department, and without the actors.

So, it is likely that they flew only Al Pacino to Las Vegas (because, being the main actor, the moviegoers' attention would have been on him and so, using a body double for him in the scene would have been perhaps too vulgar) — and saved on plane tickets/accommodation for John Cazale.

(And I must admit it worked — I never noticed the body double before this question).

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    Thanks, helpful. Thought it could be about money and a second unit (but no evidence of it), didn't think it could imply a body double though! Not my DV of course...
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Apr 23 at 5:00

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