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How Brando gave the don his bite

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Just when we thought our Godfather fandom could run no deeper, these unseen pictures force us to think again. Brace yourself for film historian Peter Cowie’s exhaustive new book, The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives.

Offering a wealth of fascinating insights, such as the fact the studio wanted Robert Redford to play Don Corleone, the book goes as far as venturing inside Marlon Brando’s mouth to uncover the dental wizardry behind the famous jowls.

As these exclusive unseen photos reveal, Brando spent three hours in make-up every day being fitted with steel-bar dentures that sat below and in front of his lower teeth, with blobs of resin (known as ‘plumpers’) at either end to give him that imperious jawline.

The book also details how James Caan wore dental prosthetics for his role as Sonny Corleone: his ‘fangs’ were built up using quick-setting acrylic to make him look more animalistic. You can learn more by reading the June 1972 issue of Dental Survey: The Journal Of Dental Practice, a replica of which is helpfully included in Cowie’s book.

The Godfather: The Official Motion Picture Archives by Peter Cowie is out now, £30

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