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This is the coolest thing on the web today. Sam Fuller reads with Pacino for The Godfather: Part II.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. If you even have a passing interest in the films and filmmaking this is going to be the coolest thing you watch this weekend (which also includes the fantastic X-Men: First Class, so that's saying a lot).

Sam Fuller was an amazing filmmaker. Steel Helmet, Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss, Verboten, China Gate, Pickup on South Street, The Big Red One... all must sees. He wasn't really an actor, though after this screentest he popped up in a few films and TV shows in front of the camera... I guess Francis Ford Coppola was a big fan and had Fuller audition for the role of Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II, a part that eventually won Lee Strasberg a Supporting Actor nom (which he lost to De Niro for the same movie).

Today you can see that audition. Not only did the screentest happen with Fuller, they also brought in Pacino to read against him.

This is the holy-shit-I-can't-believe-I-just-watched-that of the day for cinephiles. Check it out:


Fuller_Pacino_Screentest from Heiko van der Scherm on Vimeo.


I first saw this via the good folks at Trailers From Hell, so thanks to them for bringing this bit of "what if?" coolness to my world.

Hope you guys dug it. Fuller was actually pretty damn good, right?

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  • June 3, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Ain't it fucking cool news!

    by Aaronthenia

    This is a great find for any cinephile.

  • June 3, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Bad ass!


  • June 3, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Awesome, and I never say awesome.

    by john


  • June 3, 2011, 3:12 p.m. CST

    I Can't Believe They Didn't Pick Him

    by Aquatarkusman

    Maybe he was a little too vibrant and young (12 years younger than Lee Strasberg) to make that whole old man/dangerous man dichotomy work. It's amazing, though, how much he's toned down as opposed to his regular speaking/exposition/interview voice.

  • June 3, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Sam Fuller= Cinema God

    by djangoilbastardo

    Cinema Genius. Cinema Fist.

  • June 3, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST


    by Stifler's Mom

    would have made a great Hyman Roth.

  • June 3, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Funny this'd come up.

    by djangoilbastardo

    I've been on one of my Fuller watching sprees again, just having rewatched THE CRIMSON KIMONO, THE STEEL HELMET (Vet's Day), BARON OF ARIZONA (Vincent Price's Birthday), and SCANDAL SHEET (based on Fuller's book THE DARK PAGE and directed by equally underrated Phil Karlson).

  • June 3, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Not as good as Lee Strasberg, but still amazing!! wow

    by LowDevil

  • June 3, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Cool. I love seeing screen tests and rehearsals.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • June 3, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Wow, he's excellent

    by IndustryKiller!

    Holy shit, that was really cool.

  • ...seriously - Fuller was fucking GREAT! I can see why they chose Strasberg, as he looked the part a bit more - but Fuller was outstanding.

  • June 3, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    He is nowhere near as good as Strasberg...

    by Mr. Waturi

    Fuller is trying way to hard to act like a mobster (or Peter Faulk). Strasberg's performance was great because he was so understated. He seemed like the nice old man down the street whom nobody would ever suspect is a mobster.

  • June 3, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    As a piece of film history, that is incredible.

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • June 3, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Pure Badassness

    by ZoeFan

    One of THE Best things posted on this site in a lone time.

  • June 3, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by WeylandYutani

    Fuller would have made an excellent Hyman Roth. That is a GREAT little gem.

  • June 3, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    White Dog FTW!

    by Randy

    This is really amazing, easily one of the top 10 best movies ever madel.

  • June 3, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Apologies to the more hardcore cinephiles

    by HapaPapa72

    But I've never heard of Sam Fuller. Not a bad read, though. Ciggie got kinda distracting. "Good health---(cough!)---the most important thing, Michael..." I agree with Mr. Waturi.... Strasberg looked like the kindly old Jewish neighborhood grocer. Sam Fuller looks a little too... slick. I dunno. Still better than I could've done. Thanks for the clip. Now where's Chris Walken's Han Solo audition?

  • June 3, 2011, 9:06 p.m. CST

    hapapapa72, here you go

    by BadMrWonka

  • June 3, 2011, 10 p.m. CST

    the back of pacinios head


    is spellbinding.

  • June 3, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Pft. Not nearly as cool as this:

    by Taillefer Fuck you, Newsweek.

  • June 4, 2011, 12:29 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    Frankie Five Angels got shafted. Can you blame him for being a rat? I think not!

  • June 4, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    This is really cool to see...

    by JackIsLost

    But there can be no doubt that Lee Strasberg was the right choice. Fuller seems a little over-reactive to me... I can see him "acting", which I can't with Strasberg (granted, an unfair comparison, since that's the final film). But still nice to see the process.

  • June 4, 2011, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Thanks Quint!

    by BadMrWonkaSucksCock

  • June 4, 2011, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Fucking Stupid

    by Queefer Sutherland

    I wanted to see Pacino! Where's fucking Al Pacino in this? Is that the back of his fucking head? Big fucking deal.

  • June 4, 2011, 3:55 a.m. CST

    by highllama

    The cigarette thing kills his "performance". JESUS, I didn't even make it to the end because of that. Such a shitty vice to compensate for a scene. Fuck this guy: Lee 4EVER.

  • June 4, 2011, 4:08 a.m. CST

    He seems to be channeling older De Niro

    by BenBraddock

    Even before De Niro was! Interesting clip, I really love to see screen-tests. Every DVD/Blu release should include any available screen-tests!!

  • June 4, 2011, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Could this be the next logical progression?

    by david starling

    From pic of the day, to videoclip of the day? Tall order I know, but if they're as good as this one, I say do it!! Still trying to remove my jaw from the floor, and picturing how he'd have been in the finished film.

  • June 4, 2011, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Actual Samuel Fuller Appearance

    by Aquatarkusman

    In Godard's Pierrot Le Fou, with Jean-Paul Belmondo:

  • June 4, 2011, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Godfather does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    That was nice to see... and makes me want to watch the GODFATHER trilogy again. Yes... I said trilogy. The dojo is one of the few with bad taste enough to really enjoy GODFATHER PART 3! ps. you're right about the cigarette thing... fine for a couple minutes but then becomes distracting!

  • June 4, 2011, 7:26 a.m. CST

    this should be a daily thing

    by bourne7855

    just like behind the scenes pics.

  • June 4, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    Who wants to play a guy named Hymen? Seriously.

  • June 4, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    "Who wants to play a guy named Hymen?"

    by djangoilbastardo

    And get popped near the end of the film too, no less. Badda-bump-bump! Try the veal. And remember to tip your waitresses!

  • June 4, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST


    by BSB

    Yeah, and they had to get past his cousin Vulva to get him. Badum-Psssshhh!

  • June 4, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Just awesome

    by VFXpert

    Movies like The Godfather (I & II) show how the medium of Cinema can achieve true greatness from time to time, when art and entertainment collide into a timeless masterpiece(s). Every now and then, we capture lightning in a bottle, and all of the creative elements rise above the ordinary - story, direction, art design, performance, music,etc. - and when united, create something much more than the sum of their parts. This is why most of us who either love cinema and/or work in its creation rejoice every time we see it emerge, and lament the long stretches in between. But the hope that it's just around the corner lives in us all, and we'll always be the ones to trumpet its triumph when we discover it. This is a glimpse into the making of one such classic moment in Cinema, and it makes me feel like a kid again watching it. Thanks Eric for this - looking forward to the next gem you uncover for us!

  • June 4, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Do you have any Cool News from this decade? Or even this century?

    by Coughlins Laws

    I loved Godfather 2. It's one of my Top 5 Favorite movies. However, this does not in anyway overwhelm me. It's no different to me than any extra behind the scene shit you see on any making of doc on a DVD. Seeing things like Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly or a screentest of Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones were exciting or at least interesting in that you realize those movies would've been entirely different. Seeing something like this makes me realize how much a great movie could've just as easily sucked if they made the wrong casting decisions. Thanks, though, it's interesting, I guess. I'm not overwhelmed or underwhelmed, just whelmed...

  • June 4, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Very neat thing.

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

  • June 6, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • June 6, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    coughlins laws -

    by Choohoo

    I agree it would have been much cooler news if Optimus Prime were screen testing against Pachino in that scene.