By Tony Andriola
You may know that the 50th anniversary remastered edition of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather was released in theaters this month. But did you know that we set up the torrone stand for the filming of the feast scene in The Godfather III?
In 1989/1990 I was approached by the movie studio that was preparing to film The Godfather III. They wanted to create an Italian feast on the streets of New York City and for me to supply them with a fully stocked bancarella - a torrone trailer - to be part of the scene. The feast scene was to be created on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy, NYC, and would take approximately four or five days to shoot.
Needless to say, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. They offered to pay for the rental of the trailer, the torroni and biscotti needed to stock the trailer, and the salaries for my Zio Nunzio and Zia Helena to work the trailer during filming.
The days of filming were long and there were many hours of downtime spent just hanging around waiting for the scene to be shot and reshot. During the downtime, many of the actors and crew noshed on the biscotti and torroni.
After five days, the filming was over and we returned to our normal lives.
For the next couple of months, all the vendors who had participated in the filming waited anxiously for the premiere of the movie. It was released on Christmas Day in 1990 and we all made plans to go to see it. We had to wait until after Christmas Day however since most of us were still recovering from the meal of seven fishes and Christmas Day lasagna!
About twenty of us gathered at the theater to see ourselves on the silver screen. As the feast scene came on the screen, we were filled with anticipation. But most of us never even saw ourselves as the clip lasted less than a minute. The majority of the scene was cut and left behind on the editor's floor!
Our movie career was short-lived, however, thirty years after the filming, the bancarella can still be seen on the set of many Italian feasts from Boston, MA, to Hoboken, NJ, and Wilmington, DE.
Photo circa 1990 Frances Ford Coppola on location for the shooting of Godfather III on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy
Image ID: D33CE7 Stacy Walsh Rosenstock / Alamy Stock Photo