The Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The Studio: Paramount
The Fight: Looking back now, with Oscars bulging in its virtual pocket and its classic status, The Godfather doesn't sound like a problem project.
But it was, and from the start, too. Paramount wanted a quickie gangster film based on a novel that Mario Puzo pumped out to make money.
Several directors passed, and when Francis Ford Coppola got the job, it was against the studio's better judgement, since he'd never directed a successful film.
And even Coppola wasn't sure he wanted to make it - but he needed the cash to keep his production company, Zoetrope, afloat.
But all through production, there were fights - the studio didn't like the score, it thought the cinematography was too dark and were desperate for Coppola to save money, suggesting he shoot outside New York and consider updating the story to the present day.
"The feeling up to that time was, 'What is this movie? It's not turning out the way we thought it would' - whatever that was," recalls editor Walter Murch in a documentary on the film's DVD.
Coppola, though, stuck to his guns - delivering a longer cut than the executives wanted (despite their worries, they loved the final product) and creating one of cinema's true masterpieces.
Oh, and then he followed it up with a sequel that matches and often betters the original.
The Victor: Coppola. Though we doubt the likes of producer Robert Evans were crying much after the box office receipts came in and the film became a cultural legend...