The Godfather Waltz (Nino Rota, arr. Philip Sparke)

Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film The Godfather has been claimed by many to be a turning point in cinematic history. Together with the 1974 and 1990 sequels it has won many awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (which Marlon Brando declined) and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 1973 Academy Awards, and consistently appears at or near the top of lists of 'best movies of all time'.

The sparse score written by Nino Rota is famous for its haunting main theme, played by a solo trumpet, from which The Godfather Waltz is derived. Rota was initially nominated for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score at the 1973 Academy Awards, but the nomination was withdrawn at the last minute when it became apparent the composer had reused material from his score to Eduardo De Filippo's 1958 comedy Fortunella in The Godfather's Love Theme. This did not, however, prevent Rota winning the same award in 1975, one of 10 nominations for The Godfather Part II, even though much of the music from the original was included in the sequel.

Rota died in 1979, but the same main themes were used in the 1990 The Godfather Part III, with Copolla's father, Carmine, who had collaborated with Rota in the first two films, writing the rest of the score.