John Cazale may not be history’s most well-known actor, but he appeared in five films that were all nominated for Best Picture within a six-year period — and a new documentary intends to give him the recognition he deserves.
Cazale left his mark on film history by lending his talents to The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Deer Hunter, The Conversation, and Dog Day Afternoon. In total, those films garnered 40 Oscar nominations throughout the 1970s, and became an intrinsic part of what many critics have deemed the last Golden Era of American film.
Although Cazale never took a starring role, several iconic actors and filmmakers make the case in I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale — now out on DVD — that his work is a testament to the fact that you don’t need to be out front to make a significant impact.
Click through below for a gallery of videos and images from the film.
A clip from the film, featuring commentary from Steve Buscemi, Sam Rockwell, and Robert De Niro.
One of Cazale’s most well-known roles was as Frederico “Fredo” Corleone in The Godfather series.
Cazale as Sal Naturile in Dog Day Afternoon.
Cazale alongside Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II.
Cazale with Gene Hackman in 1974’s The Conversation, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
A scene from The Deer Hunter, with Cazale third from left.
The male members of the Corleone family from The Godfather series.
A scene of robbery in progress from 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon.
Official movie poster for the film.