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The Godfather: Part II (1974)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama


The Godfather: Part II (1974) Poster

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.

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9/10
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  • Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • "The Godfather: Part II"Morgana King1974 Paramount Pictures** I.V. Black and White, Fur, Portrait, Earring, Smiling, Entertainment mptv_2018_May_to_August_Update
  • Robert De Niro and Leopoldo Trieste in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Robert De Niro in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Robert De Niro and Francesca De Sapio in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Al Pacino and Talia Shire in The Godfather: Part II (1974)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


7 May 1999 | DanB-4
10
| The Greatest Film Ever Made
The original Godfather is a brilliant work. It is in a sense a voyeuristic delight, allowing us to see the mafia from the inside - we become part of the family. It single-handedly change the world's view of organized crime, and created a cast of sympathetic characters, none of whom have a shred of common morality. It was the highest grossing movie of its time and Brando created a cultural icon whose influence resonates as strong today as it did in 1972.

As extraordinary an achievement as this is, Part II is even better. It easily receives my nod as the best picture ever made. I have seen it at least 20 times, and each time its 200 minutes fly by.

The movie uses flashbacks to brilliantly weave two tales. The main story is the reign of Michael Corleone as the world's most powerful criminal. Now reaping the benefits of legalized gambling in Las Vegas, Michael is an evident billionaire with an iron fist on a world of treachery.

Behind this, Director Francis Ford Coppola spins the tale of the rise of Michael's father, Vito, to the center of the New York mafia. It is these scenes that make the film a work of art. Without spoiling, I will simply say the Robert DeNiro as the young Vito is the best acting performance of all time, a role for which he won a richly deserved Oscar.

The screenplay is full of delicious little underworld nuggets ("Keep your friends close .....", "I don't want to kill everyone, just my enemies"), while it blows a dense, twisted plot past you at a dizzying and merciless pace. The cinematography is depressing and atmospheric. The score continues in the eerie role of its predecessor, foretelling death and evil.

All of this makes the movie great and infinitely watchable. But it's what's deeper inside this film ... what it is really about ... that is its true genius.

The Godfather Part II is not really a movie about the mafia, it is a movie about a man's life long struggle. Michael controls a vast empire that is constantly slipping out of his hands. He grows increasingly distrustful and paranoid, and even shows signs that he hates his own life. Michael almost seems to resent the fact that he is a natural born crime lord, a man who puts the family business ahead of everything.

The great Don Michael Corleone can never come to terms with one simple fact.... his father's empire was built on love and respect, Michael's empire is built on fear and violent treachery.

See this movie. It's three-and-a-half hours very well spent.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When little Vito arrives at Ellis Island, he is marked with a circled X. Ellis Island immigrants were marked with this if the inspector believed the person had a mental defect.


Quotes

Title Card: The godfather was born Vito Andolini, in the town of Corleone in Sicily. In 1901 his father was murdered for an insult to the local Mafia chieftain. His older brother Paolo swore revenge and disappeared into the hills, leaving Vito, the only male ...


Goofs

When Vito Corleone and Don Tommasino pay a visit to Don Francesco, the setting is in the city of Corleone, Sicily but a large body of water, probably the Tyrrhenian Sea, is clearly seen in the background. The city of Corleone is located about 40 miles from the nearest sea.


Crazy Credits

As with the first film no opening credits are shown. Although it is now commonplace for films not to have opening credits, it was considered innovative in 1974.


Alternate Versions

For The Godfather Saga (1977), besides the added scenes and toning down the violence and language, other changes were made to the original version:

  • The close-up shots of Michael's face as Rocco kisses his hand are deleted.
  • The on-screen prologue is deleted.
  • The shot of little Vito being marked with an encircled X among the benches filled with immigrants is deleted.
  • The shot of little Vito singing by himself in Ellis Island is deleted.
  • The scene of Anthony receiving his communion is deleted.
  • Throughout the story of young Vito's rise, many of the lines originally spoken in Sicilian are dubbed in English.
  • An alternate take of Vito walking down the aisle in the theatre.
  • Scenes at the communion party are rearranged. The scene with Connie and Merle meeting with Michael appears earlier and the scenes with Senator Geary appear later.
  • The scene where Vito brings a pear home and the scene where he first encounters Clemenza are switched to appear in the order originally intended. This explains why he is in a bad mood at dinner.
  • An alternate take of Vito refusing the box of food from Signor Abbandando.
  • A shot of Clemenza nodding to a customer in the café is deleted.
  • The shot of Clemenza cutting the rug and playing with baby Sonny is deleted.
  • Michael's reply of "New York City" at the Senate hearing is deleted.


Soundtracks

Heart and Soul
Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama

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