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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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  • Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Diane Keaton in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Talia Shire and Morgana King in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Robert De Niro and Leopoldo Trieste in The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Al Pacino and Talia Shire 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

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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.

Metacritic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Lake Tahoe house and grounds portrayed in the film are Fleur du Lac, the summer estate of Henry J. Kaiser on the California side of the lake. The only structures used in the movie that still remain are the complex of old native stone boathouses with their wrought iron gates. Although Fleur du Lac is private property and no one is allowed ashore there, the boathouses and multimillion-dollar condominiums may be viewed from the lake.


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 arrives at Ellis Island, he was marked with a circled X and sent to a nurse because he was suspected to have smallpox. In history, the circled X was a sign for a mental illness.


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

In 1977, a special version for television titled The Godfather Saga (1977) was prepared by director Francis Ford Coppola and editor Barry Malkin by re-editing The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) in chronological order and adding deleted scenes. Most of these deleted scenes are also included separately on the DVD release and in The Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980 (1992). Among the deleted scenes:

  • The opening credit sequence features additional shots of the Corleone compound. These shots were later used in the beginning of The Godfather: Part III (1990).
  • The opening credit sequence also features additional shots of Michael sitting alone contemplatively, an alternate take of young Vito waving little Michael's hand on the train in Sicily, and a longer take of Michael looking at Fredo at their mother's wake.
  • Don Ciccio's henchmen look for the boy Vito at his home. Vito's mother says she will bring him to Ciccio herself.
  • Don Fanucci tells the theater impresario that he should feature Sicilian songs or opera and then comically sings examples.
  • After Fanucci leaves, the impresario smacks his daughter for walking in at the wrong time.
  • Vito sees a group of hoods jump Don Fanucci and slice his neck. This explains the scar on his neck seen later.
  • Genco tells Vito about the attack on Fanucci and Vito pretends not to know about it.
  • In the café, Clemenza tells Vito that he will never work a regular job like his father did.
  • Vito meets Tessio for the first time outside a warehouse with Clemenza. They take the bag of guns inside to a man named Augustino Coppola. He tells his young son, Carmine Coppola, to play the flute as entertainment while he works on the guns. This is a tribute to Francis Ford Coppola's grandfather and father. The men also leave the warehouse with a bunch of dresses.
  • Clemenza tries to sell a dress to a married woman and ends up having sex with her while Tessio and Vito wait outside.
  • An additional shot of Vito driving down the street before Fanucci jumps in.
  • Additional dialogue after Fanucci gets out of Vito's truck.
  • Additional dialogue when Vito, Clemenza, and Tessio discuss how to handle Fanucci.
  • An extended version of the scene where Vito first talks to Signor Roberto.
  • Signor Roberto asks Genco if he can speak with "Don Vito".
  • Clemenza brings a young Jewish boy named Hyman Suchowsky to see Vito. Clemenza wants to rename him "Johnny Lips", but Vito decides he will be called "Hyman Rothstein" after Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein.
  • When Vito returns to Sicily, he kills the two henchmen that looked for him as a boy. One he finds passed out in a hut and stabs, the other he rows up to on a lake and kills with an oar.
  • A wide shot of the train leaving the station in Sicily.
  • A quick shot of people waltzing at Anthony's communion party.
  • A quick shot of the bandleader looking at the dancers as he is conducting.
  • A man taking home movies of Tom and his family.
  • Fredo shows up late to Anthony's communion party because his wife, Deana, is drunk. She runs up the driveway demanding to see Michael, then falls down and knocks down Fredo when he tries to pick her up. Fredo warns her not to embarrass him.
  • A thirsty Pentangeli tries to get a beer or wine at the communion party, but all the waiters have are champagne cocktails. This explains why he is seen drinking from a garden hose.
  • At the party, Sonny's widow, Sandra, brings their daughter Francesca and her fiancé, Gardner, to see Michael. Fredo barges in to tell Michael that Pentangeli is outside. Michael gives Francesca and Gardner his blessing to get married. She sees Kay and tells her the good news.
  • Al Neri tells Michael that he's tracked down Fabrizio, the man who murdered Michael's first wife, Apollonia. He now runs a pizza parlor in New York and is living under the name "Fred Vincent". He was brought to New York by Barzini.
  • A shot of four opera singers performing at the party.
  • A quick shot of Rocco berating one of his men.
  • Anthony runs towards the area where the buttonmen are sitting and Kay chases after him, warning him to stay away. She then grabs and hugs Anthony.
  • Pentangeli sits with Anthony and drinks a full glass of wine in one gulp. Then, he gives Anthony a $100 bill.
  • Al Neri goes to a casino and fires Klingman on orders of Michael. When Klingman won't leave, Neri smacks him, chases him into a rehearsal of a stage show and threatens him with a chair. Klingman agrees to leave, then Neri tells the performers to continue the rehearsal which he stays and watches.
  • Fabrizio gets into his car outside his pizza parlor. He turns the ignition, and the car explodes. He falls out of the car and crawls around a bit before he dies.
  • The final scene is Kay in a Catholic church lighting candles and praying.


Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama

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