Robert De Niro spent four months learning to speak the Sicilian dialect of Italian in order to play Vito Corleone. Nearly all of the dialogue that his character speaks in the film was in Sicilian.

To prepare for his role, Robert De Niro lived in Sicily for three months.

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.

Production nearly ended before it began, when Al Pacino's lawyers told Francis Ford Coppola that he had grave misgivings with the script, and was not coming. Coppola spent an entire night re-writing it before giving it to Pacino for his review. Pacino approved and the production went forward.

Marlon Brando was scheduled to return for a cameo in the flashback at the end of the film but, because of the way Paramount Pictures treated him during The Godfather (1972), he did not show up for shooting on the day the scene was filmed. Francis Ford Coppola re-wrote the scene without Vito, and it was filmed the next day.

Francis Ford Coppola had a horrible time directing The Godfather (1972) and asked to pick a different director for the sequel, while taking the title of producer for himself. He chose Martin Scorsese, who the film executives rejected. Thus, Coppola agreed to direct the film, with a few conditions.

Hyman Roth's character is loosely based on real-life mobster Meyer Lansky. Lansky, who at the time of the film's release was living in Miami, reportedly phoned Lee Strasberg and said, "Now, why couldn't you have made me more sympathetic? After all, I am a grandfather."

Though it claims to be based on the novel by Mario Puzo, only the scenes about the young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) have any basis in the book. Only one chapter in the book is devoted to Vito's youth and young adulthood. The story revolving around Michael (Al Pacino) and family in Las Vegas is entirely unique to the film.

Originally, the actors in the flashback scenes wore pants with zippers. One of the musicians pointed out that the zipper had not been invented at that time, so some scenes had to be re-shot with button-fly trousers.

Francis Ford Coppola, having nearly been fired several times from the first film, was given a Mercedes-Benz limousine from Paramount Pictures as a reward for the record success of The Godfather (1972) and an incentive to direct a sequel. He agreed on several conditions, that the sequel be interconnected with the first film with the intention of later showing them together; that he be allowed to direct his own script of The Conversation (1974); that he be allowed to direct a production for the San Francisco Opera; and that he be allowed to write the screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), all prior to production of the sequel for a Christmas 1974 release.

The door to Vito Corleone's olive-oil business was rigged so that it would not open if a nail was inserted into the lock. Coppola kept this a secret from Leopoldo Trieste, who played Signor Roberto, and his difficulty in opening the door was real. Coppola wanted to film Trieste, a known Italian comedian, improvising his way through the scene. When Genco Abbandando opens the door, Frank Sivero surreptitiously pulls the nail out.

In the scene in which young Vito negotiates with Signor Roberto on the street, a passerby interrupts to say hello to Vito. Carmelo Russo was an extra who was supposed to just walk by, but he improvised speaking to Vito. Francis Ford Coppola did not like that Russo interrupted the scene. But Robert De Niro liked that it showed how much people in the neighborhood respected Vito and he convinced Coppola to keep Russo's line.

James Caan asked that he be paid the same amount of money to play Santino 'Sonny' Corleone at the end of the film in the flashback as he was paid to do The Godfather (1972). He got his wish.

Danny Aiello's line, "Michael Corleone says hello", was completely ad-libbed. Francis Ford Coppola loved it and asked him to do it again in the retakes. Aiello later claimed (on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast) that, due to being nervous about working with Coppola, he didn't hear himself when he said the line and, to this day, has no idea why he said it.

There was much debate over whether Robert De Niro should grow a mustache for the scenes where young Vito is a few years older, but De Niro couldn't decide. In the end, De Niro tossed a coin. For the scenes where Vito returns to Sicily, he even gained weight and wore a smaller version of the dental appliance Marlon Brando wore in the first film.

Francis Ford Coppola considered bringing Marlon Brando back to play Vito Corleone as a young man, convinced that he could play at any age. As he worked on the script, though, he remembered Robert De Niro's exceptional audition for The Godfather (1972) and cast him without offering the part to Brando.

Lee Strasberg became ill during shooting, but instead of delaying production, Roth's character was re-written to be an ailing old man.

In an early version of the script, an ongoing story line was Tom Hagen having an affair with Sonny Corleone's widow. This was later discarded, but the line where Michael Corleone tells Hagen that he can take his "wife, children and mistress to Las Vegas" was kept.

A test screening of the film garnered negative reactions from the audience. They found cutting back and forth between Michael and young Vito confusing and bothersome. Francis Ford Coppola and his editors decided to decrease the frequency of the transitions in order to make the parallel stories easier to follow.

This was the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The second, and as of 2020 the last, was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). It is also the only film with a prequel storyline to be nominated for Best Picture.

Originally, it was supposed to be Clemenza who agrees to testify against the Corleones. According to Francis Ford Coppola, Richard S. Castellano (who was the highest paid actor in The Godfather (1972)) wanted to write his own lines and wanted a large salary increase. Consequently, his character was replaced by Frankie Pentangeli (Michael V. Gazzo), who received an Oscar nomination for the performance. But according to Ardell Sheridan, Castellano refused to regain the fifty pounds required to for the role due to health reasons, so Coppola decided to replace him rather than have a thinner Clemenza.

According to Francis Ford Coppola in the DVD commentary, Michael V. Gazzo gave such a great performance as Frankie Pentangeli in the rehearsal of his testimony scene that Coppola wanted to start filming it immediately, but everyone had to break for lunch. During the break, Gazzo got drunk and was unable to perform as well as he had in rehearsal.

Though never explicitly stated in the film, Anita Colombo (the old woman evicted from her apartment that a young Vito helps out) is the grandmother of Sandra Corleone, Sonny's wife.

Al Pacino caused problems throughout production, demanding a massive salary and heavy script re-writes. He frequently complained about Francis Ford Coppola's slow pace, yelling "Serpico (1973) only took nineteen days!" and threatened to quit.

In an interview, Gordon Willis admitted that he sometimes "went too far" in his use of dark photography. He particularly noted the scene in which Michael asks Mama for advice as an example. As a result, when the 2008 "Coppola Restoration" was being performed, the restoration experts had to turn to Willis to find out how he intended the scenes to be shown.

Unlike with the first film, Francis Ford Coppola was given nearly complete control over production. In his commentary, he said this resulted in a shoot that ran very smoothly despite multiple locations and two narratives running parallel within one film.

Robert De Niro is one of only seven actors (with Sophia Loren, Christoph Waltz, Roberto Benigni, Benicio Del Toro, Penelope Cruz, and Marion Cotillard) to win an Academy Award for a role primarily in a language other than English, since almost all of his dialogue in this film is in the Sicilian dialect of Italian.

The line in the film, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" was voted as the #58 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

The language spoken by the actors in the flashback part is not formal Italian, but a combination of southern Italian dialects (mostly Sicilian).

The film takes place in 1901, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1941, 1958, 1959 and 1960.

One of Francis Ford Coppola's conditions on returning to direct was that Robert Evans have no involvement whatsoever with the film, as they had frequently clashed while making the first film.

Talia Shire was only paid $1,500 for playing Connie in The Godfather (1972). For this movie, she received $30,000, with a $10,000 bonus when the box-office receipts hit $27.5 million.

Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay even though half of the script was adapted and half was original. The story of Michael Corleone is original, while the story of the young Vito Corleone came from The Godfather novel, but was not used in the first film. WAG rules decree that any screenplay for a sequel is a "screenplay adapted from another source".

The musical play performed in the film, "Senza Mamma", was an actual early twentieth century play composed by Francis Ford Coppola's grandfather, Francesco Pennino.

Robert De Niro auditioned for and was almost cast in The Godfather (1972) in a minor role. When Francis Ford Coppola was casting this film, he saw Mean Streets (1973) and knew he wanted De Niro for a major role in this sequel.

Filmed in one hundred four days.

Lee Strasberg came out of retirement to play Hyman Roth after a specific request from Al Pacino. He was unwilling at first, but agreed to do it after a forty-five-minute meeting with Francis Ford Coppola's father, Carmine Coppola.

Michael V. Gazzo was cast as Frankie Pentangeli only one day before shooting began.

The early buzz on The Godfather (1972) was so positive that a sequel was planned before the film was even finished filming.

The golden telephone presented to Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista is based on an actual event. You can see the actual gold-plated (not solid gold) telephone in Havana's Museum of the Revolution (formerly Batista's Presidential palace). The replica made for the movie looks pretty much like the original. No reference to the film is made in the information card of the telephone on display.

Filming was delayed for a month after Al Pacino developed pneumonia on location in Santo Domingo.

Merle Johnson was played by Troy Donahue, whose real name is Merle Johnson.

Although Nino Rota's score for The Godfather (1972) was withdrawn from an Oscar nomination because he re-used the same theme from his previous score for Fortunella (1958), he was still awarded the Oscar for Best Original Score for this movie, even though it used the same love theme from the first film.

The ship shown transporting the young Vito Corleone to New York City was NOT the Moshulu. That ship is now a restaurant docked at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. The Moshulu is leaving New York bay while young Vito Corleone's ship, name unknown, is arriving. One can tell the direction of each ship's travel by its orientation to The Statue Of Liberty.

While the word "mafia" is never spoken in The Godfather (1972), it is heard three times in this film, during the Senate hearings. Senator Patrick 'Pat' Geary says, "These hearings on the Mafia..." The committee Chairman says, "You are the head of the most powerful Mafia family in this country." Michael Corleone in his statement says, "Whether it is called 'Mafia' or 'Cosa Nostra' or whatever other name you wish... "

Editing continued up to the release date of the film.

In the original script, Tom Hagen gains Senator Pat Geary's support by paying off his gambling debts.

The unnamed Senators in the committee were played by people who were primarily screenwriters and producers: William Bowers, Roger Corman, Phil Feldman, and Richard Matheson.

Timothy Carey, who had turned down the offer to play Luca Brasi in the original, was offered the role of Don Fanucci in this film. While performing his audition at Paramount Pictures, in which Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese were present, Carey pulled a prop gun loaded with blanks out of a pastry box he had with him, and fired a shot at Coppola, before pretending to commit suicide. Reports differ as to whether Coppola immediately offered Carey the role, or whether Carey was removed by security. In addition, the actor made several monetary demands that caused him to be passed over.

Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) was in the film for only forty-six minutes.

According to Francis Ford Coppola on the DVD commentary, G.D. Spradlin wrote many of his own lines, including his anti-Italian speech to Michael.

This was the first film sequel to receive five Academy Award nominations for acting. Talia Shire (Best Actress in a Suporting Role), Lee Strasberg (Best Actor in a Supporting Role), Michael V. Gazzo (Best Actor in a Supporting Role) and Al Pacino (Best Actor) all received nominations, while Robert De Niro took home the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

After the first film, Francis Ford Coppola joked that the only sequel he'd make is Abbott and Costello Meet The Godfather (1972). It took a lot of convincing by Paramount Pictures to change his mind.

In the original script, Don Ciccio was named Don Francesco. "Ciccio" is a Sicilian nickname for Francesco. He is still listed as Don Francesco in closing credits.

Vito Corleone was born on December 7, 1891.

Anthony Corleone was played by James Gounaris, who was previously played by, and named for, his younger brother Anthony Gounaris in The Godfather (1972).

In his DVD commentary, Francis Ford Coppola claimed The Godfather: Part II (1974) was the first numbered sequel in film history. In fact, the British film Quatermass 2 (1957) was the first. This movie is the first U.S. film sequel to use such numbering though.

Vito's birthday is December 7. Sonny curses at the "Japs" for dropping bombs in Hawaii on his father's birthday.

Robert De Niro only speaks 17 words of English in the entire film.

The plot thread with Senator Patrick 'Pat' Geary is a direct reference to The Godfather (1972), when Vito laments that he wanted Michael to be a "big shot" who "pulled the strings." In particular, he had hoped Michael would become a Senator. Michael assured him, "We'll get there, Pop." At the opening of this film, we see Michael explicitly rebuffing the demands of a U.S. Senator, turning the tables, by making demands of his own.

Vittorio Storaro turned down the chance to be the film's cinematographer, as he felt that a sequel would never match the original The Godfather (1972).

In this movie, and in his previous film Mean Streets (1973), Robert De Niro is seen running over the rooftops of Little Italy during the annual Feast of San Rocco festival.

The line in the movie, "Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel" was voted as the #54 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.

Mario Cotone, the film's Sicilian production manager, was cast as Tommasino due to his resemblance to Corrado Gaipa, who played Tommasino in The Godfather (1972).

John Cazale appeared in only five films, and all of them involved Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and/or Francis Ford Coppola. This, however, is the only Cazale film to involve all three.

When Francis Ford Coppola decided to replace Richard S. Castellano, Willi Cicci was planned to be the sole testifier against the Corleones before the character of Pentangeli was created.

Just as in the first film (and in the novel), there are elements of the story based on the lives of New York gangster "Crazy" Joe Gallo and his brothers. In this film, when Frank Pantangelli is ambushed in the bar and nearly garroted by the Rosato brothers, that incident was based on an attack by Carmine "the Snake" Persico against Crazy Joe's brother, Larry Gallo. As in the film, Larry was lured to the bar for a "sit down" meeting with Persico, who was his friend. Both Larry Gallo in real life and Frankie Pentagili in the film received a lucky C-note from their adversary. Pentangeii took the gesture as an insult, but Gallo was happy when he received his gift. Larry was then garroted by members of the Profaci Crime Family, with whom the Gallos and Persico were a part of, in retaliation for Crazy Joe trying to instigate a mutiny within the family. Also as in the film, Larry Gallo was saved by a policeman who wandered into the bar, thus stopping the execution. Also, in both real life and the film a different policeman was wounded in the subsequent shootout as the failed murderers made their getaway. Although the name of the bar in the film was not mentioned, in real life the attempted murder took place in the Sahara Bar on Utica Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Advance bookings totalled $26 million in 340 theaters.

Francis Ford Coppola re-wrote the entire script over a weekend because Al Pacino said he didn't like the original and would not do the film. Apparently, he later said to Coppola that he hadn't actually disliked the first script all that much, but knew it could be better.

Coppola's idea for the sequel would be to "juxtapose the ascension of the family under Vito Corleone with the decline of the family under his son Michael... I had always wanted to write a screenplay that told the story of a father and a son at the same age. They were both in their thirties and I would integrate the two stories... In order not to merely make Godfather I over again, I gave Godfather II this double structure by extending the story in both the past and in the present".

According to the chart shown during the hearings, the Corleone family's buttonmen and soldiers are: Luca Brasi (deceased), Chris Pennari alias "The Manager", Donato Tolentinicci, Gaetano De Luna alias "Gary Dee", Roberto Nelenza alias "Thunder Bob", William Cicci, Pauli Gato (deceased), Nino Arneldi alias "The Patch", Victor Vinatonni alias "Vicky Veal", Calogero Radeni, Rafilo Gernzo, Carmine Caronda alias "The Plunge", Francis Forducci alias "The Kid", Ricardo Simmini alias "Powder", Frank Corteale, Ettore Radeni alias "Oily Hand", Salvatore Plumari alias "Sally Pee", Samuel Corocco, Angelo Granelli alias "The Trojan" (in jail), Gino Corsetta (in jail), Bartolo Neni alias "O'Neal" (in jail), Joeseph Bronski alias "Joey Jail" (deceased), Natale Parri alias "Fat Nat", Alphonse Barino alias "Al Barret", Gino Fredonna alias "Pretty Boy" (deceased), Sabastino Sabela (in jail), Lawrence Tippirri, Gaetano Sirillo, Tony Dinegio alias "Tony Ding", Carmen Della, Frank Darra alias "Frankie Dare" (in jail), Alphonse Evolloni alias "Al Ove" (deceased), Peter Leone alias "The Lion" (in jail), Cassandros Fracca alias "David Gelly", Charles Locirno (deceased), and Cristoforo D'Binna.

Although James Caan (Sonny Corleone) played the elder brother of John Cazale (Fredo Corleone), he is five years younger in real life.

As a sign of his ascent into the big time, Al Pacino was paid $500,000 plus a 10% share of the profits for this film. (He had earned a mere $25,000 for the first film two years earlier.)

The paper currency that Vito hands to Signor Roberto is historically accurate. The bills used are series 1914 large size ten dollar Federal Reserve Notes. Large size notes measure 7-3/8 by 3-1/8 inches compared to the small note, printed from 1928 to the present, measuring 6-1/8 by 2-5/8 inches.

Francis Ford Coppola originally wanted fellow director Elia Kazan to play Hyman Roth, but Kazan passed on the opportunity. On the DVD commentary track, Coppola detailed how he visited Kazan with the request, and remembered that Kazan was bare-chested. As an homage, Roth (Lee Strasberg) is bare-chested when Michael Corleone visits him. But in a later scene, when Michael is talking to Roth in his Havana hotel room, Roth obviously has a plenitude of gray chest hair.

Was voted the seventh greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly, thus being the most highly ranked sequel on their list, and only six rankings behind its predecessor.

The orchestra that plays in the band shell during the party scene at Lake Tahoe was actually the Al Tronti Orchestra that played nightly for big names like Elvis Presley and Tom Jones at the Sahara Tahoe Casino/Hotel on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe while this film was being shot. Al Tronti himself sits in the orchestra in the front room (only seen in shadow). He wasn't allowed to appear as the orchestra conductor since he looked "too Italian" and the orchestra in the movie was supposed to be a West Coast group that not able to play any traditional Italian music.

Robert De Niro was able to appear on-screen with three of his "children" in other films. He appeared with Al Pacino in Heat (1995), Righteous Kill (2008), and The Irishman (2018); John Cazale in The Deer Hunter (1978), and Robert Duvall in True Confessions (1981).

Bruno Kirby, who plays the young Clemenza (who was played by Richard S. Castellano in The Godfather (1972)) played Castellano's son in the television series The Super (1972).

The film cast includes five Oscar winners: Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall and Sofia Coppola; and seven Oscar nominees: Talia Shire, Michael V. Gazzo, Lee Strasberg, Danny Aiello, James Caan, Gary Kurtz, and Roman Coppola.

Michael's unnamed bodyguard is listed simply as "Michael's bodyguard" in the closing credits. But in the shooting script, he is named "Bussetta".

Robert De Niro became the only actor to win an Oscar for taking over another actor's Oscar-winning performance. He was not, however, the first or last such actor to be nominated for this. Gérard Depardieu was nominated for Best Actor in Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), a role that had already won an Oscar for José Ferrer. Like Brando, Ferrer had played his role in English. Like DeNiro, Depardieu played the role in the character's native language; in this case French. Years later, Jeff Bridges would be nominated for his performance in True Grit (2010). John Wayne had won his only Oscar for his performance in the original film True Grit (1969), which also featured Robert Duvall.

The Havana hotel that Michael stays in is the Capri. The location was the El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In a scene set in 1960, Tom Hagen says that nobody could kill the President of the United States and Michael Corleone replies that anyone could be killed. Of course, three years later, President John F. Kennedy was killed, and there are some theories that the Mafia was involved in the assassination.

Vito Corleone's headstone in the original The Godfather (1972) states he was born April 29, 1887 and passed July 29, 1955. This stated birth-date conflicts with two elements of this sequel. Firstly, at the end of this movie, in a flashback scene, Sonny suggests Vito Corleone's birthday is December 7th, mentioning that the Japanese dropped "bombs in our own backyard" on their father's birthday. Also, the movie mentions that Vito's father was killed in 1901 and that Vito was only 9 years old at the time of the funeral procession; suggesting that he was born in 1891-2.

Johnny Ola is based on real-live mobster Vincent "Jimmy Blue Eyes" Alo, associate of Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. He provided Drew Struzan's wife Dylan with the full story of Prohibition-era bootlegging which she later published as the nonfiction narrative book "A Bloody Business" after Alo's death; Drew provided the book's cover art.

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.

Al Pacino worked extensively with Marlon Brando and Richard S. Castellano in the first film, but he worked with neither of their replacements in this film. Many years later, however, he would have the chance. He appeared together with Robert De Niro in Heat (1995), Righteous Kill (2008) and The Irishman (2018). He also appeared with Bruno Kirby in Donnie Brasco (1997).

For his final scene as the young Clemenza, Bruno Kirby wore a fake fat belly beneath his costume to indicate the growing obesity of his character, played by the hefty Richard S. Castellano in the original film.

Senator Patrick 'Pat' Geary and his wife, Patt, are loosely based on Senator Jack (John F.) Kennedy and his wife, Jackie. Another theory is that Senator Geary is modeled after Senator Pat McCarran, who was a United States senator from Nevada in the early 1950's. The main Las Vegas airport is named McCarran Airport after him.

This was the last film printed in the U.S. in the classic "imbibition" Technicolor dye-transfer process, which produced better color accuracy and longevity than color print films of the time. The British and Italian lines were not shut down until a few years later. The British equipment was purchased by the Beijing Film and Video Lab in 1978, and used to print Chinese color films until the early 1990s.

Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Gangster" in June 2008.

Peter Sellers was considered for Hyman Roth.

During the first scene in Michael's office, when he's speaking with Senator Patrick 'Pat' Geary, a copy of John F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" is clearly visible on the desk behind Al Pacino.

1998: Voted #1 in TV Guide magazine's list of the 50 Greatest Movies on TV and Video (August 8-14 issue). The Godfather (1972) ranked #7.

Don Fanucci says that, in order to show proper respect to him, Vito and his friends should allow him to "wet his beak a little", by giving him a share of their profits. This is Sicilian slang, meaning "to get a piece of the pie", a common expression often used to indicate the extortion activities committed by Mafia members.

When Michael goes to see Hyman Roth at his house in Miami, the football game on the television is USC vs. Notre Dame, a major rivalry. In 1958, the year the scene takes place, Notre Dame defeated USC 20-13.

The day after he finished filming, Robert De Niro went to the welfare office to sign for unemployment benefits.

Coppola, in his director's commentary on The Godfather Part II, mentioned that the scenes depicting the Senate committee interrogation of Michael Corleone and Frank Pentangeli are based on the Joseph Valachi federal hearings and that Pentangeli is like a Valachi figure.

When Vito pays a visit to his hometown in Sicily, intent on avenging his mother and father's death, he stays in Don Tommasino's villa, the same place where his son Michael will later hide out, and marry Apollonia.

Gary Oldman said in a 2014 interview that he always tells students who want to be writers or directors that first on their list of what to watch should be The Godfather: Part II, because in terms of camera, lighting, cinematography, composition, production design, costume, storytelling, writing and acting, it's flawless. It's a master class in filmmaking from soup to nuts.

Only Best Picture Oscar winner with a Roman numeral in its title.

November 2005: Voted #5 in Total Film's 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list.

When Robert De Niro won his Oscar for this film, Francis Ford Coppola had to accept it on his behalf. De Niro was busy filming 1900 (1976). That film also featured Sterling Hayden; who had appeared in The Godfather (1972); and Gérard Depardieu who, like De Niro, would be nominated for an Oscar for playing a role (Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)) that had already been played by another actor (Jose Ferrer).

Genco Abbandando was portrayed by Frank Sivero in his youth in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and by Franco Corsaro in his old age in The Godfather (1972), although the latter was only in a deleted scene.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #32 Greatest Movie of All Time.

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. Although he originally gave the film a more mixed review.

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.

This was the first sequel to be inducted into the National Film Registry. It was originally the oldest sequel to be inducted until The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) broke its record five years later.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

The only film in which Robert De Niro won an acting Oscar for his performance in a film which won Best Picture.

Features the only Oscar nominated performances of Lee Strasberg and Michael V. Gazzo.

Final film of Fay Spain.

The character of Don Fanucci (played by the late Italian actor Gastone Moschin) was based on an early 20th century New York City Sicilian-American gangster and extortionist named Ignazio Lupo, whom the Italian-American community he terrorized called "Lupo The Wolf." As depicted in the film, the early predecessor to Cosa Nostra in America was the Black Hand, which was not a gang, but an extortion method perpetrated by freelance criminals in Italian-American communities in major cities in those times.

Like the character Michael Corleone, many members of the cast and crew of "The Godfather Trilogy" were military veterans, most of whom served during World War II. Author and screenwriter Mario Puzo and actors Michael V. Gazzo, G.D. Spradlin, William Bowers and Paul Lambert served in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Actor Sterling Hayden was in both the Army and the Marine Corps, serving as an officer in the latter; Hayden was also a secret agent during the War, serving in the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA. Actors Abe Vigoda, John Marley, Richard Conte, Rudy Bond, Hank Robinson, Richard Matheson and Eli Wallach were all in the Army, while Al Martino, Harry Dean Stanton and Roger Corman served in the Navy. Harrison Ressler arranged and performed in USO shows during the War. Other cast and crew members served in the Korean War including cinematographer Gordon Willis who was in the Air Force, while actors Robert Duvall, Danny Aiello, Tony Lip and Randy Jurgensen served in the Army. Actor Gary Kurtz was in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and Ron Gilbert was drafted into the Army in the summer of 1960.

Vito Corleone has a father named Antonio, and a grandson named Anthony. Robert De Niro's middle name is Anthony, just like his father.

The plot thread with Senator Patrick 'Pat' Geary is a direct reference to "The Godfather" when Vito laments that he wanted Michael to be a "big shot" who "pulled the strings." In particular, he had hoped Michael would become a Senator. Michael assures him, "we'll get there, Pop." At the opening of Part II, Michael explicitly rebuffs the demands of a US Senator, turning the tables by making demands of his own.

Peter Clemenza died of a heart attack before the events of Godfather Part II.Richard S. Castellano who played Clemenza did die of a heart attack in 1988.

Debut of actresses Maria Carta and Kathleen Beller.

Vito admits to Fanucchi that he and Clemenza stole $600 worth of dresses. This would be a years salary for the average citizen of Vito's neighborhood; about $2,500 now.

Don Fanucci was the first person that Vito Corleone killed.

Sonny Bono was considered for the role of Merle Johnson.

At the Senate hearing where Frank Pentangeli's older brother was there, at the end when Frank recanted his initial statement and the hearing is adjourned, you see Robert Duvall lean over and say something to Frank's brother in Italian. What he says to him is "L'onore della famiglia è tutto a posto" = "Family honor is all right".

It's established at the beginning of the film that Vito was nine years old in 1901. He was therefore born in 1892, a time in America, where he would soon be headed, when the cowboys of the old west were still in full reign.

After young Vito kills Don Ciccio, the story will take a 25 year leap into the future, to the scene of his daughter's wedding in the original "Godfather".

Kay Adams is a blonde in the first movie, a brunette in this movie, and then a dishwater gold-coloured blonde again for the third movie; this time with her hair all permed out in a curly style; whereas in the first two movies, it was straight. In the first movie, she's actually wearing a wig; something that she complained to the press was her "worst hair-experience" of her life. To be fair, Michael Corleone does also go through many drastic changes in fashion and style during this saga. The whole family is very fashion-forward and stylish: not something mafiosos are famous for.

This film is in the Official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films on Letterboxd.

Despite Don Fanucchi's wealth and position in the neighborhood he lives in the same kind of tenement as the rest of his neighbors. He does this for several logical reasons. First, he likely wants to live among his countrymen and women that speak his native language and share his Italian culture. Secondly, this is "his" neighborhood, as he stated to young Vito and he needs to live there to keep track of his business and to keep budding young criminals in line. Lastly, it was mentioned that real life early Mafia leader Salvatore Maranzano, made Fanucci his "man" in that neighborhood.

Originally, Kay was to truly have a miscarriage. It was Talia Shire's idea that she would have an abortion instead, as the ultimate way to hurt Michael. To thank her for this idea, Francis Ford Coppola wrote in the scene in which she tearfully asks Michael to forgive Fredo.

Co-authors Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola disagreed over whether Michael should have Fredo killed. Puzo only agreed on condition that Michael would wait until their mother was dead.

According to Robert De Niro in The Godfather Family: A Look Inside (1990), he suggested the idea of Vito Corleone wrapping his gun with a towel before he shoots Don Fanucci.

The shooting script included a scene with an older, diabetic Michael talking with an eighteen-year-old Anthony, but this scene was cut. The discarded scene also included Connie saying that Fredo drowned in the lake. These ideas were eventually used in The Godfather: Part III (1990).

As the "deceased" Mama Corleone, Morgana King only appeared in the coffin for the establishing shot where her face is clearly visible. In all other shots, Coppola's mother, Italia Coppola, stood in for Ms. King since she (King) initially refused to be in the coffin at all.

The presence of oranges in all three "Godfather" movies indicates that a death or an assassination attempt will soon happen. The Senator is framed for murder after playing with oranges at the Corleone house, and Johnny Ola brings an orange into Michael's office before the attempt on Michael's life. Don Fanucci eats an orange just before he is gunned down, and Michael Corleone is eating an orange while plotting to kill Hyman Roth. The young Vito Coreleone buys oranges from a street vendor shortly prior to plotting his assassination of Don Fanucci. Old Vito dies after eating (and playing) with oranges with his grandson.

According to the script, the movie's last shot in the film centering on Michael Corleone as he gazes at the lake, occurs in 1968. That accounts for Al Pacino's additional wrinkles and slightly receded and greying hairline. It was actually the concluding aspect of a scene with his son, Anthony Corleone, who declares that he will not follow in his father's footsteps. Anthony was portrayed by an actor about eighteen years old; the scene was halfly filmed, but Francis Ford Coppola lost the light before wrapping for the day, and was unable to return to complete the scene.

After Michael Corleone finds out that Fredo, his own brother, was the traitor, Fredo protests that he "didn't know it was gonna be a hit". But the tip-off to Michael that he was going to be hit, and that saved his life, was when Kay Adams asked him why the bedroom drapes were open, which gave Michael the split second that he needed to take cover and save their lives. Since the traitor had to be the one to leave the drapes open, and the only possible reason to leave the drapes open was to give the assassin a clear shot when Michael was visible in the bedroom, Fredo Corleone must have known that it was going to be a hit.

There are a total of sixteen deaths in the film.

The assassination of Hyman Roth strongly resembles that of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. Danny Aiello went on to play Jack Ruby in Ruby (1992).

Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), Robert Duvall (Thomas 'Tom' Hagen), John Cazale (Frederico 'Fredo' Corleone) and Talia Shire (Constanzia 'Connie' Corleone) are the only actors to appear in both the main storyline and one of the flashback scenes.

There is only one shot of actual money in the film.. when Frank Pentangeli is handed a lucky "C" in the original godfather (1972), there is only one shot of actual money shown after Sonny throws dollar bills at a photographer after breaking his camera. This is believed to have been done to show the secretive nature and private emphasis in the Corleone family, unlike other mafia films which always feature many shots of large amounts of money being actually shown. However, currency is also shown in two New York flashback scenes. First, Vito gives the landlord Roberto six $5 bills as six months rent increase in advance for Mrs. Colombo. Second, the same six $5 bills are returned to Vito by Roberto after Roberto finds out who he is dealing with. In each case, the currency is plainly visible and counted bill by bill in the scene.

The scene where Robert De Niro's character shoots Don Fanucci strongly resembles the scene at the end of Taxi Driver (1976). In Taxi Driver (1976), he shoots a police officer in the face, and later in that scene, shoots the pimp (who's badly wounded but still alive, sitting on the floor with his back to the wall) in the mouth. In The Godfather: Part II (1974), he shoots Don Fanucci in the face (at the exact spot he shot the police officer), and when he's on the floor with his back to the wall, very much in the same position as the pimp, De Niro shoots him again in the mouth.

The killing of Don Fanucci is a reflection of the killing of Capt. Mark McCluskey and Virgil 'The Turk' Sollozzo from "The Godfather" in that in both instances a handgun is used, the killings are carried out by father (Vito Corleone shooting Don Fanucci) and son (Michael Corleone shooting McCluskey and Sollozzo) and minus Vito killing Don Francesco, they are the only killings that we see carried out personally by a Corleone.

Michael (Al Pacino) has Fredo (John Cazale) killed at the end of the film. In Dick Tracy (1990), he kills a character played by his other on-screen brother, James Caan. In Heat (1995), he kills a character played by his on-screen father, Robert De Niro.