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The Godfather: Part II (1974)

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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.

Writers:

Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay by), Mario Puzo (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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521 ( 33)
Top Rated Movies #3 | Won 6 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Michael
Robert Duvall ... Tom Hagen
Diane Keaton ... Kay
Robert De Niro ... Vito Corleone (as Robert DeNiro)
John Cazale ... Fredo Corleone
Talia Shire ... Connie Corleone
Lee Strasberg ... Hyman Roth
Michael V. Gazzo ... Frankie Pentangeli
G.D. Spradlin ... Sen. Pat Geary
Richard Bright ... Al Neri
Gastone Moschin ... Fanucci (as Gaston Moschin)
Tom Rosqui Tom Rosqui ... Rocco Lampone
Bruno Kirby ... Young Clemenza (as B. Kirby Jr.)
Frank Sivero ... Genco
Francesca De Sapio ... Young Mama Corleone (as Francesca de Sapio)
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Storyline

The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All the power on earth can't change destiny.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish | Latin | Sicilian

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Son of Godfather See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$47,542,841

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,729,203
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980 VHS Special Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers was considered for Hyman Roth. See more »

Goofs

When young Vito arrives in New York and the Statue of Liberty is shown, the patina on the statue is clearly bright green. The patina on Lady Liberty would not have been completely developed in 1901. At the time, the patina was covering most of the statue, starting with the torch, arm, head and torso, but not the entire length of the statue's dress as shown in the film. It should have been covered in a patchy patina from the waist down, with a primarily brown color. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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 heir, to stand with his mother at the funeral. He was nine years old.
[gunshots and screams]
Woman: [subtitled from Italian] They've killed the boy! They've killed young Paolo! They've killed your son Paolo!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is the only Godfather film not to feature a standalone title screen against a black background. Instead, the title appears over Michael Corleone's chair after he gets up out of it. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1977, a special version for television titled The Godfather Saga was prepared by director Francis Ford Coppola and editor Barry Malkin by re-editing The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II 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. 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.
  • 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Al Pacino Performances (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Senza Mamma
(F. Pennino Edition)
Francesco Pennino
Performed by Livio Giorgi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"Michael, I Never Wanted This For You."
22 February 2009 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Nino Rota's musical score plays an even greater role in this equal but different successor than it did in the predecessor. Yearning, lamenting, stimulating bygone ages, see how infectiously Nino Rota's music affects our sentiments for the savage events on screen. It is the pulse of the films. One cannot imagine them without their Nino Rota music. Against all our realistic deduction, it guides us to how to feel about the films, and condition us to understand the characters within their own world. Throughout the Corleone family's many criminal actions, we understand that one doesn't have to be a monster in order to live with having done them.

In what is both a dual expansion of its predecessor and a masterpiece of juxtaposition in itself, we see Michael Corleone forfeit his remaining shreds of morality and become an empty shell, insecure and merciless. As his father quietly knew in his latter days would be so, Michael has lost sight of those values that made Don Corleone better than he had to be and has become a new godfather every bit as evil as he has to be. The score, with its tonal harmony, its honeyed and emotional aesthetics, is sad, and music can often evoke emotion more surely and subtly than story. Consider several operas with ridiculous stories and lyrics yet contain arias that literally move us to tears.

The devolution of Michael Corleone is adjacent with flashbacks to the youth and young manhood of his father, Vito, played with paternal, home-loving subtlety by Robert De Niro. These scenes, in Sicily and old New York at the turn of the century, follow the conventional pattern of a young man on the rise and show the Mafia code being burned into the Corleone blood. No false romanticism conceals the necessity of murder to do business. We don't look at Vito as a victim of his environment, but a product of the depiction of the resorts to which the Italian culture had turned, initially to both protect their homeland and protect their livelihood as immigrants who came to America to be paid less than the blacks.

The film opens in 1901 Corleone, Sicily, at the funeral procession for young Vito's father, who had been killed by the local Mafia chieftain, Don Ciccio, over an insult. During the procession, Vito's older brother is also murdered because he swore to avenge his father. Vito's mother goes to Ciccio to beg for the life of young Vito. When he refuses, she sacrifices herself to allow Vito to escape. They scour the town for him, warning the sleeping townsfolk against harboring the boy. With the aid of a few of the townspeople, Vito finds his way by ship to Ellis Island, where an immigration agent, mishearing Vito's hometown of Corleone as his name, registers him as Vito Corleone. From this very opening, and the events that gradually follow, we see that Vito's damnable early experiences have enhanced his sense of family, and his experience of revenge as a necessity was passed on to Vito's sons.

The life of young Vito helps to explain the forming of the adult Don Corleone. As his unplanned successor Michael, his youngest child, transforms, we hark back to why, when his true desire is to make the Corleone family completely legitimate, he feels that he must play the game by its old rules. His wife says, "You once told me: 'In five years, the Corleone family will be completely legitimate.' That was seven years ago." What we have are two all-too-real narratives, two superb lead performances and lasting images. There is even a parallel between two elderly dons: Revenge must be had.

I admire the way Coppola and Puzo require us to think along with Michael as he feels out fragile deliberations involving Miami boss Hyman Roth, his older brother Fredo, and the death of Sonny in the previous film. Who is against him? Why? Michael drifts several explanations past several key players, misleading them all, or nearly. It's like a game of blindfolded chess. He has to envision the moves without seeing them. Coppola shows Michael breaking under the burden. We recall that he was a war hero, a successful college student, forging an honest life. Ultimately Michael has no one by whom to swear but his aging mother. Michael's desolation in that scene of dialogue informs the film's closing shot.

So this six-time Oscar-winning three-and-a-half-hour gangster epic is ultimately a dreary experience, a mourning for what could've been. It is a contrast with the earlier film, in which Don Corleone is seen defending old values against modern hungers. Young Vito was a murderer, too, as we more fully understand in the Sicily and New York scenes of Part II. But he was wise and diplomatic. Murder was personal. As Hyman Roth says, "It had nothing to do with business." The crucial difference between the father and son is that Vito is cognizant of and comprehending the needs, feelings, problems, and views of others, and Michael grows in the very opposite direction. Whereas the first movie was a taut ensemble piece, this second part is a more leisurely film that closely studies only these two characters, neither of whom share scenes with each other. Everyone else is periphery.

It must be seen as a piece with the consummate mastership of The Godfather. When the characters in a film truly take on a simulated environmental existence for us, it becomes a film that everyone who cherishes movies to any extent should see at least once.


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