The Godfather: Part II (1974) Poster

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10/10
Breathtaking in its scope and tragic grandeur...
Nazi_Fighter_David10 March 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Coppola's masterpiece is rivaled only by "The Godfather, Part II" in which the 1940s setting of the first movie is extended backwards and forwards to reveal the corrupting effect of power...The film, breathtaking in its scope and tragic grandeur, shows two parallel stories extending two different time periods: the early career of young Vito Corleone seen first around the turn of the 20th century in Sicily, and then in 1917, building his criminal underworld in the Italian ghettos of New York City, post World War I, plus that of his son, Michael (Al Pacino) desperately trying to keep his family together...

Al Pacino's performance is quiet and solemn... He is cold and ruthless, with a whole contrast from the idealistic innocent war hero we initially met at the beginning of the first film... Here he's a calculating and frightening force, seeking to expand casinos into Pre-Revolutionary Cuba and consolidating an empire surrounded by perfidy and treason, maintaining total confidence in his ability to control the situation whether testifying before enraging Senators or trying to outface his worst enemies...

The film's haunting final shot of a lonely, isolated paranoid Michael in his empty compound, is an unforgettable movie scene, a tragic portrait of a lonely and fully damned person, emotionally empty and finished, far from a waspish wife, more distant from a faithful lawyer...

De Niro's rise, from an orphan child by a family feud back in Italy to a hood in New York and his position as a respected Don, provides a welcome break from Pacino's relentless attitude... Since the people he kills seem to deserve it, Vito comes off better than Michael does, and it was wise of Coppola to shuffle the two stories together despite lengthy flashbacks and the disturbance of continuity...

The entire cast contributes greatly to the success of the film: Lee Strasberg, a fascinating mixture of lust and ruthlessness; G. D. Spradlin, absolutely right as the sinister and corrupt Nevada Senator; Michael V. Gazzo, unforgettable as the troubled gray-haired informer; Gastone Moschin, excellent as the blackmailer in white suit; John Cazale, marvelously timid as the vague, confused, and hesitant Fredo; Diane Keaton, clearly irrational as the long-suffering wife Kay; Talia Shire, too extravagant as the lousy mother; Troy Donahue too ambitious as the fortune-hunting suitor; and Robert Duvall excels as the confidant, and retainer to the all-powerful Corleone family...

Coppola's motion picture is not just a mere supply with new characters and events from the original, it's a far more complex and intimate movie than its predecessor... It is not really a sequel... It's just more... It cleverly shifts in time between two distinct narratives with extreme realistic violence and criminal mentality of gangsters...
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10/10
To call it a sequel is a travesty
taimur749 May 2001
This movie is way to be good to be labelled a sequel to The Godfather . Rather it is more of a companion piece to the original and the two perfectly compliment each other . IT is both a sequel and prequel showing the rise of the young vito and moral decline of Micheal . Both characters are brought to life with uncanny ability by Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino . To say that these two are good actors is like saying that a nuclear bomb makes a loud noise and in this movie they prove why they are at the top of their respective crafts .

Al Pacino is the standout in the ensemble cast and its amazing how his eyes have changed from the first part . They are now cold , ruthless and unemotional and betray the price which Micheal Corleone has paid for power .

Watch this movie and learn why it is the greatest gangster film of all time.
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10/10
The Greatest Film Ever Made
DanB-47 May 1999
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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10/10
Great ensemble acting, great story, greatest sequel ever made.
ballen81 February 2000
The Godfather Part 2 is the finest sequel ever made and is arguably a finer film than the original Godfather. The film is divided into two main parts - the story of a young Vito Corleone (flawlessly acted by Robert De Niro and a worthy Oscar winner) and the rise to power of Michael as the head of the family. Francis Coppola recollaborated with many of the crew members of the first film and again achieves a quite superb period piece thanks to the cinematography of Gordon Willis and set design of Dean Tavoularis. The acting performances are outstanding, hence three supporting oscar nominations for acting guru Lee Strasberg (Hyman Roth), Michael Gazzo (Frank Pentangeli) and Robert De Niro (young Vito Corleone). Duvall, Keaton, Cazale and Shire all provided first rate performances but it is the performance of Al Pacino which steals the show, expertly portraying Michael as a cool, calculating, suspicious Don Corleone. The film expands upon the original movie and brings us into the family's activities in Nevada, Florida and Havana. Arguably the finest movie of the 70s, a cinematic masterpiece with the greatest ensemble acting you will probably see.
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The Greatest Sequel During the Cinema's History
tfrizzell13 October 2001
Warning: Spoilers
"The Godfather, Part II" is excellent just like its predecessor. While the first is arguably the greatest film ever made, the second installment is easily the best sequel produced hands down. The film is split between the stories of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino, Oscar-nominated) and a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro, in his star-making, first Oscar-winning performance). In the 1950s, Michael is trying to expand his crime empire to locales such as Las Vegas, Hollywood, and even turbulent Cuba. However, there are numerous problems as older brother Fredo (John Cazale) may have double-crossed the family. Also two prominent crime bosses pose a considerable threat as well (Lee Strasberg and Michael V. Gazzo, both Oscar-nominated). Younger sister Connie (Oscar nominee Talia Shire) is still reeling from her husband's murder and her father's death at the conclusion of the original film. Michael is also distancing himself from his wife (Diane Keaton) and some of his most trusted friends (Robert Duvall). While all this is occurring we get glimpses into the early life of Michael's father (De Niro). We learn that his parents and older brother have been killed in early-1900s Sicily and that he has immigrated to New York. Vito pays his dues and learns the tricks of the trade, buying his time, before deciding to create his own small empire which would of course grow and become what we saw in the original. It would seem that the film would be confusing by jumping back and forth between Michael and his father, but that is not so. Coppola gives you just enough information to keep the audience intrigued through each segment. The film is very well-made and runs very smoothly even though it lasts over 200 minutes. Many think that this installment is the best of the series. Even though I still think that the original is the best, I cannot totally disagree with this assertion as this is the definitive sequel. 5 stars out of 5.
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10/10
One of the greatest sequels ever made
OriginalMovieBuff2112 September 2004
After seeing The Godfather and improving it as one of my favorite films, I wanted to get more into The Godfather so I rented this. Words can't describe how great this sequel was. The acting once again was amazing and the story and how the movie went on just never got me bored. Everything in this movie was clearly beautiful. The ending by far was my favorite when there all sitting at the table talking. There were so many great scenes like Vito when he was younger, Fredo at the lake, and many many more. You have to see this movie because it's just brilliant filmaking. It's not better than it's first film but still an extremely worth sequel.

10/10
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10/10
"The Godfather Part II is the greatest sequel ever made, one of the greatest films of all time and possibly finer than its superb predecessor *****"
galileo331 December 2005
The Godfather Part II (1974)

Number 1 - 1974

Top 3 - 1970s

"My father taught me many things. Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer"

"The Godfather Part II is truly a masterpiece. Timeless, Classic, Beautiful and endlessly watchable"

The second part of Francis Ford Coppola's Epic and violent Gangster Trilogy, follows the reign of Don Michael Corleone as the head of the Corleone family. As well the film shows us the early years of Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) played flawlessly by Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, and how he created his empire of money, gambling and respect. Beautifully directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Godfather Part II exceeds every expectation with outstanding performances from Academy Award winners Al Pacino,Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall and Robert De Niro. The second part of this unforgettable trilogy is one of the finest films ever made.

This is cinematic art. A treasure of film history. The finest sequel ever made. A faultless, flawless gripping drama; Coppola's second part of his crime saga is in my opinion one of the top 5 films of all time and perhaps towering over the first part.

"As close to perfection as movies get"

"Pacino at his best"

-10/10-
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10/10
An Insult To Call It A Sequel
alexkolokotronis30 June 2008
To me and probably to many other people The Godfather Part II is more of a continuation than sequel to The Godfather. Just look at the IMDb rating and you'll see I'm not the only one who feels this way. To me it as good as the first.

The acting may have been better than the acting in the original. Robert De Niro gave a perfect subtle performance as Vito Corleone. His portrayal was powerful and breathtaking. When I think De Niro I definitely do not think subtle and smooth but that is exactly what he was in here. It is definitely one of his top three performances in his career. The depth in his portrayal was able to justify the Vito Corleone that Marlon Brando portrayed in the first. Al Pacino gave a very strong performance playing Michael Corleone. In here we get to see more of the tough decisions that have to be made and the consequences of certain actions. Al Pacino perfectly displayed the amount of thought and struggle that goes into and comes out of every action you make; the way it affects relationships, family, power and influence. Diane Keaton was not really given a lot of room to act in the first but in here she is very good. She did not play the stereotypical wife who always stands behind her husband but rather the woman with a mind of her own who is willing to go after what she feels she deserves. Robert Duvall again to me was the glue to the movie. Just having him in there kind of makes you feel safe. John Cazale also had more of an impact in here than in the first playing the half-witted brother always needing to be bailed out. A lot of these characters sound so familiar and stereotypical but in The Godfather Part II every character is played out with such extraordinary depth. Everyone from Talia Shire who gave a fine performance to Lee Strasberg all the way down to the kid who played young Vito Corleone were perfect. Part II seems to me to be more of a character study than the original.

The directing once again is perfect. Francis Ford Coppola know or at least knew how to make a movie. The first to Godfather movie are done so precisely and perfectly that nothing really sticks out because they are so perfect throughout. Coppola just lets his actors play everything out as he should with type of cast he has here. Not to many movies can maintain such a consistent flow over 3 hours let alone even an hour and 45 minutes.

The writing may not have been quite as good as the first in terms of quoting but the storyline was perfect. Seeing the decisions made by new mob boss Michael Corleone was common sense but flashing back on Vito Corleone's life was genius. The storyline to me could not have been better and Coppola and Puzo do a great job with it all the way.

Like the first the cinematography was amazing but it had a slightly different tone to it. The first had more of a majestic, mythical look to it. In Part II you feel the modern times creeping in and the Corleones having to adjust to it. Part II has more of a corrupt and evil twist to it but I guess the end signifies that. The music obviously the same as the first was perfect and just fit so greatly with the rest of the movie.

The first to movies of The Godfather series are really like the same movie. They are not the same though, they are actually very different but the greatness of them both and the continuation of the storyline from the first to the second really create a strong band between each other. To me it is only a sequel in that it was the second movie of a great series. No let downs, no disappointments just a continuation of of the greatness from the first one.
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10/10
Terrific continuation of the "Godfather" series; to call it a "sequel" almost seems insulting...
MovieAddict201623 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This sequel is just as terrific as the first film, if not more so. I hesitate to call it a sequel, as "sequel" is quite simply the wrong word I am looking for. A film like "The Matrix Reloaded" is a sequel - "The Godfather Part II" is something more. It's just too good to be called a sequel.

The film won six Oscars in 1974, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro). It deserved every one. It involves the viewer from the start and never lets up. Particular aspects I enjoy in this film are the flashbacks to Don Vito Corleone as a child immigrating to New York City after social problems in his homeland, Sicily. I like the intertwining of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), his son, in present day, dealing with his crime inheritance, and Vito (Robert De Niro), his father, years ago. I like how, as Michael comes to terms with his family legacy, the film shows us Vito coming to terms with his future. The day he shoots that man in a gritty apartment complex is a turning point in his life.

Every actor is in top form here. Al Pacino has gradually made the move from a man who denies his future to a man who is accepting it. His character is the spotlight of this film, much more so than in the first film (though both center around his decisions).

Robert De Niro is particularly wonderful and convincing as a young Vito Corleone, who was of course played by the constantly-spoofed Marlon Brando in the original. De Niro takes an iron grip on his character and completely engulfs himself; this was, in 1974, the sign of an actor who would go places. Indeed, he did.

Coppola's magical sense of direction is at work here, as is the script by Coppola and Mario Puzo (whose novels the series is based upon). The original was a wonderful film, but the sequel presents more of a challenge. Flashbacks are often intercut in the middle of other films are awkward times, but in "The Godfather Part II," Coppola uses them at precisely the right moments, managing to careen in and out of scenes and time periods with free abandon.

It takes a great kind of skill to master something like this, much less a sequel to one of the most beloved films of all time. "The Godfather" was an instant classic upon its release in 1972. Coppola had two years to plan for his continuation of the film. People told him it wouldn't work, he would never beat the original, and he would never pull it off. But he showed them all. "The Godfather Part II" may well be the best sequel I have ever seen in my entire lifetime. I wish they were all this good. To call it a "sequel" almost seems insulting.
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A Hollywood Masterpiece!!!!
Bill-2476 December 1998
Francis Coppola and Mario Puzo continue their epic saga into the lives of the infamous Corleone family, which is headed by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). It is a film which does better than its predessor, "The Godfather". The film flip-flops graciously and beautifully between Michael's struggle over the family business and the life of young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro, in a brilliant, Oscar-winning performance) in his rise to power as well. Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Lee Strassberg, and John Cazale give excellent supporting performances. Carmine Coppola's and Nino Rota's score is a masterpiece of music. The movie is expertly filmed and the cinematography is superb.
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10/10
A Masterpiece
JoshtheGiant15 October 2005
The Godfather Part Two is possibly the best film ever made, every part of this film is amazing, it is even better than the original, I was very surprised by this. The story is amazing, everything makes perfect sense. The Oscar winning screenplay is amazing, the dialogue is some of the most original, and realistic ever putt on screen, the characters are flawless, and it's in every way perfectly written. The acting is just as fantastic, I can't believe Al Pacino lost the Oscar, and for once Robert De Niro was even better, he was truly amazing, and interestingly he fails to say a single word in English. The direction is also amazing, Francis Ford Coppola even does a better job than he did in The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now. The visual effects are so much better than the amazing one's in the original Godfather. One of the best films ever, a must see. Flawless.
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9/10
Excellent, but could be in the dictionary under "sprawl"
BrandtSponseller10 May 2005
Series note: It is almost unthinkable to watch this film without having seen The Godfather (1972) first. This is a direct continuation of that story.

The good news is that The Godfather Part II has many amazing qualities, including fantastic performances from a superb cast, sublime, unprecedented visuals that no one else has been able to capture since, and very engaging stories. The bad news is that this should have easily been a 10, but overall, it is so sprawling and unfocused that I can't possibly give it more than a 9, which it only earns because the assets transcend what's basically a mess overall. Because it should have been a 10, and most other reviews will tell you about the positive points at length, I may pick on more things in my review than you would think I would for a 9, but rest assured that even with the flaws, The Godfather Part II is still essential viewing.

Director/co-writer Francis Ford Coppola cleverly begins the film with parallels to The Godfather. We see Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) "in the role" of his father, Vito (Marlon Brando), from the first film, accepting prostrating guests while a party is going on outside. Like the first film, the party consumes a lot of time while we get to know some of the principal characters. Perhaps during this segment, perhaps a bit after, we realize that maybe the beginning wasn't so clever after all, because the structure of The Godfather Part II parallels The Godfather from a broad perspective, as if Coppola and co-writer Mario Puzo used the first film as something of a template to create this one.

After the party is over, there is an attempted hit on Michael, and we quickly learn that not everything is rosy in the Corleone's mafia world. Michael believes that someone on the "inside" was involved with the hit. This launches a complicated sequence of events that has Michael, who is now living in Nevada, traveling to Miami, Cuba, New York, and so on. He accuses different people of involvement in the attempted hit depending on whom he is talking to. This may have all been part of a grand scheme to set up the responsible parties, but one of the flaws of the film is that Coppola doesn't convey Michael's underlying thoughts about this very well, not even later, and not through his actions. Rather than feeling like a clever set-up, it starts to feel like slightly muddled writing.

During the middle section of the film, which goes on for hours, we also have a hint of a problem that plagued The Godfather--a bloated cast. There are bit too many characters who aren't well enough presented or explained. You may need to keep a scorecard.

Coppola and Puzo also treat us to many extended "flashback" segments, and I mean way back, to Vito as a boy and young man, played by Robert De Niro. For my money, these were the best scenes of the film, although maybe that's a bit of my bias creeping in, as I'm a huge De Niro fan.

But let's talk about the main plague of the film--sprawl. This is maybe first evident in the flashbacks. As good as they are, they go on far too long, and happen far too frequently, to sustain the momentum of either the Michael story or the Vito-as-a-youngster story. It begins to feel like we're toggling back and forth between two films, which is the track that should have been taken. The prequel, at least, would have been a solid 10.

There's also a lot of sprawl in the Michael Corleone segments. Coppola appears to have been suffering from what I'd now call "J.K. Rowling Syndrome". That happens when an artist becomes successful enough that they can fire or ignore their editor(s). Instead of taking good advice about where to trim fat, the artist decides to just leave much of it in, and they now have the clout to override any dissenting and more sensible opinions. The Michael Corleone story has a lot of fat, including much of the Cuba material (for example, sitting around the table with the President, laboriously passing around a solid gold telephone), the Senate hearings (which go on far too long to make and provide the dramatic points), and so on.

The film begins to feel more like a couple seasons of a television show that Coppola tried to cram into a 3 and a half hour film, or worse, a collection of deleted scenes. The scenes, except for the fat that needed to be trimmed, are excellent in isolation. But by the time the climax rolls around, the whole has more of an arbitrary feeling--this is especially clear in the dénouement, which seems to just end.

I've barely left myself room to talk about the good points. The first one, which most people mention, is the acting. There isn't a bad performance in the film, but Pacino, De Niro, and some relatively minor characters, like those played by Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and John Cazale, really stand out.

The second outstanding point, similar to the first film, is the beautiful visuals. Although all of the cinematography and production design is great, what really impressed me were some of the darkly lit scenes. Characters and features of sets emerge from pitch-blackness, and everything is rich, deep shades of burgundy, brown, and orange. Amazingly, nothing gets lost in these scenes. It must be incredibly difficult to achieve without making the shots too dark, because I can't remember another film since that has been able to capture the same look. The flashback scenes are also in similar, but lighter, colors, creating an appropriate sepia-tone feel.

Although the broad perspective problems are unfortunate, a closer focus on most segments of the film provides exemplary artistry. Given that, and the film's importance culturally, The Godfather Part II is a must-see.
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9/10
"Michael, I Never Wanted This For You."
jzappa22 February 2009
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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9/10
As good as the original...
newfiesailor27 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sequel to the original Godfather is slower moving than the original but maybe better. The first was fresh material and Brando's presence was a huge plus. But this one digs into the blood and guts of the two main characters, provoking more thought, as well as introducing us to one of the most prolific actors today.

Michael's descent into darkness is terrible to behold. Tragedy surrounds him as he struggles to maintain his empire but alienates himself in the process. Hey, it's not easy holding a crime empire together. I think this film sets out to make Michael a tragic figure but how do you feel sympathy for a guy who murders family members? It's a cold world obviously, and takes a strong man to stay on top. Very interesting final scene, grim and stark, as Michael sits contemplating on a chair watching the dead leaves blow around him.

Pacino's performance is magnificent. Some great scenes, especially when Michael realizes Fredo betrayed him. That simple movement of covering his forehead in shock and despair conveys so much. Michael becomes a three dimensional character in this film as opposed to the first. Pacino just nails the part.

The secondary story is the rise of Michael's father, Vito Corleone and we watch the birth of a star. DeNiro even surpasses Pacino in his part, if that is possible. The calculating Vito as he calmly stalks Don Fanucci from the rooftops is classic film. DeNiro plays the role of Death himself: knife thin, pale yet slick and immaculate in appearance. How many other hit men in the movies borrowed DeNiro's look?

What the Godfather does, unlike so many other films of it's generation is convey thought in simple movements. Watch DeNiro as he pales visibly, staring at an old Italian remedy of his sick baby. We know right then that Vito Corleone will do whatever it takes to protect and save his family. Watch him as Don Fanucci boards his car and leans on him. By DeNiro's expression, we know Fanucci is already a dead man. That's unsurpassed acting.

The sets are beautiful to behold and this is probably the best cinematography I have seen in any movie. Early 1900's New York, in the Italian neighborhood is unreal. Watch the pedestrians and background movement while the focus of the scene is occurring. That's sheer magic. Once again, watch Hyman Roth in Cuba lie on the couch, shirtless and a gentle wind moving the drapes. We can practically feel the heat and hear and smell the city of Havana. It made me think how much care and calculation was put into this movie.

Some weak points: Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth was not on par with the other actors. Gazzo as Pentangeli just grated on my nerves, especially in the first hour. I was hoping he would get whacked so he would not appear in the rest of the film. The rest of the cast is great as usual, especially Duvall and Kirby. Not much to complain about.

The second Godfather, tries to do what the first does, a study of Vito vs. Michael. They both have different motivations for ruling their empire. Whereas Vito tries to do whatever it takes to rise from poverty and provide for his family out of love, Michael rules out of ruthlessness and a need to succeed to maintain his empire. You can see where the results have taken both.

One of the greatest films of all time.
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Forever My Fav
loveismywhy6 February 2019
From Cinematography , music, acting, etc.. I loved every part of this movie.
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10/10
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: The Godfather of all sequels
murtaza_mma17 May 2009
The Godfather Part II is a consummation of the saga of the Corleone Crime family. Regarded by many as the best sequel ever, the Godfather Part II is equally brilliant as its precursor and good enough to stand on its own. The movie juxtaposes, the early life of Vito Corleone (from his orphaned childhood to his rise in power in New York), with the life of his son, Michael (after Vito's death to Michael becoming the most powerful Mafia head). Al Pacino picks up from where he left in the first part, consummating Michael's journey to the dark side and in the process, presenting him as the greatest anti-hero, the western cinema ever embodied. The movie gave Pacino his third consecutive Oscar nomination and a perpetual stardom that catapulted him above the ruck, laying the foundations of his illustrious career. Just like in part I, his performance in this movie is absolutely worthy of an Oscar, but the Academy once again robbed him of the glory.

Robert De Niro in his Oscar winning portrayal of Vito Corleone, gives a great performance without uttering a single word in English. The synergy imparted by the brilliance of these two outstanding performers, makes the movie, a treat to watch. Robert Duvall reprises his role of Tom Hagen with a desired degree of subtlety and equanimity, reminding the viewer of Brando's portrayal in Godfather part I. The entire cast is brilliant with special mention of John Cazole as Fredo, Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth and Michael V.Gazzo as Frankie Pentageli, who are outstanding, to say the least. Cuppola's brilliant and innovative direction gives Puzo's masterful story, an incredible impetus, which is well complemented by Nino Rota's poignant score and Gordon Willis' vivid cinematography. In a nutshell, the movie, though sanguinary and lengthy than its precursor, is an equally brilliant work of cinema, a profound and a deeply engrossing master piece.

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/
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7/10
Sorry, but it just didn't deliver
RichardKleiner17 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
OK. Let's get real. The Godfather is beyond excellent in every single way. I'm not giving comments on The Godfather, because it would be almost blasphemy. Nevertheless, I expected much more on part II. Personally, I didn't like it. Here's the deal: the story was way too slow paced. Nothing really happened. Only the hit on Michael's house, and the build up for young Vito's story was what makes you interested. The rest is just anti-climatic and dull. The dialogs weren't as quotable or stand alone as in the first. I thought as a sad imitation of the real thing.

Al Pacino's performance was absolutely superb. The problem wasn't that. The whole character was what failed. In the first, we get the glimpse of a warm man, but gets cold when is needed. A man who thinks before he talks. In this one, we see a man who is cold and heartless every single time you see him. He no longer has the eminence that Vito Corleone once had. The previous Don was eminent and even though he could scare the hell out of you with his stare, you respected and looked up to him. Now, his son is just pure evil. And that doesn't make sense. In the book, it's clear that Michael is the living image of his father. So, what happened? Him killing Fredo was completely useless. Even if he did betray him, there was no need to have him whacked. A Don just doesn't kill anyone from his own family (not "the Family", the real one). I know, Michael did kill Carlo, but let's remember he was not really family, just an in-law, and he did deserve what was coming. Another thing I personally hated was what happened to Connie. As you will see in the third, she radically changes from the naive Don's daughter to... Sorry, wrong movie. Anyway, all the other aspects, (filmmaking, score, performances, photography)were indeed flawless.

It's interesting. You can perfectly notice Coppola's anatomy for each "Godfather". You start with a prologue, then a religious ceremony and/or a party afterward, the plot then starts and a pivotal point is a hit on the Don. The rest is a slow, yet properly thought vengeance that ends with a gigantic and operatic blood bath. However, for part II, it wasn't's that operatic or with the same effect than part I. It was anti-climatic, and pretty disappointing.

Another flaw I found was that the story doesn't really stick to the book. One key aspect in the film didn't even appear in Mario Puzo's novel: Vito Corleone never returned to Sicily. The name of the Don who had his family killed doesn't even matter. Still, the scene prominently explains Don Tomassino's condition from the first.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a die hard fan of "The Godfather". I consider it to be the best movie ever (and the best novel ever, too). But part II just doesn't do it for me.
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10/10
even better than part 1
christoph-7311 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Godfather Part 2 is easily better than part 1 for several reasons.

1. The telling of Con Coleones rise in power with Robert De Niro is very exciting and De Niro is amazing.

2. The scene where Micheals brother Fredo is killed is the best scene in the film.

3. I felt there was a bit more action but there was still time for story and character development.

4. The last scene with Micheal sitting on the bench is also very good.

5. The score is just as in Part 1 superb.

So all in all Part 2 is better than Part 1 which didn't really believe could be possible.
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8/10
The summit of Everest
BiiivAL3 June 2018
The second part of the family crime saga about the mafia of the Corleone clan was an event that was widely celebrated in the cinema. In particular, six Oscar awards and a recommendation of prestigious cinematographic universities where our VGIK enters, but the main thing is not this, but that after forty years this film is watched and is still being revised, and in terms of staging a frame and accents, many contemporaries have much to learn from the maestro The Corypoles. As far as I heard, the director was not going to be engaged in the second film and the studio had to make concessions, in particular in the history of Vittorio it was partly to address the source, and the story of Michael's becoming as Godfather had to be fully compiled. I finally looked at the second film and I want to share my impressions and thoughts on this matter.

The second film was no less a legend than the original, not only having earned a well-deserved viewer's success and recognition of the members of the American Film Academy, but also entering the history of cinema as the best "sequel" of all time, in a number of polls - even bypassing the brilliant first picture. It was with the "Godfather, Part II" began the general fashion of assigning continuations in the headings of serial numbers written in Latin or Arabic numerals.

Coppola and Puzo deliberately sacrificed the dynamic development of the plot, placing a stake on "epic breathing", amazingly conveys the scale of personalities - a special kind of titans, from each decision whose lives depend. Even the Griffith principle of the "cross" installation comparison of the vicissitudes of the fate of the founder of a powerful family who fled from his native Sicily and with great difficulty conquering authority in America, and his heir does not contribute to an increase, so to speak, the speed of rotation of the flywheel of History. The denouement is constructed in such a way that, inevitably recalling the final frames of the original, holds, rather, the opposite thought. The next cycle does not end, when you almost physically feel the change of the "spiral coil", which knocks everyone: from the exiled Coroleone rivals to the last close person, eliminated for the committed treachery. On the contrary, everything returns to its own place, as if an unperformed prophecy is being fulfilled, or the Fate enters into rights, allowing for the time being to be illusions about free will. The final turns into a start, the ghosts of the past briefly come to life at a festive family table, and Michael's strong words sound even more dramatic and naive, outraged by his father's agreement with Tom Hagen: "I have my own plans for my future." Further - silence ...

At the same time, the first and second (as well as the third, released after a decade and a half) parts are not so much refuted as complement one another. The authors, as if expanding the initial socio-philosophical premises, are no longer limited to analyzing the actual functioning of the mechanism of the mafia "family", even significantly increasing the scale: forcing Michael to defend honor at hearings in the Senate and acquainting himself with the international interests of Corleone, as if it is a full-fledged transnational corporation. The opening of the sources of the power of Vito Andolini, on the one hand, based on the centuries-old patriarchal traditions of Sicily, proved to be stronger and more effective than modern state institutions, and on the other hand acting under pressure of circumstances, adapting to the brutal realities of the poor New York quarter. However, it can not be considered a coincidence that a memorable musical leitmotif permeates inexpressibly disturbing notes, accurately warning of the omnipotence of Rock. From the interesting is also the concept of unfolding two plot layers, where in parallel with Michael is shown also the history of the formation of Witto, in order to better show us the father's features in the son, and the son could show the paternal character. The evolution of the mafia is visible in a huge conglomerate that has engulfed the whole of America and many infrastructures are in their hands, these people have a huge influence on politicians and other power-holders. From the philosophical point of view, this film is about how difficult it is to become an independent leader, how to show that you do not attach yourself to the glory of the Father, but you yourself are able to make weighted and complicated decisions. In this respect, the drama of Michael Corleone, whose marital status at first was shaky, and the other clans conceived the evil, worked well ...

Actor's works leave no doubt that before you the screen life, when the human pain is reflected on the faces of the actors. Al Pacino is great in the role of Michael, the warm heart gives way to the pragmatism inherent in the Head of the Mafia clan. Young Vittorio performed by Robert de Niro was able to show charm and become the future of Don with him, too, there were many events that change character. All the actors here are in unity and show how it is necessary to plunge into the role, in all to see a lot of work for what each of the actors thank you very much.

Verifying: A great movie that is recommended to watch everyone as an example of clear, competent and well-coordinated work of the creators' team, the whole mechanism works like a clock and as a result of hard work we get no less legendary film, somewhere even ahead of the original. Timing mastodon (202 minutes) does not interfere with perceiving history and imbued with the content of the saga. Such films are not at once to understand their greatness and strength to be reviewed and analyzed, but this film (like the whole trilogy) should not pass you by. All good and pleasant viewing!
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10/10
About as good as the first one, but mainly because of De Niro
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews20 July 2004
It's rare to see a sequel that is as good as the first; it's even rarer to see the two acting veterans, De Niro and Pacino, together in a film. This is the only film that delivers both. I loved the first Godfather film, for it's acting talent, for it's cinematography, and for it's fantastic story. The acting is every bit as great, and the cinematography is about as good, but the story wasn't exactly as good as the first; had it not been for the flashbacks that showed Vito as young(beautifully portrayed by De Niro), it wouldn't have gotten a perfect rating from me. He saved the film, that was otherwise slow and a little bland, due to the story not being as great as the first. The first showed us a mafia war; this just shows the aftermath, and Michael Corleone's further rise to power, after the fall of Vito in the first. However, the film has a number of flashbacks, that show us Vito as young, and here De Niro perfectly shows us the entire range of his talents, by mimicking Brando's performance to perfection. The plot is good, but not as good as the first; it's saved by the flashback sequences that show us how and why Vito Corleone came to power. The acting is every bit as great as the first. Al Pacino still gives a great performance, like he did in the first, and the other cast members who came back from the first, including Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton, also give as great performances as they did in the first. The new actors also give great performances, though the following stand out as the best; Robert De Niro, Lee Strasberg and Michael V. Gazzo. The characters are as well-written as they were in the first. The mafia is portrayed as menacingly in this as it was in the first. The film, like the first, has it's share of memorable quotes, but not really any scenes that were memorable, like the first one had. All in all, a great film, but mainly because of De Niro and Pacino. De Niro fills Brando's part fairly well, but overall, the film isn't as entertaining and exciting as the first, though it does reach about the same quality overall. I recommend it to fans of the various actors involved, and of course anyone who enjoyed the first, as they should enjoy this one too, but possibly to a lesser extent. 10/10
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10/10
I really think this is the greatest movie ever made...
mk-222225 April 2009
Wow. This thing is almost three and a half hours long and yet it is not boring for a second. Not one moment. From the very first scenes up until the tragic and forlorn ending, this film seizes hold of the viewer's consciousness and does not ever loosen its grip, even when the credits roll. I walked away from the movie with what felt like a deep resonance inside me. It is at once heart-wrenchingly sad and stunningly beautiful.

Thematically, it actually shares much in common with later films such as American Beauty and Fight Club. The Godfather Part 2 is the story of a man who seems to have it all - but the only things he ends up not having are the only things that truly matter to him. Michael's character arc continues on from the first film, creating a great, epic tragedy and what I think is one of the saddest and yet most majestic endings in film.

I haven't even talked about the more technical aspects yet. This is because I don't have to - everything is perfect. Not just great, but perfect, as in there seems to be no way that they could be improved on. Acting, direction, cinematography, script and story. Everything.

The one thing, though, that clinches it for me is that the plot doesn't really matter. This is a movie about themes and ideas. The plot is quite thick, so don't worry if you don't get it - you don't have to. As long as you understand what the film is really about... you will walk away knowing that you have witnessed something almost life-changing.
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more than masterpiece
Kirpianuscus29 July 2019
To define it as a masterpiece is easy, fair and silly. Because it is obvious - it is a masterpiece. But for each viewer, for specific reasons. Sure, the duel between Al Pacino and Robert de Niro is the key. For me, splendid is the job of John Cazale. The embroidery of the life of father and son, the metamorphose of Michael Corleone, the pressure of past, the air of nostalgia , the details as large mosaics and the cold feeling of a story about everything. A gangster movie ? Maybe not exactly. Because, at the each new view, it gives more than a story about Mafia. But universal history of mankind as a sort of parable.
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10/10
A must for everyone
sarabagi13 March 2019
A must watch for everybody. The backstory of the godfather... cant decided if part 1 or 2 is better... both beyond amazing!!
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10/10
Amazing Film
gonzoparkinson19 December 2018
This is the greatest sequel ever made and in my opinion the finest film i have ever seen. I couldn't tell you how many time I have watched it.
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10/10
Amazing!
ioandelice28 June 2018
A masterpiece! The perfect sequel. My favorite out of the series.
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