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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. See more »
The text in the funeral scene says Vito was nine years old in 1901, but according to his headstone in The Godfather he was born in 1887 and would have been 14 years old. See more »
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]
[subtitled from Italian]
They've killed the boy! They've killed young Paolo! They've killed your son Paolo!
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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 »
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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