Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Godfather: Part II
I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.
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
It’s easy to assume that a complex plot is a sign of a great film. But the best films are deceptively simple in the same way that the greatest dancers make their movements look astonishingly easy. The Godfather creates its world so gracefully that we begin to think that it's a straightforward tale. But it's not simple to create a world so morally ambiguous, to introduce unforgettable characters, and to keep viewers fully cognizant of a plot so dense.
The Godfather: Part II doesn't make anything look easy the way The Godfather did. You can follow the plot threads, of course, but the constant breaks in Michael Corleone's story make it hard to continually keep returning to his dark world,…
A very worthy successor and another splendid film from Francis Ford Coppola. Seeing young Vito Corleone and the start of his empire was really interesting. I liked the way the film constantly juxtaposes flashbacks of his early years with the present time. It also focuses on Michael, who is now head of the family and has to deal with the responsabilities and risks of being in that position. There were many suspenseful and shocking scenes, but also some fine emotional moments as well.
Once again, Coppola extracts the absolute best from the cast involved and we have memorable performances here. Al Pacino as Michael Corleone was just incredible. You notice how much he's changed just by looking at his facial…
"This is the business we have chosen!"
- Hyman Roth
This film's legacy is nearly impossible to live up to. Often cited as one of the greatest films ever, winning 6 academy awards, and boasting a star-studded cast; such a line up of positives are certain to make for a disappointment in any other situation. But not here. The Godfather part II manages to live up to its name, and excel in every area possible. Along with part I, this is a near-perfect cinematic experience.
The Godfather part II tells a tale of two Corleone's; father and son. One focuses on a young Vito Corleone as he comes to America after his family is killed by the Mafia chieftain in…
I'm sure to some the idea of following up The Godfather - which many consider the pinnacle of cinema - was not a wise one. But when The Godfather: Part II finally revealed itself to audiences worldwide on December 20th 1974, most - if not all - were truly mesmerized by it.
This was not just some sequel. This was a sequel with brains. A sequel that was just as - if not more - brilliant than its predecessor. It perfectly built upon the events and happenings of the original. It was exquisitely told. And it added so much more life to most of the characters from the original.
It did a marvelous job with the backstory of Don, Vito…
I believe I was asked in the comment section of my review of The Godfather why I liked Part II more than the first Godfather-film. I think I know the answer now. The story. Personally, I found the story so much interesting in Part II, here, it's toned down a little bit, it's much smaller, and personal, and about the relations between different characters. It's a tale of father and son, how one rises, while the other falls.
Robert De Niro's Vito Corleone is quite different from Marlon Brando's Vito, and I personally found him more fascinating than the older Vito, because we get to experience Vito grow, from a humble, grocery worker to a man with power,…
Looking back on my movie diary it has been almost five years since I saw this, possibly the greatest sequel ever made. During that time I've watched almost 3000 films, but hadn't returned to the Corleone saga until the missus popped it in on Thursday evening.
Much has been made of whether the second chapter of this Italian/American crime family drama is even better than Coppola's original film. Some like the De Niro factor that appears here, others prefer Brando's understated greatness, but to try and separate them seems futile as they both give incredible performances in a multi-layered story as complex as it is compelling. We get part sequel part prequel as the origin story of Don Vito's early…
Even better than the first, The Godfather: Part II was beautiful story telling, there's no other way about it. A fantastic, again tragic and beautiful film that blew me away on an emotional level.
As I said before the story, or really stories, are told beautifully, interconnecting with one another with smooth and thoughtful transitions in the perfect spots on each other's timeline. The best thing about the way the screenplay is written is the way it allows you (or at least me) to connect with the film emotionally, which must be an achievement because I block out a lot of emotions when watching a film. You create real feelings and emotional decisions about how you feel about the characters…
First rewatch. Along with the original, one of American cinema's finest moments. A little more densely layered than the original, the individual elements are nothing short of perfect, with Robert DeNiro's performance as young Vito as electric as Brando's is iconic. Great to see the late John Cazale get more screen time as Fredo, while Pacino's Michael controls the movie. The 3 hour+ runtime flies past in Coppola's extravagant and lush masterpiece.
I don't know what it is.
I certainly appreciate the scope and quality of the storytelling in these movies, but I can just never seem to connect with them on an emotional level. They're drier than the Antarctic desert to me. It's in the characters, or the writing, or something, but I can't pin it down. It just doesn't click for me.
And you know what? I'm not ashamed to feel this way about these movies. I am what I am.
A significant time investment on the viewer's part is generously rewarded. You can just totally disappear into this film.
There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada... made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI's on the way to the West Coast. That kid's name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn't even a plaque,…
I'll admit... I didn't find this movie QUITE as satisfying as Part 1, because where, in the first movie, I felt like I was watching a memoir of the life of this family, in the second movie, I felt the fiction working its claws into the narrative. The flashbacks, the Miami setting, the duplicated third act murder montage... these all felt like the decisions of a storyteller rather than the natural progression of a true story.
That said... it's a bloody amazing movie and loses no points from me for all of the above. It may even be the superior film. I just like the first a little more.
Like its predecessor, The Godfather: Part II has beautiful cinematography, the same elegant soundtrack, great performances and a realistic depiction of organized crime. However, I marginally like its predecessor more mainly because it was paced better in my opinion and contained more characters that I found memorable and likable for that matter. It's three hour length was slightly exhausting at times, but this is still a worthy sequel that successfully tells the origin story of Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone's reign as godfather simultaneously.
These movies leave me with such a tangible sense of sadness. They accomplish the difficult task of making me love and hate the characters - just as I love and hate myself. Perhaps that's why they're so gut-wrenching.
And Al Pacino. Just...wow.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
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