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…
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.
I liked the first one better.
Doors slammed in Diane Keaton's face... again.
Great Inigo Montoya moment for De Niro.
I sometimes forget the impact of this one, but it was my first "favorite movie" when such declarations really began to matter. I found something important in the way that this sequel, as a separate work, dared to critically explore the effect and implication of its predecessor's world--and, moreover, how it so deftly integrated written history into its lore. That approach probably accounts for how I view films (and works in other media, too) as objets d'art; as singular entries in a deeper canon of thought. The Godfather was your lightning-in-a-bottle story, and trying to write about it yesterday meant knowing that it still looms. But Part II considered it a foundation, and for that it's an essential example of…
The saga continues by juxtaposing young Vito Corleone's sympathetic early years, rising from nothingness to prominence by dispatching a racketeer to help his Bronx neighbours, with Michael Corleone's personal hell, acting remorselessly and causing family members to turn on him. De Niro as young Vito is good, but no match for Brando's original performance, however Pacino continues to be brilliant as Michael Corleone. Engrossing story-telling, which is in many aspects as strong as the first film, but at 3 hours and 20 minutes it allows for some slow spots to creep in.
This film manages to outdo it's flawless predecessor, no mean feat. All of the elements that made the first film great are here, but there the scale is bigger, the stakes higher and the juxtaposition between the ascension of Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone further cements the themes of the first film. The performances of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are incredible, as are Robert Duvall, John Cazale, Diane Keaton and Lee Strasberg. This is a film rich in subtext and visual iconography that adds another layer of subtext to the proceedings.
This film is another example of flawless cinema, incredible stuff.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
- 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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