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the-godfather

THE GODFATHER, PART 2 (1974)

THE GODFATHER sequel follows the Corleone family as we see how the family empire was built by young Don Vito Corleone (De Niro) and how Michael (Pacino) extends the family's influence into Nevada.

Director Francis Coppola's "The Godfather Part 2" is the rare sequel: it's better than, the original.

The cast includes: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Harry Dean Stanton, Danny Aiello, Roger Corman, and James Caan.

#32 on the AFI Top 100. Eleven Oscar nominations; six wins (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Art Direction, Music, and Adapted Screenplay).

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The basic story of this second installment of The Godfather Trilogy cuts back and forth between two storylines, one being Michael Corleone's struggles in the 1950's with the Mob empire he's inherited, and the second one being how his young, immigrant father, Vito Corleon, grew up in America, starting a life in crime in the early part of the century, in 1910s New York, as Vito strives to provide for his growing family. As we watch his father begin the crime family we see, the son fights to hang on to it, tightening his grip as he attempts to expand his crime family's business in Los Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba, trying to take the business legitimate, without much success due to a variety of factors; the lure of absolute power, his deteriorating ties to old school New York capo's, and his own family members, a dysfunctional lot!

This gripping film classic, that rivaled the success of "The Godfather, Part 1," was written and directed by the immensely talented Francis Ford Coppola , based on Mario Puzo's novel, 'The Godfather. ' Coppola won the Oscars for director, writer, and for being a producer.

The stellar cast includes: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, G. D. Spradlin, B. Kirby Jr. (Bruno Kirby), John Aprea, Morgana King, Mariana Hill, Troy Donahue, Joe Spinell, Abe Vigoda, Harry Dean Stanton, Danny Aiello, Roger Corman, James Caan.

Al Pacino is great as Michael Corleone, son of the late Don Corleone. It's a quiet, thoughtful performance, full of dark looks and brooding silences, punctuated occasionally by violent outbursts of temper. While not as flamboyant as some of his later performances, Pacino is a powerful and memorable screen presence much the same.

Robert De Niro, playing the Brando character from "The Godfather," as a young man, does a masterful job. He even speaks fluent Italian, (with English subtitles). Only a master actor of De Niro's caliber could pull this off, and he does it with great style and conviction. It is one of the best performances of his career, and he won an Oscar for his efforts.

Talia Shire gave an excellent, compelling performance as Michael Corleone's unhappy, volatile sister, Connie Corleone, earning an Oscar nomination.

Dianne Keaton excels as Michael Corleone's bitter wife, Kay, as she realizes too late that one must be careful what kind of family one marries into. Her husband Michael, had promised her that he would go legitimate, but instead finds himself pursuing the goal of absolute power, which brings unhappiness and tragedy.

John Cazale does a convincing job as Michael's disloyal, incompetent, weak-willed older brother, Frederico, who causes problems for Michael, who must then deal with him.

Troy Donahue has a brief role as Talia Shire's irresponsible boyfriend, Merle Johnson. While he's not on the screen very long, it's nice to see the 50's and early 60's teen dream again, nonetheless.

My favorite scene takes place in the past with De Niro. Determined to find his place in the world, De Niro tracks down and confronts the crime lord who runs his neighborhood. The scene is brutal, uncompromising and unforgettable.

The well crafted screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, was based on the novel, "The Godfather," by Mario Puzo. Much time is spent setting up and developing the characters, and it's time well spent. We really get to know the key characters, as though they were members of our own family.

The recreations of the early twentieth century New York Italian community are incredible. The details, including old building, people in period costumes, speaking Italian, (with English subtitles), chickens running around in the street are so authentic, it's as though Coppola went back in time and lensed these period scenes on location.

"The Godfather Part 2" has a memorable Music Score. Nino Rota is the responsible party.

Michael Corleone Quotes: "There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." "I don't want to kill everyone, Tom. Just my enemies."

If you enjoyed THE GODFATHER PART 2 you may like
THE GODFATHER, RAGING BULL, GOOD FELLAS, and/or
SCENT OF A WOMAN.

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