i hadn’t seen the godfather since i was a teenager, so i decided to see it again. it was so amazing i decided to get the godfather II the next day. i just watched it, and i didn’t think it was that great. what was i missing? is it overrated? i’ve been sort of a film buff for the last couple years, so it’s not that i only watch new/action movies or something… i mean, my favorite film of all time is the passion of joan of arc, which the average viewer could not sit through… so what the hell? didn’t seem that great to me
I honestly think Godfather in general is completely overrated. Sure there are some innovative devices used such as color montages with the orange=death, parallel editing, and usage of low key lighting….but overall its nothing signficant and I always found it confusing why so many people consider it part of some sort of canon. Hell….even Coppola himself didn’t want to direct this originally.
I couldn’t get past the first few boring scenes of this second film, but I am also no big fan of the first. It was (Godfather I) an OK film, but I never understood why so many rate it so highly. I have no interest whatsoever in the second or third installment, unless I need a cure for insomnia. Just so anyone thinks I am anti-Coppola in general, I am a huge fan of Apocalypse Now and think the Conversation is also a better, more interesting film than Godfather I.
Personally, I consider The Godfather Part II to be one of the finest American films made in the second half of the 20th century, and one of the best films dealing with the concept of America itself.
It’s a grand and wonderfully made epic, spanning nations, decades and generations. I love it for that, and I love it for the more personal story of a son tragically following in his father’s footsteps, when it was his father’s only hope that this boy transcend the business and become something better, bigger, and legitimate.
I can’t really understand anyone thinking that these things are boring.
I love both 1 and 2 pretty much equally. I find them among the greatest films ever made. Crap Monster-The fact that Coppola didn’t want to direct it originally is irrelevant. At that time he thought the studio wanted just a quicky to cash in on the novels bestselling status. The reason people love these movies is the story/theme. Whether something is innovative or not does not make a movie better or worse-it’s what you do with what you use.
The only reason Coppola was originally against the idea of a sequel was fear of studio involvement, which ruined his experience on the first film. It had nothing to do with the material, he only wanted to make sure he would be able to make the film he truly wanted, artistically free from the people paying the bills, and he had Scorsese in the wings to direct Part II if his wishes weren’t granted.
When he was sure the film would be made by him and only him, he signed on.
I’m with Brandon.
i like the godfather series, but it isn’t a holy canonical work beyond reproach for me. “good fellas” is my film. visceral, emotional, dramatic, comedic. everything. but maybe just because i’m a child of the 90s and not the 70s. i dont know.
i really liked the flashback scenes and the courtroom scenes.. i would have loved a full on prequel or a full on courtroom drama
Brandon, Stev & Eggman: I could be completely wrong in my opinion on Godfather II – it wouldn’t be the first time for a film. That’s what makes this subject interesting – other points of view that might be much more accurate than one’s own. I might give it another try, but my opinion, right or wrong, on Godfather I is stubbornly firm. I don’t want to re-visit that one.
I prefer That Godfather II to The Godfather,
One of the better lite films of the 1970s
I think the first Godfather is a great film and the second one even better. The casting was superb, the stories of both are rich, intriguing and intelligent, both movies are supremely interesting from start to finish, and so, so, so many of the scenes are just perfect. Some of the greatest scenes in 1970s movie history are in this one film:
1. The killing of the Black Hand during the festival ceremony.
2. Hyman Roth’s comment on the death of Moe Green: "Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn’t angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business! " It’s the perfect summation of mob loyalty.
3. Almost any scene with John Cazale as Fredo — as memorable and, I think, immortal as any character in Dickens. He reminds you of every embittered loser you’ve ever known. People always joke about that pathetic line of his, “I’m smart! I can DO things!” It’s funny, but it’s heartbreaking at the same time.
4. The courtroom drama of Frankie Pentangeli and his subsequent bathtub suicide.
5. The death of Don Ciccio by machete. “My name is Antonio Andolini and this is for you.” Powerhouse stuff.
Another factor in the film’s favor is that it wasn’t a repeat of the first. Where the first was straightforward and very linear, the second one jumped back and forth in time, creatively telling the story of both Vito’s rise and Michael’s fall. This not only gives added scope and dimension to the tragedy of a family that is rotten to the core, but it also presents a kind of compact mob history of 20th Century America, as it brings in the whole Cuban crisis, the Sam Giancana character (Hyman Roth) played by Lee Strasberg, and the Senate investigations. So, in that respect, it’s a somewhat Shakespearean retelling of actual American history.
Also, it’s about the corrupting of the American dream, as Vito arrives in America as a safe haven from murderous Sicily, and finds here no less than there that violence is absolutely necessary for success.
Also, I love the fact that Coppola and Puzo brought in two new characters and hired off-the-wall legends to play them. Hyman Roth, played by the acting teacher Lee Strasberg, and Frankie Pentangeli, played by the playwright Michael V. Gazzo — both absolute out-of-the-ballpark strokes of casting genius.
Michael Gazzo’s performance and character is one of my favorite aspects of Part II as well, Rodney.
It’s made even better by the fact that the character only exists because Richard Castellano refuses to come back to play Clemenza, so Coppola had to rush at the last minute to figure out how to fill the void that Castellano dropping out made in the script.
And I love the throw-away line in the beginning that basically amounts to, “Clemenza? Oh yeah, he died between movies… now lets move on.”
Hard to imagine anyone else doing it, huh? I just associate Gazzo’s voice with that character
Poor Castellano. He had to get greedy.
A masterpiece of its time; sorry kids.
it’s been a few hours since i watched it and… i think it sucks
Well, there’s no harm in not liking a film, Johnny.
You should probably skip Part III, then. Since people who love the first two generally either hate or dismiss it, it would probably kill someone who didn’t like the “good” movies in the trilogy.
How could I fail to mention DeNiro and Pacino, among the film’s many other stellar assets? DeNiro perfectly glides into the role, as he goes from a desperate young man to a wiser older one. There’s a different kind of aging process with Pacino; his face carries all the weariness of bitterness and regret
There are plenty of films out there that ‘suck’, but Godfather II? hmmmm . . . I’m with you Rodney, I think you summed it up nicely in your previous posts.
Godfather II is a great film, but its not perfect. It has great scenes that span continents and decades. It has excellent dialogue, costume design, and set design. De Niro is amazing in it and he never speaks a word of English-and Pacino is just as good. Every performance is stellar, and I love the color pallet of the film.
But the flaw in the Godfather II, that does hurt it just a little bit, is that Godfather II is essentially two seperate films haphazardly cut together as one. The cuts and the jumps back in forth in time have absolutely no rhyme or reason, and thus it is not a perfect film. But its positives put it atleast on equal footing with its predecessor, and perhaps even above it.
All that being said, Once Upon a Time in America is the greatest mob movie ever made.
“The cuts and the jumps back in forth in time have absolutely no rhyme or reason…”
Oh, but they do. At times, past and present are like the inverse of each other. The scene, for example, where Kay tells Michael she had an abortion is balanced against the scene where Vito’s wife struggles to have a baby.
Oh The Godfather… What a beautiful pair of films.
There are films that are beyond reproach, and there are films that make you utterly unable to judge them objectively. The Godfather is the latter, and I’m going to have to put forth the notion that people who don’t “like” them are either a) completely insane or b) looking for things not to like.
I hate to be so populist, but there you go.
I have to admit it’s weird to me when people say they don’t like movies as immediately involving and interesting as The Godfather duo. I knew a girl once who was taking a film class, and she groaned about “having to sit through The Godfather.” I could not even wrap my mind around that statement. Having to sit through? That’s like saying I had to eat a porterhouse steak, or I had to collect lottery winnings, or I had to make love to Cameron Diaz. I guess you either see the immediate pleasure in some things or you don’t.
Yeah, it’s great. Enough already.
Arghhh … this post reads like a stake through my heart.
Johnny, et. al., THE GODFATHER PART II is more or less my own personal Rosetta Stone of cinema. Coppola took the linear story of the first film and mined deeper for riches theretofore never seen or even attempted. With the parallel stories he was able to convey everything from an abstract on the dignity of the individual, the power of structures, what the true nature of evil is, and all the while presenting a damned-near exhaustive portrait of the American experience. As a friend of mine put it, “It’s CITIZEN KANE but with color.”
And the assassination of Don Fanucci segment is my nominee to be the most perfect scene ever written for film. In ten minutes Coppola gives us pure philosophy on film, as the existential moment OF a man, and, in turn, of man himself, is given definition out of the blazing end of a gun.
Very few films have this many moments of perfection. KANE does, a few by Kurosawa and Bergman, one or two from Truffaut and Melville and Kubrick, and 8 1/2. These are film treasures you need to savor.
@ Christopher: absolutely agree with you re perfection in Godfather Part II – I don’t even know how that matter could be up for dispute!
@ Steve >The fact that Coppola didn’t want to direct it originally is irrelevant.
Exactly – Woody Allen, for instance, hated or was so disappointed with Manhattan that he wanted to stop its release! The Godfather Pts I & II were attended with all sorts of studio interference, reversals, etc.—as was Apocalypse Now (though more famously). No great film is birthed effortlessly, and then distributed and promoted generously. No part of the business process, the bullshit of corporate movie production, ought to hold you back from exercising full freedom of critical judgment, sitting on your own watching a film.
Although Coppola initially didn’t want to direct it. I think Godfather II is a much better film than Godfather I, as well as Apocalypse Now. It a much much deeper and richer film than the original, which I honestly believe is very overrated. The first film kind of stays in that safe zone, and is quite romantized, whereas Godfather II is a stunning indictment of America. Nevertheless, The Conversation is Coppola’s best film from this period.
definetely an overrated series. however they are well made movies with a great storyline, classic scenes and great performances. i can understand not liking them, but to say they’re bad is ridiculous.
Godfather II is cinema.