The Godfather Part II (Winner, 1974/47th Annual Academy Awards)

18 Nov

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I posted…but I’ve actually been watching this movie since October 3. Just kidding…but this is a really long movie, coming in at over 3 hours.  Of course, The Godfather Part II is also an iconic Oscar winner, and this was the first time I had seen it.  I know, I’m embarrassed for myself.

As is well known, this is a sequel to the 1972 Best Picture winner, The Godfather.  What you might not know (I didn’t, anyways!) is that part II serves as both a sequal AND prequel to part 1.  Far from being just a series of flashbacks, the movie showcases both the present day Corelone family, led by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino, back when he was hot) and Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro, taking over Marlon Brando’s role) from when he came to America and the founding of the Family.

As far as I’m aware, this movie is unique as far as sequels go for being a sequel and prequel in one (anyone know of any other movies like this?), and it’s also widely recognized as one of the greatest sequels of all time; in some cases, it’s even ranked above part 1!

Watching this movie, a lot of the same themes from the first one carried over; family, loyalty…and murdering people, that’s definitely a major theme too.  Which is how poor, stupid Fredo ends up: murdered.

Bad news for you Fredo, don’t mess with the Don!

I liked part 2; the flashback scenes were interesting, and Robert De Niro was great in this primarily non-English speaking role. Al Pacino was awesome, and I found myself empathizing with him, even though it was not cool when he smacked around Diane Keaton. Who does that?

But I do think part 1 is my favorite of the 2; while De Niro was great, Brando’s portrayal of the Don is iconic, and makes you look forward to each one of his scenes in the first movie.  I also found the plot of part 2 to be a bit convoluted at times; I would probably have to watch it a few more times to fully grasp all the nuances in the plot.

I definitely preferred the first part to the second; which is your favorite? Any votes for Part 3 (which I haven’t seen yet, but hear it doesn’t stack up by a long shot)?

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • To prepare for his role, Robert De Niro lived in Sicily
  • Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to ever win separate Oscars for playing the same character. Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather (1972) and De Niro won Best Supporting Actor for this movie, both in the role of Vito Corleone
  • The first sequel to win an Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Budget: $13 Million, gross revenue: $193 million+

2 Responses to “The Godfather Part II (Winner, 1974/47th Annual Academy Awards)”

  1. beardylollipop November 19, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Hmmm and I thought the first sequel to win best picture was Troll 2. Learn something new everyday.

  2. jessica maria December 3, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I love The Godfather Part II. They’re both so great! Al Pacino was so good looking, it’s hard to believe the way he looks now. I remember first watching those movies and not putting two and two together. Mind blowing when I realized.

    And confession: I’ve never watched Part III because of how terrible it is in comparison to the first two. I just don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it!

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