200 Min | Crime – Drama | December 1974
IMDB Rating: 9.0
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro
The Godfather 2 Review: You can count on one hand the movie sequels that measure up to the original; GODFATHER 2 makes the cut. This movie is just as fine as THE GODFATHER 1. Here the director goes back and forth between the early days of the young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, and the family after the action in THE GODFATHER 1 in the 1950’s just before Castro came to power.Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has moved the family and most of his business to Nevada. Once again the acting is flawless. Diane Keaton as Michael’s wife who quickly becomes disillusioned with her life with him and the lies he continues to tell her, assuring her that he is going legitimate soon; Robert Duvall as Michael’s adopted brother and adviser; and Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth all give outstanding performances; but the film really is Al Pacino’s. We see him become a ruthless, cold-blooded killer who alienates himself from his family in ways his father would never have done. He has come so far from the idealistic young man in “GODFATHER 1, who joined the Marines in World War I to serve his country and die for it if necessary, to a lonely, paranoid tragic man.
There are many poignant scenes concerning his wife and children– the drawing his son leaves for him in his bedroom, the gift that Tom buys the child because Michael is too busy, his wife Kay’s being kept a virtual prisoner at his orders in the family compound, etc. Once again many acts of violence are interwoven with religion in THE GODFATHER 2: Michael’s son’s first communion, the religious parade in New York, Fredo’s repeating the Rosary in order to catch a fish, for example.
The cinematography is stunning; the footage from Sicily and New York around the turn of the century and the snow scenes from the American West are beautiful and rich in detail. Mr. Coppola has directed yet another masterpiece.