1974 • The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part IISunday night at 8:40, Lauren and I decided to start the 1974 Best Picture winner, the 200-minute classic The Godfather Part II. Normally starting any movie that late is a terrible idea as I’m sure to fall fast asleep, but I’d crammed in a three-hour nap in the afternoon while Lauren watched the USA-Canada gold medal hockey game. The Godfather Part II definitely lived up to its billing as one of the all-time great movies, and in my opinion even surpassed the original.

The very complicated plot involves a look back at young Vito Corleone’s life as he leaves Italy for America in 1901, but at the same time continues the “current” story with Michael Corleone leading the family business. There are many, many characters and it’s tough to follow along without some sort of guide (again, thanks Wikipedia!) From Lake Tahoe to New York to Sicily to Havana, this movie is all over the globe with many different storylines, including an unfaithful brother, a betrayed wife, lots of revenge, and of course organized crime.

The lead acting of Al Pacino was legendary, but it’s the whole ensemble cast that makes it such a classic. Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert DeNiro, and many others are all brilliant!

Spoiler! My favorite scene in the movie is towards the end when Michael returns to Italy, 60 years after the murder of grandfather, grandmother, and uncle, and gets revenge on the man who killed them by stabbing him in the stomach and walking away.

Based on what I know about the Best Picture winners of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, the 1970s are probably going to be the best decade top-to-bottom in our project. Aside from the forgettable Patton, we’ve had four really good movies to start the 1970s decade, three of which are now in the top five in my rankings. And I already know that some of our next movies are great, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the next title in our list, and Rocky.

I don’t think there’s much else I can say about The Godfather Part II. You don’t want someone like me trying to get too deep in a movie like this when you’ve probably already seen it yourself!

BONUS: Lauren and I followed up Part II by watching Part III on the night of March 2. It was not nearly as good as the other two. The back story of the movie mentions that Robert Duvall backed out at the last minute due to pay, and Winona Rider fell ill, leaving Sofia Coppola to play one of the main characters, Mary Corleone, and she was as bad as advertised. The whole cousin-cousin relationship gave me Arrested Development flashbacks, but not in nearly as funny of a way. But the movie wasn’t terrible altogether. It gave closure to the series and killed everyone off so we don’t have to wonder where they would be today.

1 Comment

  1. […] Lauren and I managed to stay up late last night and watch The Godfather Part II, the latest movie in our Best Picture project. Both Godfather movies lived up to their billing as cinematic classics, and I even felt the sequel […]

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