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Drama - Gangland

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Duration3h 22mRating (UK)X
Source of storyJust a bit out of Pario Puzo’s bok The Godfather and continuing the story from the first film.
DirectorFrancis Ford Coppola
Writers/ScriptFrancis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo
StarringAl Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diana Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, Bruno Kirby, Harry Dean Stanton, Roger Corman, James Caan, Sofia Coppola,

Elevator Pitch: The film cuts between the present day (1958 or so) and Vito’s early life (1910 or so). In the present day Michael consolidates his influence over the New York and Las Vegas criminal activities, forming an alliance with Hyman Roth another underworld investor. They go to Cuba but are put off from investing by the political crisis, and over time Michael retreats into isolation as his marriage fails. Back in Sicily in 1900 Vito is left an orphan as a local mafia boss has his family killed, but he is helped to escape to New York, where in adulthood be becomes a local leader.

Content: There is no actual sex although a visit to a sex show takes place with no nudity, also a visit to  brothel with young women in their underwear. A lot of drinking and smoking. There is a party at Michael and Kay’s house at Lake Tahoe. Some attempted and successful assassinations. A lot of conferences in darkened roooms, and at one point a senatorial investigation where Michael gives evidence and nearly comes to grief. And I keep forgetting about Vito’s early life which occupies about a third of the film.  We see him gradually becoming an influence in New York and then returning to Sicily, all in sepia tones.

A View: This film won six awards at the 1975 Oscars including best picture and is No 3 on the IMDb Top Rated Movies. It was critisised originally for the fragmentation resulting from the flashbacks to Vito’s early life, but maybe it provides a welcome change in tone from the bleak semi-darkness evident in Michael’s life. I think it is a terrific film and have made it an ALMOST MUST WATCH.

Additional Info: Behind the scenes there was much disagreement. The actor who played Cemenza in the first film wanted too much to appear in the second. Marlon Brando had a walk on, but did not turn up and Al Pacino was constantly complaining about the slow pace of the production.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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