Godfather II a Great Film? Puh-leeze.

The first one was great but #2 was tedious at best. It was so freakin’ slow. I figure the only reason it won best pic in '74 is because of the scene where Diane Keaton mentions abortion. This made her a “strong woman” or some such nonsense in '70s political correctness and therefore all the Hollywood sheep voted for it. Beh. Spare me. This movie sucked! (Should this be in IMHO?)

This is the movie forum, so you’re probably in the right place. I’d have to watch them again, but most people I’ve spoken to think that II is at least as good as the original due to the performances of Pacino and DeNiro.

Diane Keaton barely even registers in the movie. What makes GFII good is the contrast of Michael and young Vito. Vito rises to power by building his connections and knowing who to trust, while his son’s refusal to trust anyone turns him into an isolated monster.

When I first saw it I didn’t like it because I didn’t like Michael at all.
Then I found out that was the whole point :smack:


  • Stop it! You’re talkin’ crazy talk!*


The first one wasn’t just as slow? The Godfather movies, in my opinion, are “good” but nowhere near “great”. ’

I would give the first two films an 7.5/10 and the third one a 6.5/10.

I thought the whole series sucked. Gangsters kill one another. People are unhappy about it. The end. Formula for suckitude, really. It wasn’t a soap opera with guns, as some have said – it was a suck opera!

I see GF II as pulling together all of the loose ends from the first movie. It also shows the complete “descent into Hell” of Michael. This is the main point…Michael goes from being the idealistic young man, who volunteered for combat duty (he became a Marine Corps. officer) to a hardened, hearless criminal. The seeds of his decline are set in the first film…and we see how he becomes a heartless monster!
The final break for Michael is when he orders the execution of his own brother (Friedo)…even thought the pathetic Friedo is no threat to him anymore…why did he have to do it?

That is damn cold, but one could argue it was nessacary, at least from from a mobster point of view. Particulary if Fredo knew that his actions on the day of the communion were leading up to a hit on his brother.

If it was duped(which I can buy), then it’s somewhat less nessacary. But trying to have your brother killed, particulary one who’s a mob boss, even fredo knew the risks entailed in that.

One of the greatest movies of all time. From back in the days when Robert DeNiro was an actor.

I understand the Hamlet-esque duplicity and the story, when summarized, is interesting. But it just dragged on with very little action. I’m not looking for a typical Hollywood shoot-em-up type of action. But when you’re talkin’ Mafioso you expect more … well, action.

I also would not find fault with any of the acting. I especially thought Bruno Kirby’s character was charming. But the first episode just moved along so much faster. This one was too much tortured dialogue in somber settings. (Gosh, I kinda sound like a critic! Too many beers, probably. ;))

Yup. There’s nothing more politically correct than a gangster movie.

Godfather II is a great, great film. It has a greater scope and deals with larger themes than Godfather I.

The first Godfather deals with family, and the corrupting effect of a mob family on Michael.

The second Godfather movie deals with the corrupting effect of power. As Michael’s empire grows, he loses connection with his own morality, and ultimately he even loses connection with the family. It’s all about power. That’s why the Fredo scene was so necessary, and the movie ending with Michael slowly turning away from the window was absolutely perfect.

When I first saw Godfather II, I didn’t like it as much as the first one. However, after many repeated viewings, I have a hard time deciding which one I like better.

Diane Keaton’s character doesn’t play that big of a role in this film. The more interesting characters are Frankie Pentangeli, Hyman Roth, Fredo, and, of course, Michael. True, there isn’t a whole lot of action, but that’s because it’s mainly a character portrait–of Michael, as he becomes more and more obsessed with protecting his family and with eliminating his enemies; as he plays people against each other to figure out who he can trust and who is a potential traitor; and as, throughout everything, he draws into an increasingly narrower shell to the point where he’s actually lost the very thing that he was trying to protect, and which drew him into the business in the first place: his family.

That’s why the final scene is so powerful–we see a flashback to happier days, when Michael still had all his brothers alive, and then we shift back to the timeframe of the movie, and see Michael sitting by Lake Tahoe, completely, utterly alone.

IMO, the strongest and most poignant moments in the film are the scenes between Michael and Fredo–from their sharing cocktails at a Havana sidewalk cafe (Fredo regretting not having had spent more time with Michael in past years; Michael pondering over whether or not Fredo has been in contact with Roth or Johnny Ola) to the New Year’s kiss (“I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart”), to their last conversation at Michael’s house (Fredo desperately explaining his actions while Michael coldly and firmly seals his heart against his brother). I love the intense psychological drama of these scenes (helped out by amazing performances from Pacino and John Cazale).

I also admire the depth and complexity of Hyman Roth and Pentangeli. This was the kind of character depth that I found sorely lacking in GF III, by the way.

So I will have to disagree with you on the strongest terms regarding the merits of Godfather II–and I’d really recommend watching it a few more times. Once you don’t have to worry too much about figuring out who’s on whose side, you can focus on the psychological drama of Michael’s character and his interactions with the other characters–and it’s in those elements that this movie really stands out, and maybe even surpasses GF I.

Dude! You just gave me a great idea for a script! :smiley:

I too was fascinated by the Hyman Roth character. You never know what the guy is up to…and it is mysterious because:
-unlike the Corleone family, Roth has no sons to inherit the business
-Roth is an old man, and suffers from a bad heart
-despite his wealth, Roth lives like a miser…instead of a big estate in NJ or Nevada, he (Roth) is content with a little breadbox house in a Miami suburb…hardly lavish living!
-Roth is like a kindly jewish uncle…always joking and self-deprecating…untill he lets you have it, between the eyes!
The thing I couln’t figure out: Roth wants Michael to join him in the lucrative Havan casino business…and Michael knows that Cuba is ready to revolt. Does Roth think Michael is stupid? I can’t see old Hyman Roth underestimating the Corleones!

I think Roth genuinely believed that the revolution either would not take place or would fail. He had become complacent, having seen several failed attempts before. (Sort of like the Yankees believing the Sox would never win the ALCS.)

Gott disagree with the OP this movie is one of teh greats on many levels. It was Coppola at his near Zeinith as a director. It’s a shame he broke his brain with Appoccalypse Now.

As for the movie being too slow I think you were watching with the wrong mind set. It is not a Gangster Movie. It’s a drama that happens to be about mobsters.

The Gangster film goes back to the thirties and has its set of rules and cliches that exist to this day. Most of these stories follow the same story. Young hood rises to the top and after many violent episodes We watch as he lives to excess eventually isolating everyone from him. Then in the last reel he dies due to his own hubris and the nature of the business thus teaching the audience crime does not pay. (See both versions versions of scarface, the Roaring twenties, even Casino)

Coppola was trying not to make another gangster film. He was doing a drama about people and the nature of power. He was contrasting (as pointed out before) the rise and fall of the Corleone Family. How too powerful men’s own character strengths and flaws lay the seeds for the families eventual demise (I’m pretending part III never happened for now)

You are, quite simply, wrong. GFII is easily one of the best American films ever made. It’s so good on so many levels, trying to convey it to an individual who could come away from viewing in with the above critique is really quite pointless. Here’s two syllables to chew on: Power. Sam Stone’s concise review was excellent. Watching the growth of this power, from its roots in Vito Andolini in Sicily, to its grotesque flowering in Michael Corleone, is the quintessential cinematic metaphor for American ambition gone horribly awry. The fact that we are made to care deeply about the personal struggles of the characters as the nature of the power supercedes and engulfs them is genius story telling, Mario Puzo at the height of his creative powers. Pacino is begining his transformation into Old Yeller, but he’s still compelling. The fictional, but utterly believable rise of the Mob in American politics, the way even the old code of family and omerta is sullied by the corruption the Corleones must embrace to survive in the world outside of the realm of the Five Families. It’s just a fascinating alternate history, gangster movie, family drama, and morality play all roled up onto one magnificent package. I couldn’t disagree with you more.

He’s been dying from that bad heart for twenty years!

(I hope I got that right)