When the idea of sequels conjured thoughts of cheap cash grabs with terrible plots, Francis Ford Coppola delivered one of the most venerated sequels of all time with The Godfather Part II. Our featured director series on the works of Coppola would not be complete without the second half of his mafia masterpiece. Revisiting the Corleone family and their trials as they climb their way to power, The Godfather Part II is a powerful fable about the costs of ambition and the way the past echoes onto the present.
Told in two intercut stories, The Godfather Part II follows the machinations of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he tries to navigate the intricacies of the casino business from Las Vegas to Havana just before the Cuban revolution, while also telling the story of a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) as makes his way from a poor immigrant to revered crime boss. With excellent performances from its stars as well as Diane Keaton and John Cazale, The Godfather Part II is a crime epic for the ages; a progressively tense morality tale about the true price of money and power.
“One of the most ambitious and brilliantly executed American films, a landmark work from one of Hollywood’s top cinema eras.” — Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
“Few sequels have expanded upon the original with the faithfulness and detail of this one.” — James Berardinelli, ReelViews
“It goes much deeper than The Godfather in analyzing the twisted mentalities of these men who pervert the capitalist system for their own gain. The film is richer in texture and gives more evidence of social awareness.” — Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News