The Godfather, Part II [VHS]
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Francis Ford Coppola took some of the deep background from the life of Mafia chief Vito Corleone--the patriarch of Mario Puzo's bestselling novel The Godfather--and built around it a stunning sequel to his Oscar-winning, 1972 hit film. Robert De Niro plays Vito as a young Sicilian immigrant in turn-of-the-century New York City's Little Italy. Coppola weaves in and out of the story of Vito's transformation into a powerful crime figure, contrasting that evolution against efforts by son Michael Corleone to spread the family's business into pre-Castro Cuba. As memorable as the first film is, The Godfather II is an amazingly intricate, symmetrical tragedy that touches upon several chapters of 20th-century history and makes a strong case that our destinies are written long before we're born. This was De Niro's first introduction to a lot of filmgoers, and he makes an enormous impression. But even with him and a number of truly brilliant actors (including maestro Lee Strasberg), this is ultimately Pacino's film and a masterful performance. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Great film
    This film is one of the greatest films of all times the other two greatest films of all time is The Godfather & The Godfather part 3. Pacino is phonominal in this film, he brings such an excellent life to his charactor, as well as the rest of the cast. If you have not seen the original do your self a favor watch it watch this film then watch part 3 you will not regret it....more info
  • Joins its Older Brother at the top of Film History
    Two years after Francis Ford Coppola made an indelible mark on Hollywood with "The Godfather", he returned with writer Mario Puzo to add to the saga of the Corleones. Part II is an ambitious film - it cuts back and forth between two timelines. One tells the story of the original Godfather - Vito. This part relies heavily upon Puzo's original novel. The second part tells about Michael, Kay, Fredo and Tom Hagen starting about seven years after the end of the first film.

    Essentially the entire cast returned for part II, with the exception of Marlon Brando. The cast for this film is augmented by Robert Deniro, who won the Academy Award for best supporting actor, and Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strasberg, who were also nominated for the same award. Bruno Kirby, John Cazale, Robert Duvall and G.D. Spradlin could all have received the same nomination. Talia Shire returns as Connie Corleone, and she was nominated for best supporting actress.

    We see in early scenes the young Vito Andolini circa approximately 1900, born in the town of Corleone, Siciliy. His father is murdered after insulting a local mafia chief and his brother Paolo is murdered during his father's funeral procession after vowing revenge. Vito is spirited to a ship headed for Ellis Island and an immigration official assigns Vito the surname of his Italian home-town rather than his father.

    We see the rest of the family at their Lake Tahoe home about seven years after the end of the first movie, celebrating the first communion of son Anthony. Like the other films, this one opens with a large celebration that gathers the cast to allow the audience to become familiar with them prior to settling down to business with the Don.

    Michael is planning a large deal in both Vegas and Havana, and he is eager to not let old New York contacts, represented by Gazzo as Frank Pentangili, interfere with his plans with Hyman Roth, played by Lee Strasberg.

    When an assassination attempt floods Michael and Kay's bedroom with bullets, Michael realizes he had to be betrayed by someone very close to the family. He turns the family business temporarily over to Duvall's Tom Hagen while he takes a trip to try to save the big family deals and discover the identify of the betrayer.

    The scene where Michael unexpectedly discovers the traitor is one of the most famous pieces of wordless acting in film history.

    We see scenes of the early Vito, played as a young adult by young Robert Deniro, mixed with the scenes of Michael fifty years later. We see that Vito comes to the business by a sense of necessity, but uses his power as the Don with great human compassion, while Michael, who we know ten years earlier had no intention of joining the family business, becomes a more cruel Mafia Kingpin than his father.

    The first two Godfather films are not only "The Standard" for films about organized crime: they are among the best films ever made. Period.
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  • The Godfather Part II
    Since I have not seen The Godfather Part I it took a while to connect with it. But when I did proved to be a good movie about the mafia....more info
  • "Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer."
    As great as the original Godfather is, part two is even better. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro both give the greatest performances of their careers, as Michael and Vito Coreleone, respectively.

    In essence, the film is really two separate movies interwoven into one. Michael Coreleone's saga continues where Part I left off; we find him living in Las Vegas taking care of his new-found business. After setting a crooked Senator and some disloyal "friends" straight, Coreleone and company are off on a business adventure in Cuba on the eve of Castro's revolution. However, Michael is in for some surprises...

    The better part of this movie, however, are the scenes that portray Vito Andolini (later changed to Vito Corleone) and his early life in Sicily and subsequent migration to New York City at the dawn of the 20th century. Through Corleone, viewers are given insight into the plight and struggles of immigrants in Prohibition-era America. Filmed in Italian and featuring top-notch acting and cinematography, these scenes are among the very finest in motion picture history.

    Sequels seldom live up to the original, but this is a clear-cut exception to the rule. This is one of the greatest films of all-time....more info
  • "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
    Director Francis Ford Coppola continues his Shakespearean prose opera of the Will to Power in 1974's THE GODFATHER, PART II. Universally considered one of the greatest films ever crafted along with its twin, the original THE GODFATHER (1972), THE GODFATHER, PART II continues the tragic tale of kingship and kinship begun in the earlier film.

    Coppola creates a fascinating film study of Father and Son, as he compares and contrasts the middle-aged Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and the young Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) as the former falls from authority into corruption and decline and the latter rises from obscurity to strength and power.

    In two brilliantly crafted parallel period tales spanning the twentieth century, we watch the Father create a self-contained universe centered around Family, while the Son slowly destroys what his Father hath wrought.

    DeNiro's Vito Corleone begins life as a frightened immigrant child fleeing a vendetta in Sicily; at his apotheosis, in an act of filial piety he kills Don Ciccio, the man responsible for his own father's, mother's and brother's deaths. Pacino's Michael Corleone begins the film at the height of his powers, then falls deeper and deeper into his own internal darkness. At his nadir, in an act of complete abnegation, he kills his own misguided brother, Fredo (John Cazale).

    The difference between them is manifest in that while Don Vito kills only two men (the aforementioned Don Ciccio, and Don Fanucci, a neighborhood predator who takes away Vito's job as a grocery clerk, leaving him unable to feed his Family and driving him into a life of crime), Don Michael is drenched in the blood of other men. Where Don Vito uses his own inherent self-respect and the finespun fear others' feel to serve the essentially unselfish ends of protecting the defenseless in his world, Michael uses the brute force of his personality and unrestrained violence to maintain his own personal wealth and power, ultimately squandering both, and in the end, sacrificing both respect and Family.

    The organized crime elements of this film are a dramatic backdrop to the biographical elements. They propel the story but are not the core of it.

    Robert DeNiro's Oscar-winning performance as Don Vito Corleone marked the only time that two actors won Academy Awards for the same role (along with Marlon Brando as Don Vito in THE GODFATHER). Pacino's parallel performance as Don Michael is a bleak study in genius, well-deserving its own Oscar.

    A gifted film, THE GODFATHER, PART II remains one of the few sequels to match or outmatch it's predecessor film. ...more info
  • Godfather II
    A classic follow up to the original Godfather movie. De Niro plays as Vito in his early years, growing up and then when hes older. It alters between that and Al Pacino, as Micheal later on. I recommend that you watch the first Godfather before watching this one so you can understand everything thats going on. THEN get or watch this one afterwards. So check this movie out, its a classic! Oh yea, and that part where De Niro stabs that guy in the stomach, sh** is clean! Haha....more info
  • A brilliant sequel that's very nearly as good as the original
    THE GODFATHER was cinematic perfection, a film without flaw, considered by a great many to be the greatest film of all time. There are just as many who believe its sequel - or, more appropriately, its "continuation" - is even better. About 3/5 of THE GODFATHER: PART II is set in 1958, when Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has taken over his father's crime syndicate. The other 2/5 revolve around young Vito Corleone (played by Robert De Niro), his arrival in America and his start as a young Mafioso. The film focuses particularly on how each Corleone runs the business and how they treat their families: Michael is clever and ruthless, but treats his family as though they were prizes, inanimate objects; Vito was very wise and deep in his heart, thoughtful, running the syndicate as though it were a business and always taking care of his family.

    While THE GODFATHER was no light-hearted romp, THE GODFATHER: PART II is considerably darker. I found Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone to be a likable guy, perhaps because Brando is my favorite actor and perhaps because I saw the good in him. Michael Corleone, however, is a monster, a heartless fiend who wipes out anyone who gets in his way - family or otherwise. Pacino is outstanding; this performance is the highlight of his career. Robert De Niro is marvelous as well; he deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Shockingly - or not so shockingly, depending on your opinion of the Academy Awards - Al Pacino did not win an Oscar for his performance, though he was nominated. He lost to Art Carney in HARRY AND TONTO. Lee Strasberg and particularly Michael V. Gazzo are both excellent as well.

    Nino Rota's sweeping, grandiose score sounds even more magnificent here and really adds to the epic feel of the film. Director Francis Ford Coppola and GODFATHER author Mario Puzo do a fantastic job with the script, part of which is adapted from the original GODFATHER novel (the Vito Corleone flashbacks) and part of which is original (the Michael Corleone scenes). This film has as many unforgettable scenes as THE GODFATHER, and some memorable lines ("I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You BROKE my heart!"). One of my favorites comes from Michael: "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."

    Francis Ford Coppola's directing is truly masterful; very rarely has it been rivaled. Gordon Willis' cinematography is stunning; something about the way the scenes are staged, the camera angles, the lighting, makes the violence seem all the more real, powerful, and unflinching. The editing is seamless. It's no small triumph to make a 200-minute epic film that keeps you riveted through the entire motion picture.

    In the end, it all comes down to one of the most debated questions in movie history: which is better - THE GODFATHER or THE GODFATHER: PART II? I cannot decide. Some days I will sway towards THE GODFATHER, while others I will sway toward PART II. What is certain is that THE GODFATHER: PART II is the greatest sequel of all time, and without a doubt one of the five greatest films ever made - perhaps even number one. ...more info
  • Greatest Sequel Period!
    Why didn't Al Pacino win an Oscar for playing Michael Corleone in any of the Godfather movies. Especially for this one, where Michael becomes a cold hearted killer. Robert De Niro plays young Vito with an astonishing performance in his first big role. But what about Al. He deserved one for Scent of a Woman, but he damn sure earned a million for playing Michael. Anyways with a great supporting cast, The Godfather: Part II exceeds the first one and is without a doubt the greatest sequel ever made....more info
  • Robert De Niro!!!!!!!!!!
    This is the second best Godfather film, if not the best. It is so good it's worth watching the entire 3hours and 20 minutes . Fredo's actor does a good job , Pacino does a good job (not as good as the first) , Diane Keaton does a good job, and Talia Shire is very good in the later parts of the film. The reason I only gave it 4 stars is because it should have had more Vito Corleone parts than Micheal Corleone parts. I could watch a 4hour long movie if it had Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone. Rent it or buy it, because I swear you'll be satisfied. ...more info
  • A seamless continuation
    It's not often that a sequel does justice to the original, but "Godfather II" is remarkable. It picks up seamlessly and effortlessly where the first film left off. I prefer "The Godfather" over part II, but I think that's because there were actors in the first film (Brando, obviously) not appearing in the second. Part II is a little darker, and not quite as romantic as the original. Nevertheless, it's a truly great film, and highly recommended. It's fascinating to watch Michael Corleone evolve and develop with such misery, trapped by circumstances, betrayed by those he loves. In some ways, the last scene felt a bit tacked-on, but it's very important to understanding his character. Pacino is one of my favorite actors, he is just amazing in his ability to make me forget that he's playing a part.
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  • I'd give it 10 if I could...
    Great sequel, this really tells 2 stories, one, the continuation of Michael Corleone, and 2, the rise of Vito Corleone, Michaels side of the story, is pretty much finding out who in his family has turned traitor, so you really have to pay attention to the names being mentioned, or you will not get it, young Vito's side, in the beginning of the movie, you see his brother "Pualo" being murdered by Don Chiche (Can't remember how to spell it), and the Corleone family swore revenge...I'm not gonna spill too much of it, check it out for yourself, brilliant writing/directing by Francis Ford Coppolla, brilliant performances by none other than Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and Robert De Niro does a great job playing young Vito. This is a very long movie, it takes both discs to watch it all, but if you have a DVD changer, it's not a problem, just put both discs in, the first disc first, then the second, that way you don't have to get up when the first disc ends, just hit disc skip, and bang. Also check out the first movie....more info
  • Excellent classic movie ...
    This movie was without a doubt one of the best movies ever made. I missed not having the "Godfather" (Marlon Brando) in this second movie, but Al Pacino is such a great actor and has a lot of screen prescence so this made up for it. (And might I add, I never realized how sexy Al Pacino was. Just one look and it's like he's undressing you with his eyes. He's very yummy looking in this particular film as well as in Scarface.) Without seeing Part II, Your Godfather experience will not be complete. I give this movie five stars. ...more info
  • "If history has taught us anything . . . it's that you can kill anybody."
    Most sequels don't do justice when compared to the originals (such as Jaws 2, Speed 2, Poltergeist 2, and of course, every Disney sequel ever created). Only a few are either equal or better than the original (Terminator 2, The Dark Knight, Aliens). The Godfather Part II is considered to be either equal or better than the original classic Godfather. I guess it depends on everyone's opinion.

    But anyway, this is yet another phenomenal masterpiece by master filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. It has a much grander scale, mainly because it focuses on two stories. The contrast between young Vito Corleone rising as a powerful Don and the ascension of his son Michael many years later is so painfully obvious. Here, we have young Vito spreading his love with his own family while still making progress in his own private (and seemingly dangerous) business. And then we have Michael, whose cold heart and harsh judgments start to destroy those close around him. Vito would not be proud of how his business is being run during the 50's.

    While the first Godfather is set in New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Sicily, the locations in second Godfather is much more broad: Corleone in Sicily, New York City, Lake Tahoe, Florida, Pre-revolutionary Cuba, etc. They all look so beautiful and they all match with the appearance and feeling of the film.

    The strongest points of this film are the performances by the actors. No doubt whatsoever that Robert de Niro was born to play young Vito Corleone. He's got the calm appearance, firm intelligence, and the Sicilian language down perfectly. He deserved the Oscar win. Al Pacino continues to amaze as Michael Corleone. His silent and not-so-silent rage is so believable, I would be so afraid to be standing face-to-face with this guy. Diane Keaton is a great actress, and she shows her outstanding acting abilities during the fight with Kay and Michael. It's an immensely intense scene, and kudos to actress Talia Shire for the suggestion that would break Michael's heart forever. Robert Duvall does what he does best as Tom Hagen; his professional look is truly outstanding. Michael Gazzo as Frankie Pentangeli is overall very worthwhile, although I do miss Richard Castellano as Peter Clemenza. Lee Strasberg knows how to be a good antagonist, and he shows it off as Hyman Roth. He really knows what makes people hate villains; it's a performance no one would ever forget. The standout in the film is the late John Cazale as Fredo, Michael's brother. Considered the weakest son in the Corleone family, his desire for respect and love is so heartbreaking. I could almost feel for the guy when he confronts Michael during the snowfall. Unfortunately, Cazale died of cancer when filming The Deer Hunter. I could only imagine what sort of success he would've achieved in film if he survived.

    In my opinion, The Godfather Part II is equal to the original Godfather. Both are now a part of my favorite films list. I haven't seen The Godfather Part III just yet, and many people agree that it is the weakest in the trilogy. I see for myself if it's underrated, so-so, or just plain crappy.

    Grade: A+...more info
  • The Godfather Part II
    Pacino was perfect in his role, as Michael continued on the path he mapped out in the first movie. DeNiro was masterful as a young Vito Corleone, a fitting tribute to Brando. But they were revisiting old ground. I didn't see a whole lot here that wasn't in the first movie. They're just doing "that thing they do." I have the third movie, but I don't feel motivated to watch it, and I'm not saying that because the critics panned it. Maybe I'm just gangstered out. Post-Godfather, I've seen THE UNTOUCHABLES as a syndicated TV series and as a Kevin Costner movie, THE SOPRANOS, ANALYZE THIS, ANALYZE THAT... ...more info
    This is an awesome movie that happens to be as great as the first , very well written and directed , and great acting including unforgettable performances , a true masterpiece....more info
  • Excellent, but lacks the brilliance of its predecessor
    Many people consider "The Godfather Part II" to be the best film in "The Godfather" series, but for me, although I consider it to be an excellent film, it just didn't quite match the brilliance of its predecessor. "The Godfather Part II" is effectively two films combined into one. The main plot continues the story of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) from where the first film left off, while a secondary plot tells the story of Michael's father, Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) and how he became the Godfather in the first place. Although these stories never intersect, they are connected by the themes of family and revenge.

    The story of Vito is the stronger portion of the movie. This story has a similar arc to the first "Godfather" movie, in that both show how a man can transition from an honest life to one of crime, and it did not surprise me to learn that this sub-plot was also based on material from Mario Puzo's novel. The plot about Michael, however, is all new material written especially for the movie and it lacks the direction and focus of the Vito plot. Michael's character arc was more or less completed in the first film. He has already transitioned from being an upstanding citizen to being a cold, hardened criminal, and all that is left for him to do is to become colder and harder. This second transition just didn't hold my interest the way the original arc did.

    I have heard "The Godfather Part II" described as being a "companion piece" to "The Godfather", alongside claims that both films should be watched together in order to fully understand the saga of the Corleone family. Having just watched both films, I am glad that I have seen them both, but I feel that in future, I will only rewatch the first film. For me, the first film alone conveyed a stronger message than these two "Godfather" films combined.
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  • Greatest film
    In my opinion, Godfather II is THE greatest film of all time, yes, even greater than the first one. Before labeling what I've just said as heresy, hear me out. While this film depends a lot on it's predecessor, it not only manages to match it's level, but bring to a higher plateau. After Francis Ford Coppola establishes the background and characters in episode I, he brings us deeper into these characters and their pasts. Pacino, who in my opinion gave the most OUTSTANDING performance of anyone in episode I (yes, including Brando) does the impossible and gives one that is even greater. It is an absolute TRAVESTY that he was not awarded for his performance (Art Carney received it that year for "Harry and Tonto"...who knew!!??) and Deniro was. What Deniro has basically done in his portrayal of the young Vito Corleone is mimmick every move that Brando made in the prequel down to the most miniscule detail (notice the scene where Deniro is shown buying fruit at a small stand...look familiar?). But while his performance is not original, it is still excellent. The film is filled with numerous great scenes. In most films, the viewer is given one or perhaps two memorable scenes (ie taxi scene for "On the Waterfront" or the mirror scene in "Taxi Driver"). But in this, there is the Senator Geary scene with Michael during the party, the scene where Vito stalks Fanucci, the heartbreaking (in my opinion greatest scene of film history) betrayal scene with Michael and Fredo, the argument between Michael and Kay, and countless other's which i won't give away to spoil it for first-time viewers. At the heart of all the violence, betrayals, and plotting, I believe Coppola wants us to really concentrate on this one man Michael Corleone who thinks he is doing the right thing with all his cold-hearted acts because he firmly believes it is for the good of his family. The most tragic aspect of the film, is that in attempt to protect his family through a life of violence, we see that Michael ultimately loses them due to the it. The scenes with Pacino, Strasberg, and Deniro are ESPECIALLY well acted out. The music is stirring and the settings and backgrounds beautiful. The film garnered 6 academy awards and was nominated for many more. To put it into words, i would describe this film as having the visual and musical beauty of "Lawrence of Arabia", the characteristic intellect of "Citizen Kane", the seriousness of a film like "Taxi Driver", the memorability of "On the Waterfront", and a high standard of excellency in acting that is unmatched by any other film....more info
  • The Best Sequal Ever Made---The Best Movie Ever Made
    In my humble opinion, The Godfather Part II outshines all of them. I have seen literally hundreds of movies in my lifetime, and this movie is the cream of the crop. A more than powerful story, wonderful score, brilliant acting by all involved makes for the classic of not only our time, but, for all time. If I could give it more than five stars, I would. Extremely recommended not for just casual watchers of movies, but the movie lover in all of us. A perfect, perfect movie....more info
  • The Saga Continues...
    The first time I saw "Godfather, Part II" was on NBC back in the pre-VCR days and they cobbled it together with "The Godfather" and told the Corleone family saga in linear fashion. It was good but it wasn't until years later that I saw "Part II" properly. Director Francis Ford Coppola effectively jumped back and forth between the young Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) and Michael Corleone who five years on was still trying to legitimize the "family". The flashing back that Coppola utilized effectively pointed out the fact that the young Vito turned to organized crime as a means of survival in a New World where recent immigrants had to look out for themselves. Michael's ruthlessness, on the other hand, can only be attributed to a deluded vanity that he tosses off as looking after the family's interests. Al Pacino is simply superb here in an even-keeled portrayal as Michael. It's hard to believe that this is the same actor who did the over-the-top "Scarface". Good supporting cast includes Michael V. Gazzo as Frankie Pantagale, a disgruntled Corleone foot soldier, and Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth. John Cazale's Fredo Corleone emerges in this film with all the seething resentments finally coming to the surface after years of being the forgotten Corleone brother. Domenic Chianese(Junior Soprano) appears as Johnny Ola, one of Roth's associates. Coppola offers a colorfully informative commentary that should not be missed....more info
  • One of the great ones! A great sequel to a great film!
    The Godfather is one of the great films of the 20th Century, and Godfather II is one of those rare sequels that measures up to the original in every way. This is a great and compelling story with a wonderful cast that turns in superb performances. About the only thing one can complain about in this film is the absence of Brando, but that, of course, was more or less inevitable given the storyline of The Godfather. On the other hand, Robert DeNiro turns in an absolutely flawless and powerful performance as the young Godfather: Vito Corleone.

    The film wonderfully juxtaposes the Corleone family in more or less the modern age, circa 1965, against the early immigrant Vito Corleone as he flees the local mafia boss in Corleone, Sicily as a child, and seeks his fortune in early 20th Century New York City. The Italian ghetto of New York, filled with hopeful immigrants, is incredibly well done, and the viewer feels transported to this brawling, bustling, and formative era of American history. This is a great film.

    Like The Godfather, although the protagonists, most of whom are criminals, are portrayed with some sympathy, this film shows the mafia and organized crime to be ultimately futile and self-destructive institutions in no way worthy of emulation or aspiration. This adds to, rather than detracts from, what is a truly great story of the American immigrant and social experience.

    The DVD features excellent sound and brilliant colors, and constitutes a very good value. Any film afficianado will want to own this one....more info