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Mystery & Suspense movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola

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An offer you can't refuse

  • Aug 10, 2006
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The GODFATHER trilogy needs no introduction. THE GODFATHER, released in 1972 and based on Mario Puzo's novel (at one time the bestselling novel of all time), is considered by many to be the greatest film of all time. It was directed and co-written by young Francis Ford Coppola, who did an absolutely outstanding job. Gordon Willis' unflinching and beautiful cinematography is superb, while Nino Rota's sweeping score is unforgettable. The cast is magnificent. Marlon Brando, in his signature role as wheezy-voiced Don Vito Corleone, is marvelous, as is Al Pacino as his youngest son, Michael Corleone. Michael has vowed never to get involved in the family business, but the attempted murder of his father forces him to take action. James Caan is also excellent as the hot-tempered Sonny Corleone.

One of the most debated questions amongst movie buffs is which is better - THE GODFATHER part I or THE GODFATHER: PART II? Though many will say that THE GODFATHER is superior, just as many will argue that THE GODFATHER: PART II is the best. Either way, it's an equally impressive film that's even more epic than its predecessor. About 3/5 of the film follows Michael Corleone's rule as Don in 1958; the other 2/5 follow young Vito Corleone's (Robert De Niro) arrival in New York City in the early-1900s and his uprising as a mob boss. De Niro is excellent; he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role. Pacino's performance is extraodinary, the highlight of his career. The cinematography, script and directing are as flawless as ever, and Nino Rota's score is even more grandiose than before.

THE GODFATHER: PART III is one of the most controversial films ever made. As a normal film, it's very good; however, as a GODFATHER film, it's quite weak. The film begins in 1979, where aging Michael Corleone has finally ceased his involvement with the mob and is enjoying a reputation as a philanthropist. Victor Mancini (Andy Garcia), the illegitimate son of Michael's deceased brother Sonny, comes to Michael seeking a job, and soon after a mob war ensues, pulling Michael back in to the world of the mafia. The film lacks the power and feeling of the first two films; it just doesn't feel like a GODFATHER movie. It was made for money because Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios was going bankrupt; it was not made because it needed to be made. Another of the film's biggest flaws is Sofia Coppola as Michael's daughter; as a director, she is quite talented, but as an actress, she is not so talented, and is woefully miscast. I would recommend seeing the film if only to quell your curiosity, and because it has a truly fantastic ending.

THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER: PART III are 1-disc sets; THE GODFATHER: PART II is a 2-disc set. Each film has been remastered in beautiful anamorphic widescreen and with excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. They are packaged in gorgeous, dark thin packaging, and each features full-length commentary with director Coppola. Exclusive to this set is a disc of bonus material running over three hours, including deleted scenes (and the footage from the TV versions), alternate scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and a Corleone family tree. The bonus disc will knock the socks off GODFATHER fans.

If you haven't seen these films - you have no clue what you're missing. I would recommend that you drop what you're doing and go out and purchase this set right now. The first two films are probably the best ever made, and the third is good as well. For the reasonably low price this set sells at, it's an offer you can't refuse.

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More The Godfather: Part II reviews
review by . June 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****       I think what makes Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" films so intriguing is the fact that the mobsters portrayed within the film's story are not beaten down merely by business and deals. They are often brought down by temptation, love, violence, power, and admiration. These needs make the mafia characters more human than they probably need to be. I like these characters a lot; several of them are "classic gangster figures". Yet they all have …
review by . August 09, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . November 10, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
I would have given this movie 4 1/2 stars but not quite 5. It is a great sequel but pales in comparison to the first film. The continuation in the Michael Corleone saga is good but drags in places, especially towards the end. The Hyman Roth story is nowhere near as fascinating as the Solatzo/Barzini etc. from the first. The flashbacks to the young Vito Corleone was excellent but did not cover the depth that the book had (when does a movie ever equal the book?). Great actors! Pacino and De Niro actually …
review by . July 22, 2003
Is this a prequel or a sequel? In some ways, both. What we have here is a film which provides essential background information about Vito Corleone who later became a crime family don (played by Marlon Brando in The Godfather) and a continuation of the saga as Michael succeeds his father as don and proceeds with plans to involve his family only in legitimate enterprises. One of the several reasons that Coppola received an Academy Award for best director and The Godfather Part II received an Academy …
review by . August 24, 2001
This is the only sequel to ever have achieved the same critical acclaim as the first movie in a series, with both I and II winning the "Best Picture" Academy Award. There were a number of features I enjoyed about this movie. The frequent "deep background" information was wonderful and well-done, incorporating the only major section of "The Godfather" novel to be missing from the first movie -- and showcasing Robert DeNiro as the young Don Corleone. I also enjoyed the historical connection with the …
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Tom Benton ()
Ranked #352
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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About this movie


Francis Ford Coppola took some of the deep background from the life of Mafia chief Vito Corleone--the patriarch of Mario Puzo's bestselling novelThe 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 IIis 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
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