Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Old 08-18-22, 01:49 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

At the age of 46, I just recently watched all three Godfather films (for part III, I watched the CODA version).

Part 1 was outstanding (never knew the Corleone family got attacked like that) and as much hate as Part III gets, I loved it (not sure what the incest was all about but whatever). That leaves us with Part II. Of course it's well made but.....It was way too long and just felt unnecessary as a whole.
The running parallel of the rise of Vito and the fall of Michael was cool but.....overall just flat. Even with how hard Coppola/Puzo tried to flesh things out....there were still many missing pieces in Vito's story.

Surprisingly, if you leave out the scene where Vito carves the old leader, you may have a PG/PG-13 film - I'm not saying I needed more blood but I was definitely surprised by the lack action in this as well.

I myself can't see the reason for all the praise, I'm not talking about people just saying it's their favorite film either, a ton of people say it was better than the first and is one of the greatest films ever made. Maybe I need to re-watch? I don't know.

Last edited by Rival11; 08-18-22 at 01:50 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 08-18-22, 01:56 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 64,814
Received 3,787 Likes on 2,551 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Oh wow. Man I love Part II so much. As you say the Vito origin stuff is so cool. But the Michael stuff is chilling. He's so different from the young post-War Michael. He's lost all his humanity. The stuff with Fredo is just brutal. The pain between them, the betrayal. I just love all that Cuba stuff, the look on Michael's face when Fredo lets it slip about knowing Hyman Roth. All the stuff with Frankie Pentangelo (except for the bandstand, which I never really believed), especially the final scene with Tom at the Prison.
And the flashback at the end is just wonderful. I think it's close to a perfect movie.
The following 6 users liked this post by Decker:
B5Erik (08-21-22), Giantrobo (08-19-22), inri222 (08-18-22), majorjoe23 (08-18-22), OldBoy (08-18-22), Throwing Copper (08-18-22) and 1 others liked this post. (Show less...)
Old 08-18-22, 02:01 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
ViewAskewbian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Just around the corner to the light of day.
Posts: 14,984
Received 752 Likes on 456 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Because it's a great film.
The following 2 users liked this post by ViewAskewbian:
BrewCrew (08-19-22), OldBoy (08-18-22)
Old 08-18-22, 02:20 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
GoldenJCJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Colorado
Posts: 22,573
Received 2,010 Likes on 1,330 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I donít hate Part III as much as others but Robert Duvall was desperately needed.

Part I is a classic with so many classic lines.

Part II is just as good as Part I, if not better. Itís just a great movie all around.
Old 08-18-22, 02:44 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,342
Received 180 Likes on 138 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I saw it when it was released and then I saw the re-edited "Godfather Saga" when it aired on TV with both parts integrated into one movie, told chronologically. I didn't see it again until 2019. I had an even more negative reaction than the OP. Here are my notes from the 2019 viewing:

Too long, too ponderous. Too excessive in the scenes in Cuba and the Little Italy flashbacks. Michael’s corrupt, unlikeable, uninteresting. One-note performance, one-note character. He doesn’t change. We don’t care what happens to him the way we did with all the characters in Part I. No human foils for Michael, other than Fredo. He doesn’t have Sonny, Tessio, Clemenza, Don Vito to play off of. Tom has too little to do here. Pentangeli and Hyman Roth are the only really interesting characters, yet we don’t see enough of them. They would have been great foils for Michael if they were around more. And Michael having Roth killed is ridiculous. Meyer Lansky outlived all of them. That was the REAL story here. Also, big continuity error. Willy Cicci (Spinell) seems to get killed early on, shooting it out with the Rosato brothers (Carmine Caridi and Danny Aiello) in the Bronx. But then he turns up testifying before the Senate committee. No indication of what happened with him. If he was still alive, why did he disappear from the movie? Why was he allowed to testify about the mafia? Makes no sense. Kay Adams really drags this movie down. No way Michael would have married someone so outside the culture.
Old 08-18-22, 02:53 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
inri222's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 50,673
Received 179 Likes on 118 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

For me Part II is a masterpiece and the best of all three films.
Here are some of my reasons why:

Robert De Niro as young Vito Corleone delivers the goods. His performance and mannerisms are so similar to Marlon Brando.
The contrast between Vito and Michael and how they handle certain situations.
The battle of wits between Michael and his father's old friend Hyman Roth.
How Michael loses his humanity as he consolidates his power through violence and becomes a tragic character straight out of a Shakespearean play.

The following 2 users liked this post by inri222:
PhantomStranger (08-18-22), Why So Blu? (08-23-22)
Old 08-18-22, 03:13 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 64,814
Received 3,787 Likes on 2,551 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I saw it when it was released and then I saw the re-edited "Godfather Saga" when it aired on TV with both parts integrated into one movie, told chronologically. I didn't see it again until 2019. I had an even more negative reaction than the OP. Here are my notes from the 2019 viewing:
Your biggest complaint is that Michael had Roth killed when Lansky wasn't ever killed?
Roth was a fictional character inspired (heavily) by Lansky. Michael was an entirely fictional character. The fact that an Oscar winning screenwriter could envision a difficult but not entirely impossible situation where one fictional mob boss arranges the assassination of another fictional powerful mobster in exile is hardly something to get too wound up about. It's a story. And the motivations and complications are all plausible.
Old 08-18-22, 03:13 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 10,825
Received 693 Likes on 513 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Why don't you go to Rotten Tomatoes and read the reviews from when the movie was released, before it had been canonized?


Old 08-18-22, 03:14 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I saw it when it was released and then I saw the re-edited "Godfather Saga" when it aired on TV with both parts integrated into one movie, told chronologically. I didn't see it again until 2019. I had an even more negative reaction than the OP. Here are my notes from the 2019 viewing:
YES!! I forgot about Spinell's character!!! When it gets to the court scene, I literally said, wait a minute...he got messed up, how the hell is there is not a scratch on him? I thought he died.

I agree with everything you wrote as well.
The following users liked this post:
Ash Ketchum (08-19-22)
Old 08-18-22, 03:15 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian View Post
Because it's a great film.
And that's fine, I just don't get all the "masterpiece" and "greatest of all time" praise.
Old 08-18-22, 03:16 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I donít hate Part III as much as others but Robert Duvall was desperately needed.

Part I is a classic with so many classic lines.

Part II is just as good as Part I, if not better. Itís just a great movie all around.
For sure, I was actually a little pissed off that Duvall wasn't in it.
Old 08-18-22, 03:20 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 64,814
Received 3,787 Likes on 2,551 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I thought it was pretty obvious that Cicci got shot, got hung out to dry, but recovered and was upset enough to turn state's evidence on Michael.
We don't see that part because his appearance at the Senate hearing is supposed to be as much of a surprise to us as it is to Michael.
Old 08-18-22, 03:23 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 64,814
Received 3,787 Likes on 2,551 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Great summation of the behind-the-scenes machinations in Godfather Part II here :

In Godfather 2, why did Willi Cicci testify against Michael? Is he also intimidated by Roth like Frank Pentangeli did? What happened to him?

First of all, Frank Pentangeli did not testify because of any alliance or fear of Hyman Roth. Pentangeli hated Roth, And his Sicilian messanger boy Johnny Ola. Pentangeli testified against Michael because Roth set him up to believe Michael had turned on him.

This is a very complicated series of events that led up to the Senate hearings of Michael Corleone.

Going back to what started the feud between Roth and Michael, it was Michael's ordering the hit on Moe Greene that sparked this whole thing. In the original Godfather film it was Greene who would not sell his share of the hotel to Michael who was planning a hostile takeover of the Las Vegas hotels and casinos. Greene also let Michael know he had formed an alliance with the Barzzini family in order to keep his hotel. Michael would have nothing of it and whacked Greene along with the heads of the five families. Greene was a protege of Roth's and was like a son to Roth.

Now getting to Frank Pentangeli. At Michael's home in Tahoe, Pentangeli wanted to eliminate the Rozzotto Brothers who were taking over the territories in New York he had aquired from Michael and Clemenza. Upon Clemenza's death, Frank took over all the New York territory with Willie Cicci as his consigliere.

Michael refused to allow Pentangeli permission to eliminate the Rozzotto's as it would have interfered with his plans with Roth. This infuriated Pentangeli and he left Tahoe on bad terms with Michael.

Pentangeli met with the Rozzotto's in New York when the Rozzotto's tried to kill Frankie telling him it was from Michael. When in reality it was the beginning of Roth's plan to take Michael down.

The reason Cicci testified against the Corleone's was simple. Cicci was wounded and captured during the shootout with the Rozzotto Brothers. At that point he had no reason not to testify. He probably had no knowledge that Frankie was still alive so Cicci testified against Michael out of revenge, but there was always a buffer between Cicci and Michael. That's​ why the Senate needed Pentangeli to testify as he got his orders straight from Michael himself.

Once Cicci testified, it was probably part of a plea deal with the feds and Cicci goes and does his time. They already had him on several class A felonies such as murder, conspiracy, racketeering and a lot more. Testifying was basically a no-brainer. That's the end of his involvement with the movie plot. It is assumed he did what ever time he was sentenced to and he lived out his life.

Pentangeli testified out of​ revenge thinking it was Michael who tried to have him killed in New York.

This was proven in Havana in Roth's hotel room when Michael asks him who had Frank Pentangeli killed. That's when Roth gives that famous speech about what a great man Moe Greene was and that there wasn't even a plaque or a statue in Vegas to remember him. Basically the town Moe Greene had created.

Michael's only recourse to the Roth's Senate plans was ​to bring Frankie's brother to the court room and persuade Frank not to go through with it.

Once Michael got the best of Roth, he turned his attention to poor Fredo who was duped into helping Roth and the Rozzotto's attempt the hit on Michael in his home in Tahoe. Fredo was always resentful of Michael stepping over him to become the head of the family. That's when Michael basically disowned Fredo. Waiting until the death of his mother, that's when Michael had Al Neri kill Fredo in the motor boat on the lake.
Old 08-18-22, 03:25 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I thought it was pretty obvious that Cicci got shot, got hung out to dry, but recovered and was upset enough to turn state's evidence on Michael.
We don't see that part because his appearance at the Senate hearing is supposed to be as much of a surprise to us as it is to Michael.
I know but, it just didn't match with what happened to him - no lingering effects from what he went through? He just came off/looked like a fresh character.
Old 08-18-22, 03:27 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Another issue with this film for me is that some of the primary players like Pentangeli just didn't resonate with me. He reminded me of a throwaway character. I there was just too much that didn't resonate enough with me.
Old 08-18-22, 03:31 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
rocket1312's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,935
Likes: 0
Received 609 Likes on 426 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I personally prefer part I, but only because I find part II narratively superfluous. We learn everything we need to know about Michael the moment the door closes on him at the end of part I.

That said, part II is probably better made, with a richer narrative. Coppola had much more freedom, therefore it's a more personal film. Part I is more of a trashy potboiler, elevated by Coppola and the cast. I don't mean that as a prejorative, btw, it's actually what I like about it.
The following users liked this post:
Crocker Jarmen (08-18-22)
Old 08-18-22, 03:34 PM
  #17  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 46,760
Received 608 Likes on 522 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

The Godfather Part II is simply a breathtaking and stunningly great follow up to an amazing original. these movies are what all other gangster movies are compared to now. it is just a marvel in movie-making, acting, directing, etc.
The following users liked this post:
PhantomStranger (08-18-22)
Old 08-18-22, 03:42 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 64,814
Received 3,787 Likes on 2,551 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by Rival11 View Post
Another issue with this film for me is that some of the primary players like Pentangeli just didn't resonate with me. He reminded me of a throwaway character. I there was just too much that didn't resonate enough with me.
I can't argue that the whole storyline would have felt more resonant if it were Clemenza's story as originally intended. But when Castellano bailed at almost the last minute, FFC had to scramble. The fact that he managed to replace him with an iconic Oscar-nominated performance is one of the most impressive examples of making the most of a bad situation. But yes, given a choice I would have preferred Clemenza in that part.
The following users liked this post:
Rival11 (08-23-22)
Old 08-18-22, 04:44 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Crocker Jarmen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 7,760
Received 229 Likes on 165 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Yeah, Part I is a fun movie, where the viewer can be made to think of the Corleones as righteous for the most part. Part II is ominous, and unsettling, and doesn't flinch from presenting these characters without any grace or excuses for their evil.

Pentangeli is my favorite supporting character in the whole movie, and is nearly the sole provider of any laughs. "They told me, 'Michael Corleone did this', and 'Michael Corleone did that', and I said...'Ah, sure!" Such a wonderful voice Michael V Gazzo had.
Old 08-18-22, 05:32 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Toddarino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northeastern Wisconsin
Posts: 3,850
Received 589 Likes on 402 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I prefer the first Godfather, but I think Godfather II is probably the better film.
Even after watching Coda, part III is still not good. Like others have stated, Duvall was sorely missed. Hamilton was a piss poor replacement.
Old 08-18-22, 06:31 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 19,353
Received 345 Likes on 246 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?
It's cinematic art. It's captivating and powerful. The perfect sequel.

Part III is the bastard child made from wedlock. It's not horrible by any means but totally unnecessary as well. It's a huge miss more than victory, compared to part II.
Old 08-18-22, 08:57 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
JeffTheAlpaca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: CA
Posts: 19,358
Received 390 Likes on 331 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

It is a great movie and not a generic comic book movie that gets universal praise since it made a lot of money at the box office.
Old 08-19-22, 12:24 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Relocated to Bot-Hell
Posts: 11,497
Received 181 Likes on 135 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by ViewAskewbian View Post
Because it's a great film.
Thread closed?
Old 08-19-22, 01:04 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Rival11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 6,483
Received 86 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
The Godfather Part II is simply a breathtaking and stunningly great follow up to an amazing original. these movies are what all other gangster movies are compared to now. it is just a marvel in movie-making, acting, directing, etc.
Scott, CALM THE F DOWN.
Old 08-19-22, 09:21 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,347
Received 29 Likes on 21 Posts
Re: The Godfather II - why is this film given so much praise?

I had pretty much the same reaction to Part II as the OP when I first saw it decades ago. This was shortly after watching Part I. (And my reaction to the first was I just watched one of the greatest movies of all time.) I maintain Part II works best as the middle part of a trilogy, but it was a loooong wait until Part III (and expectations were certainly not met with that one). I will say for me Part II became a bit of an acquired taste. While I still prefer the first one, I've grown to love Part II's flashbacks which I still feel is the high point of the movie. (I really view it as a kind of prequel/sequel, with two movies edited into one double-length feature.) And for the "present-day" stuff I've come to appreciate every little line of dialogue and notice something new every time I watch it. My feeling is you will probably have the same experience as me if you watch these multiple times, but I whole heartedly understand your first impression. I think Michael's transition was just more interesting in the first movie; in the second one it didn't seem to be as much of a character arc story wise.
The following users liked this post:
Rival11 (08-23-22)

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.