The Godfather Part II: One of the Best Films Ever

Al Pacino in a scene from the film The Godfather: Part II. Courtesy of Paramount.

The Oscar-winning The Godfather Part II continues the story of the Corleone family while switching between present day and earlier timelines.

Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo team up again to further the Corleone saga.  A lot of franchises suffer from wanting to repeat all the beats that help make the first film a success.  The Godfather Part II is able to succeed where many sequels are doomed to failure.  I give Coppola credit for wanting to change up the plot.  Rather than solely tell a story in present day, we go back in time to when young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro as a young adult, Oreste Baldino at 9-years-old) arrived in America.  In the film’s present day, the story focuses on Michael’s (Al Pacino) role as Don following an attack on his life in 1958.

The film’s blistering run time of well over three hours might keep some people from watching the film.  Please don’t let this stop you even in this age of YouTube attention spans.  The general consensus is that The Godfather Part II is one of the best sequels ever made.  It’s also one of the best prequels ever made, too.  This film does both and it does it so well.  Put it this way: none of the Star Wars sequels were honored in the original AFI lists.  The only films that can really rival The Godfather franchise in terms of their epic scope are Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  They are also the only two franchises to see all of their films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

The Godfather Part II manages to set the modern cinematic standard for film sequels.

DIRECTOR:  Francis Ford Coppola
SCREENWRITERS:  Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo
CAST:  Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Morgana King, John Cazale, Marianna Hill, Lee Strasberg

Paramount opened The Godfather Part II in theaters on December 20, 1974. Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.