|The Godfather Part II|
|Directed by||Francis Ford Coppola|
|Produced by||Francis Ford Coppola|
|Music by||Nino Rota|
|Editing by||Peter Zinner|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release||December 20, 1974|
|Running time||200 min|
|Preceded by||The Godfather|
|Followed by||The Godfather Part III|
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American crime epic that Francis Ford Coppola produced, directed, and co-wrote with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, and Robert De Niro. Partially based on Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather, the film is both sequel and prequel to The Godfather, presenting parallel dramas: one picks up the 1958 story of Michael Corleone (Pacino), the new Don of the Corleone crime family, protecting his family business ventures in the aftermath of an attempt on his life; the prequel covers the journey of his father, Vito Corleone (De Niro), from his harrowing childhood escape from Sicily in 1901 to the desperate founding of his family enterprise in New York City.
The film was released in 1974 to great critical acclaim, some deeming it superior to the original. Nominated for eleven Academy Awards and the first sequel to win for Best Picture, its six Oscars included Best Director for Coppola, Best Supporting Actor for De Niro and Best Adapted Screenplay for Coppola and Puzo. Pacino won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Like its predecessor, the sequel remains a highly influential film in the gangster genre. In 1997, the American Film Institute ranked it as the 32nd-greatest film in American film history and it kept its rank 10 years later. It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry in 1993.
A sequel, The Godfather Part III, was released 16 years later in 1990.
On the occasion of the 1958 first communion party for his son, Michael Corleone has a series of meetings in his role as the Don of his crime family. With Nevada Senator Pat Geary, he discusses the terms of a fourth state gaming license for the Corleones, but the two only trade insults and demand payoffs. Johnny Ola arrives to express support for Michael on behalf of Florida gangster Hyman Roth. At the same time as the Don tries to manage his depressed sister Connie and older brother Fredo, Corleone caporegime Frank Pentangeli is upset that his boss will not help him defend New York against the Rosato brothers, who work for the Jewish Roth. That night, Michael survives an assassination attempt at his home and puts consigliere Tom Hagen in charge, reassuring him of their fraternal bond.
In Miami, Michael tells Roth that Pentangeli was behind the assassination attempt; he then tells Pentangeli that Roth ordered it and asks him to cooperate. Pentangeli meets the Rosatos; their men ambush him, saying they act on Michael's orders, but a passing policeman interrupts them and they flee, leaving Pentangeli for dead.
Geary finds himself in Fredo's brothel with a dead prostitute and no memory of how he got there; he accepts Tom's offer of "friendship" to cover up the incident.
After witnessing a rebel suicide bombing in Havana, Cuba, Michael becomes convinced of the rebels' resolve to overthrow the dictator Fulgencio Batista. Fredo brings Michael the money for a deal with Roth, but instead of turning it over to Roth, Michael asks who put out the hit on Pentangeli. Roth is reminded of his late friend Moe Greene – dead in a spate of Corleone killing – saying, "This is the business we've chosen. I didn't ask who gave the order because it had nothing to do with business!" As they go to the President's New Year's Eve party, Michael tells Fredo that he knows Roth plans to kill him as he leaves the party and later Fredo reveals that he knew Johnny Ola, despite his previous denial. Michael's bodyguard strangles Ola but is killed by police before he can finish off the ailing Roth. Michael embraces his brother, revealing that he knows he was behind the plot on his life but the party breaks up as word spreads that the rebels are taking over, and Fredo flees in the chaos. Back home, Tom informs Michael that Roth is recovering in Miami and that Kay's pregnancy has miscarried.
In Washington, D.C., a Senate committee investigating the Corleone family cannot find evidence to implicate Michael until a surprise witness is called. Pentangeli, ensconced in FBI witness protection and ready to avenge the attempt on his life, is prepared to confirm accusations against Michael until his Sicilian brother attends the hearing at the Don's side; Pentangeli denies his sworn statements and the hearing dissolves in an uproar.
Michael and Tom observe that Roth's strategy to destroy Michael is well planned. Fredo has been found and persuaded to return to Nevada, and in a private meeting he explains his betrayal to Michael; he was upset about being passed over to head the family, and helped Roth, thinking there would be something in it for him. He swears he was unaware of their plan to kill Michael. He tells Michael that the Senate Committee's chief counsel is on Roth's payroll. Michael disowns Fredo and instructs Al Neri that "nothing is to happen to him while my mother's alive." Afterwards, Michael violently prevents Kay from leaving with their children; she retaliates with the revelation that her miscarriage was actually an abortion.
Carmela Corleone dies. At the funeral, a reformed Connie implores Michael to forgive Fredo. Michael relents and embraces Fredo, but stares intently at Al Neri. Roth is refused asylum and even entry to Israel. Over Tom's dissent, Michael plans his revenge. Tom visits Pentangeli and offers to spare his family, reminding him that failed plotters against the Roman Emperor took their own lives.
Connie helps Kay visit her children, but Michael closes the door on any forgiveness.
As he arrives in Miami to be taken into custody, Hyman Roth is shot in the stomach and killed by Rocco Lampone, who is immediately shot dead by FBI agents. Frank Pentangeli is discovered dead in his bathtub with slit wrists. Al shoots Fredo while they are fishing on Lake Tahoe.
Michael sits alone by the lake at the family compound.
The Godfather Part II did not surpass the original commercially, but it was very successful nonetheless, with a $193 million gross on a $13 million budget. For Paramount, it was their highest-grossing film of 1974 and was the fifth-highest-grossing picture in the US that year.
- The Godfather Part II at the Internet Movie Database
|The Godfather films|
|Robert De Niro films|