The Godfather Part II

on December 23, 1974 by BOXOFFICE Staff
   Even if the 1972 film "The Godfather" had not been made, its sequel would still be a monumental achievement. Produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, from a screenplay by Coppola and Mario Puzo as based on the latter's best seller, the '74 film uses many of the same actors in the roles they originated in 1972. Al Pacino, the youngest Corleone son, is now the Godfather and he is as ruthless here as he had been idealistic originally. Intercut with the Pacino story is that of his father's origins; lengthy flashbacks are used throughout, with Robert De Niro excelling as the young Don Vito. The entire cast contributes greatly to the success of the film, with Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton leading the veterans and new characters being played by Actors' Studio founder Lee Strasberg, author (of "A Hatful of Rain") Michael V. Gazzo and G.D. Spradlin as a corrupt senator. Locations include Sicily, New York, Miami, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Santo Domingo (doubling for Havana). The Corleone saga is one of family devotion and violence, the latter ingredient being graphic enough but actually occupying little screen time. Another sequel may be unlikely, but this looms as a big b.o. bonanza. Technicolor, with English titles for the Italian dialogue.

The story of the Godfather, portrayed as a young man by Robert De Niro, begins in the Sicilian village of Corleone in 1901 when as a small boy he flees from Don Giuseppe Sillato, who murdered his family. His rise to power in New York, following his first murder-that of Sillatto, is intercut with the story of De Niro's family beginning in 1958. Living in Lake Tahoe, Al Pacino controls his father's business, aided by lawyer Robert Duvall in dealing with corrupt Sen. G.D. Spradlin, Miami kingpin Lee Strasberg, longtime associate Michael V. Gazzo and the family. Sister Talia Shire weds Troy Donahue against Pacino's wishes, John Cazale unwittingly betrays his brother to Strasberg, and wife Diane Keaton destroys her marriage by admitting she had an abortion rather than raise another son in an atmosphere of crime. After a crime investigating committee fails to indict Pacino, he has Strasberg, Cazale and Gazzo, who was set to testify against him, eliminated.

Tie in with the soundtrack album, featuring Nino Rota's music, on ABC Records. Mention the various locales and the fact that every actor from the original film repeats his role or is replaced with a close facsimile.

The Godfather had one rule-the family above everything else. FLASHBACK: December 23, 1974
What BOXOFFICE said about...
Paramount 200 mins.

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