Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Look Park Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro
Customer Review

86 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary sequel to a great American classic film, June 3, 2003
This review is from: The Godfather, Part II [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Although not quite as powerful or as unified as the original, THE GODFATHER II lays claim to possibly being the greatest sequel ever made. The film focuses on the twin stories of Michael Corleone's attempt to consolidate his power as Godfather of the Corleone family by, as he puts it, killing all his enemies. The latter primarily include a Jewish gangster who was a former associate of his father as a young man, a former associate who turns government witness, and his brother Fredo, who betrays Michael because he felt passed over and because in betraying Michael there would be "something in it for me." The other story told is that of the youth and young manhood of Vito Corleone, magnificently portrayed by Robert De Niro in one of his greatest performances, performing his role in Italian and doing a masterful job of mimicking Marlon Brando's intonations from the previous film. The story takes him from his earlier childhood, with the death of all the members of his family in Sicily, to his immigration to the United States, and eventual involvement in a life of organized crime.
Much of the power of the second film comes from the contrast between the two stories. As Vito Corleone grows in power, he also grows as a family man, in both the sense of a father with children and a wife and in the extended sense in his role as Godfather. He becomes the center of a community, drawing others around him. But the other story, of the decay of all that Vito had built up through the leadership of Michael, betrays all the realities undergirding the delusions riddling Vito Corleone's Family. The rot and decay that characterizes Michael's reign are shown as the natural and inescapable result of the greed that drove the lives of those in the crime organization. Nonetheless, the contrast between Vito, surrounded by friends and family and associates, and Michael, killing friends and associates and even family members, alienating even his most loyal friends, sitting inside his armed compound alone couldn't be starker. There is a reverse symmetry between the two stories: Vito starts off alone and ends surrounded by family and friends, while Michael starts off surrounded with family and friends, and ends up alone. This is symbolized perfectly in the final scene in the film, in a flashback to December 7, 1941, when Michael reveals to his brothers that he has enlisted in the Army. They hear their father arrive elsewhere in the house and rush off to meet him, only Michael sitting at the table alone as the film ends.
As with the first film, the acting is beyond reproach. As great as Al Pacino has been in his career, Michael Corleone has been his greatest achievement. He and Robert De Niro excel in the two key roles in the film. Lee Strasberg came out of retirement to play Hyman Roth, and he was extraordinarily effective in the role. The late, great John Cazale was marvelously timid as the dim, confused, and indecisive Fredo, who both adored and resented his brother Michael. Michael Gazzo is unforgettable as Frank Pentangeli, who thinks he has been betrayed by Michael and turns government witness, and received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his performance (he was beaten out by Robert De Niro), as was Lee Strasberg. Robert Duvall returns as Tom Hagen, who is more loyal to Michael than anyone else but who Michael distrusts nonetheless. Bizarrely, Al Pacino lost out to Art Carney, who was excellent in the rather minor film HARRY AND TONTO. It is hard today to understand how Pacino failed to win.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2008 12:39:05 PM PST
Very well put review!
You saw the things I have tried to explain to others and have lacked the words.

"There is a reverse symmetry between the two stories: Vito starts off alone and ends surrounded by family and friends, while Michael starts off surrounded with family and friends, and ends up alone".

Well said!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 11:39:58 PM PST
It is a very good review. But you've forgotten to mention how great Diane Keaton is in Kay, to me the most important character at various points of the film. Kay, so observant and inquiring, so not afraid to see things and tell it like it is, really gets under Michael's skin. A remarkable, courageous woman. It is definitely not a minor role, not at the very least.

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 1:32:52 AM PDT
I agree with G. E. Williams. You (Robert Moore) articulate an amazing contrast ("symmetry")--one that I had not fully recognized.

"There is a reverse symmetry between the two stories: Vito starts off alone and ends surrounded by family and friends, while Michael starts off surrounded with family and friends, and ends up alone."

WOW ! ! !
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Robert Moore
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Little Rock, AR USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 327