Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – The Godfather Part II (1974)

Starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton & Robert De Niro

Rating 9/10

My mother always used to say, “If you play with the big boys, you’re sure to get hurt.” The mob was certainly the biggest boys club of them all and man did people get hurt. This was a ruthless gang, a group that believed in God, or rather that they were God.

This is a smart film. It blends the lives of the original Godfather, Vito Corleone (De Niro) with the reign of his son Michael (Pacino). It fleshes out the first film, looking back at Vito’s past and forward to Michael’s future. Both are not pretty pictures.

Vito had a violent past. His father, brother and mother were brutally murdered by Don Ciccio (Giuseppe Sillato) in Sicily. He then travelled alone to America to escape certain death himself. When he was grown and married, murdered neighbourhood bully, Don Fanucci (Gastone Moschin) and the Don Vito the Godfather was born. Eventually he heads back to Sicily with revenge on his mind. This time, he’s not a boy but a powerful Don. Close your eyes in this scene, it’s a gut wrencher.

Fast forward to the future. Michael’s story is cleverly interwoven with his father’s, allowing comparisons between the 2 Dons. We follow Michael as he buys up casinos in Nevada, hangs out with a seedy Governor and deals with the Cuban government and various other gangsters. He’s a bit of a straight man, our boy Michael. Never drinks or cheats on his wife. He is loyal to his family but severe on those who cross him. He is painted as a troubled good guy who fell in to a life of crime. In ‘reality’ he is a master manipulator with balls of steel, like his father.

Do not underestimate his brown puppy dog eyes and perfect skin. This man is a Corleone after all. Violence is his middle name, though he rarely gets his hands dirty himself. No, Michael is more of the talking type; sitting around, smoking cigars with legs crossed, wheeling and dealing. He eats, he plans, he dodges bullets. This is the life of a mob boss.

I loved this film. It was exciting, tense and intriguing. I felt like I was part of the family, kind of a fly on the wallpaper. Pacino is utterly brilliant. In fact the whole cast did the story justice. It is a long, long movie but so addictive. You just don’t know how far Michael will push things, how far he will go. How will he tie all his strings together and who are his real enemies? Am I whetting your appetite? Check it out, it is one of the few films worth 3 hours of your life.

The Godfather Part II Trivia:

  • Budget – $13 million.
  • Robert De Niro lived in Sicily to prepare for the film.
  • De Niro is only one of 5 actors to win an Oscar playing a character speaking a foreign language.
  • While filming, Pacino came down with pneumonia and shooting was delayed for a month.
  • In 340 cinemas tickets were pre-sold amounting to an insane $26,000,000
  • 16 characters died in this film.
  • Brando was supposed to be in one of the final scenes but stood Paramount up because he felt they had treated him badly on the previous film.
  • The gold telephone is based on a real one.
  • Watch out for oranges in this film and the previous one, it means that there’s going to be a death.
We now move on from the mob and into an asylum with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with the incredible Jack Nicholson.

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One comment on “Best Picture – The Godfather Part II (1974)

  1. Pingback: 10 Best movie villains EVER! « Oscarclub's Blog

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