Double-Quoting #26-27: The Godfather & The Godfather Part II

“Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you.  But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.  Ever.”

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While The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974) are both films from the same franchise, there is a clear difference between the two, in both quality and character development (there may obviously be a connection between the two).  Even though The Godfather Part II is longer by 25 mins (The Godfather is 2 hr & 55 mins while The Godfather Part II is 3 hr & 20 mins) The Godfather seems to include so much more characters, story, excitement, and twists than its sequel.

Marlon Brando as "The Godfather"

One of the main, apparent reason as to why The Godfather is at a higher caliber than TG2 (The Godfather Part II) is because of Marlon Brando’s performance as “The Godfather.”  He created a unique character who appears gentle and reasonable, yet commands respect from not only his family, but from his enemies as well.  “The Godfather,” also known as Don Vito Corleone, has an unforgettable way of speech, which makes you wish he was your grandfather.  Through Vito Corleone, the sons can be easily compared, bringing out their unique and different personalities.

... and they never come back

Even though The Godfather can be very predictable at times, such as when certain characters will die, it still has a solid foundation of character development.  At first, it may seem as though Vito Corleone is the main character of the story, but later, it becomes very clear that the film revolves around the life of the youngest son, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino.  This is done in a similar fashion as in Star Wars, where the whole series revolves around Anakin Skywalker instead of the teacher, Obi-Won Kenobi.  As events pass by, including the attempted assassination of his father, Michael can be seen to change as a character, from an unreliable, indifferent son, to a quick thinking, criminal mastermind.  Our attachment to Michael at the beginning, due to his life as a normal person, grants us a ride through a legacy of killing for respect.  While Michael does not become exactly like his father, he obtains qualities as a mob king which makes him awesome in his own way.  This includes his cold, calculating mind, his smooth hair, and his icy stare.

He looks like he was made for the part

The Godfather has it all, love, betrayal, murder, payback, and cool lines.  What TG2 lacks is not one of the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence, but the character development of  the main character in both films. In The Godfather, Michael’s love life is shown, with him and Kay (Diane Keaton) going through much hardship to be together in the end.  Also, his rise of power is depicted, starting from his position as the youngest son, to the strongest mafia head in the country.  In TG2, Michael is already at his peak as the powerful mafia boss.  He could go no higher; in fact, he narrowly escapes losing everything by almost being held responsible for his crimes.  The movie contains no romance; he kicks Kay out after learning the truth behind the miscarriage.  TG2 is more focused on comparing the past to the present.  The film is literally made up of half flashback scenes, which mainly involve Vito Corleone’s younger days.  Most of the flashback scenes don’t do much for the overall film.  After just the first flashback, we get the idea – the business which Vito Corleone started back in the day is now falling apart.

The stare of death

TG2 follows a technique which many bad films adopt, which is the art of introducing random characters/story plots in order to keep the story moving.  The example I’m talking about here is when Michael brings in the older brother of Frank Pentangeli with him to court.  This character is some random character with assumed fame and respect and so happens has the ability to shut Frank up.  Now, I am not saying that TG2 is a terrible film; I am saying it is a terrible film compared to its prequel.  However, the film still holds up on its own with the returning cast including, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and John Cazale.  Not to forget to mention, the musical background in both is riveting.

My favorite scene in Part II

The difference of both films can be told in numbers.  The Godfather had a production budget of only 6.5 million but raked in a total of 245 million, while TG2 had a production budget of 13 million but only scored 193 million (the word “only” is used to emphasis the comparison).  Even though these films are oldies, they are by far better than the majority of films being made nowadays.  The Godfather series is turning up to be one of my favorite series.  Hopefully the third installment can live up to the first (not just the second).  I will find out soon enough.

The Godfather: 9.5

The Godfather Part II: 8.0

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“If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.”

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1 Response to “Double-Quoting #26-27: The Godfather & The Godfather Part II”


  1. 1 facebook February 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

    i love it


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