Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II - The Coppola Restoration

#32 on the AFI Lists of 100 Best Movies (1998 & 2007)
The Godfather: Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the rise to power of the young Vito Corleone. The film stars Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strasberg.

The Godfather: Part II was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture, Best Director for Coppola and Best Supporting Actor for Robert De Niro, and has been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry. It is widely regarded as one of the very rare examples in the history of motion pictures where the sequel is considered an equal to its predecessor.

* Al Pacino as Michael Corleone
* Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen
* Diane Keaton as Kay Adams-Corleone
* Robert De Niro as Young Vito Corleone
* John Cazale as Fredo Corleone
* Talia Shire as Connie Corleone
* Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth
* Michael V. Gazzo as Frank Pentangeli
* Morgana King as Carmela Corleone
* G. D. Spradlin as Senator Pat Geary
* Richard Bright as Al Neri
* Marianna Hill as Deanna Corleone
* Gastone Moschin as Don Fanucci
* Troy Donahue as Merle Johnson
* Dominic Chianese as Johnny Ola
* Amerigo Tot as Michael's bodyguard
* Joe Spinell as Willi Cicci
* Bruno Kirby as Young Peter Clemenza
* Frank Sivero as Young Genco Abbandando
* Giuseppe Sillato as Don Francesco Ciccio
* Roman Coppola as Young Santino Corleone
* John Megna as Young Hyman Roth
* Julian Voloshin as Sam Roth
* Larry Guardino as Vito's uncle
* Danny Aiello as Tony Rosato
* John Aprea as Young Salvatore Tessio
* Leopoldo Trieste as Signor Roberto
* Salvatore Poe as Vincenzo Pentangeli
* Al Martino as Johnny Fontane
* Harry Dean Stanton as FBI agent
* James Caan as Sonny Corleone (cameo)
* Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Tessio (cameo)
* Gianni Russo as Carlo Rizzi (cameo)

* James Caan agreed to reprise the role of Sonny in the birthday flashback sequence demanding he be paid the same amount he received for the entire previous film for the single scene in Part II, which he received.
* Marlon Brando initially agreed to return for the birthday flashback sequence, but the actor, feeling mistreated by the board at Paramount, failed to show up for the single day's shooting; Coppola rewrote the scene that same day.
* Richard Castellano, who portrayed Peter Clemenza in the first film, also declined to return, as he and the producers could not reach an agreement on his demands that he be allowed to write the character's dialogue in the film. Clemenza's role was subsequently filled by Frank Pentangeli.
* Troy Donahue, in a small role as Connie's boyfriend, plays a character named Merle Johnson, which was his birth name.
* Two actors who appear in the film played different character roles in other Godfather films; Carmine Caridi, who plays Carmine Rosato, also went on to play crime boss Albert Volpe in The Godfather Part III, and Frank Sivero, who plays a young Genco Abbandando, appears as a bystander in The Godfather scene in which Sonny beats up Carlo for abusing Connie.
* Among the Senators in the hearing committee are film producer/director Roger Corman, writer/producer William Bowers, producer Phil Feldman, and science-fiction writer Richard Matheson.

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