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May 04

FT Top 100 Films 96: THE GODFATHER PART II

Do You SeePost a comment • 833 views

Lookee here Sight’n’Sound. The Godfather is a different film to The Godfather Part II. As such you cannot just roll them into one film to make up for the fact nothing as recent got any votes at all and to sneak something new into your top ten.

That said I first saw Godfather II jumbled up as part of some Coppola sanctioned mini-series extended edition. In this version much of G2* is shown before the Godfather, choices made after the fact but nevertheless completely change the feel of the piece. As a film Godfather II sanctioned the highbrow sequel, and even worse – the prequel. As a work on its own it owes all of its epic status to its predecessor, and the large (some say immense) shadow of Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone hangs over it. And should we all have the compliment of Bob De Niro playing us in our younger days. Unless of course we looked like a young Marlon Brando in our younger days.

The flip-flopping of the parallel storylines offer up a few too many neat comparisons but perhaps that is what this film has going for it most. It is good, neat storytelling, highlighted and sometimes overblown in its obviousness. Not to say that the performances aren’t subtle (though a lot of them aren’t). But I still think of it affectionately as part of a mini-series, and this list is not the Top 100 mini-series. The Godfather is not in the list by the way. We’re fair chopping through the canon.

*G2 is a good appellation for it, since like the Guardian’s tabloid section it is less obsessed with the new, more obsessed with historic detail and generally is the bit people go to first. And probably has the TV pages in it.

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