After all the talk about “Godfather part II” here, it seemed our next Reader’s Choice had to incorporate it somehow. Generally, Reader’s Choice will incorporate a wider body of work but to borrow from RossvRoss for one week we’ll pit “The Godfather” against its sequel.
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There aren’t many film couplets that have garnered as much praise as Francis Ford Coppola’s first two Godfather films. Part 2 is widely recognised as the greatest sequel of all time and it is easy to see why: it’s a truly brilliant tale of greed and familial power politics inherent in the Italian mafia. But it also looks at the continuing story with wider scope than the original, having two disconnected stories running parallel to each other. It is many people’s favoured film of the two, it garnered more award nominations than its predecessor, and, perhaps most importantly, features two fine performances from two of Hollywood’s greatest actors – Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
But I’ve always loved the original. Pacino is still a raw, undernourished actor and it works perfectly as Godfather Marlon Brando passes on the reigns to his son. Pacino’s coming-of-age during the Sollozzo/McClusky assassination is one of my favourite scenes – superbly edited with exceptional sound design as a passing train is heard outside. Of course, we also get to see Brando in one of his most iconic roles (oh, how he liked to make a splash in Coppola’s films), and James Caan as the unpredictable Sonny.
“The Godfather” and the “The Godfather part II” represent two of the finest works of American cinema. If you were to pick a favourite, which one would you go for?
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