Arlecchino Cinema > 17:00


Francis Ford Coppola


Thursday 23/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Free entry subject to availabilty


Film Notes

At the close of The Godfather, Michael Corleone has consolidated his power by a series of murders and has earned the crown his dead father, Don Vito, handed him. In the last shot, Michael – his eyes clouded – assures his wife, Kay, that he is not responsible for the murder of his sister’s husband. The door closes Kay out while he receives the homage of subordinates, and if she doesn’t know that he lied, it can only be because she doesn’t want to. The Godfather, Part II begins where the first film ended: before the titles there is a view behind that door. The new king stands in the dark, his face lusterless and dispassionate as his hand is being kissed. The familiar Godfather waltz theme is heard in an ambiguous, melancholy tone. Is it our imagination, or is Michael’s face starting to rot? The dramatic charge of that moment is Shakespearean. The waltz is faintly, chillingly ominous.
By a single image, Francis Ford Coppola has plunged us back into the sensuality and terror of the first film. And, with the relentlessness of a master, he goes farther and farther. The daring of Part II is that it enlarges the scope and deepens the meaning of the first film; The Godfather was the greatest gangster picture ever made, and had metaphorical overtones that took it far beyond the gangster genre. In PartII, the wider themes are no longer merely implied. The second film shows the consequences of the actions in the first; it’s all one movie, in twogreat big pieces, and it comes together in your head while you watch… It’s an epic vision of the corruption of America…
The first film covered the period from 1945 to the mid-50s. Part II, contrasting the early manhood of Vito (played by Robert De Niro) with the life of Michael, his inheritor (Al Pacino), spans almost 70 years. We saw only the middle of the story in the first film; now we have the beginning and the end. Structurally, the completed work is nothing less than the rise and decay of an American dynasty of unofficial rulers.Vito rises and becomes a respected man while his son Michael, the young king, rots before our eyes… The whole picture is informed withsuch a complex sense of the intermingling of good and evil — and of the inability to foresee the effects of our love upon our children —that it may be the most passionately felt epic ever made in this country.

Pauline Kael, Fathers and Sons, “The New Yorker”, 23 December 1974


Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1969) di Mario Puzo. Scen.: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo. F.: Gordon Willis. M.: Peter Zinner, Barry Malkin, Richard Marks.Scgf.: Dean Tavoularis, Angelo Graham. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen), Diane Keaton (Kay Corleone), Robert De Niro (Vito Corleone), John Cazale (Fredo Corleone), Talia Shire (Connie Corleone), Lee Strasberg (Hyman Roth), Michael V. Gazzo (Frankie Pentangeli), G. D. Spradlin (senatore Pat Geary), Richard Bright (Al Neri). Prod.:Francis Ford Coppola per The Coppola Company. DCP. D.: 200’. Col.