Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
So it’s a pretty popular opinion that The Godfather, Part II is one of the best movies ever made. It’s a nearly four hour long mob epic with fantastic performances from both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in completely separate stories in two different time periods. How in the world did the whole “two stories” thing fly with critics?
Al Pacino, now in charge of his mafia family, has to deal with a drunk uncle who’s trying to testify against the family in a senate hearing, as well as a lawyer who owns some hotels in Havana that he wants to inherit. Meanwhile, in the past, we follow a young Vito Corleone (De Niro) as he sets up his crime family after being snuck to America out of Italy.
Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a boring moment of the film, and the way they handle going back and forth between the two plots isn’t jarring or confusing at all. It’s more that it just seems really weird to even have the flashback stuff in there at all. Clearly the reason is that Coppola wanted to make his 10 hour Godfather epic version with everything in chronological order and he had to put the earlier stuff in this movie to make that happen, and honestly that sounds like a pretty shitty reason to me.