Paramount Pictures release of a Francis Ford Coppola production. Produced and directed by Coppola. Coproduced by Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos. Features entire cast. Screenplay. Coppola, Mario Puzo, based on Puzo’s novel; camera (Technicolor), Gordon Willis; production designer, Dean Tavoularis; editors, Peter Zinner. Barry Malkin, Richard Marks; costumes, Theadora Van Runkle; music com-posed by Nino Rota; conducted by Carmine Coppola; art director, Angelo Graham; set decorator, George R. Nelson; asst. directors, Newton Arnold, Henry J. Lange Jr., Chuck Myers, Mike Kusley, Alan Hopkins, Burt Bluestein; special effects, A.D. Flowers, Joe Lombardi; unit publicist, Eileen Peterson. Reviewed in Hollywood, Dec. 9, ’74. (MPAA Rating –R). Running time: 200 MIN.
Michael – Al Pacino
Tom Hagen – Robert Duvall
Kay – Diane Keaton
Vito Corleone – Robert De Niro
Sonny – James Caan
The Godfather, Part II” far from being a spinoff followup to its 1972 progenitor is an excellent epochal drama in its own right providing bookends in time — the early part of this century and the last two decades — to the earlier story. Al Pacino again is outstanding as Michael Corleone, successor to crime family leadership.
The $15,000,000-plus production about 2-1/2 times the cost of the original was most handsomely produced and superbly directed by Francis Ford Coppola who also shares credit for a topnotch script with original book author Mario Puzo. The Paramount release has everything going for it to be an enormous b.o. winner.
There should be very few criticisms that the latest film glorifies criminality since the script never lets one for-get for very long that Pacino as well as Robert De Niro, excellent as the immigrant Sicilian who became the crime family chief as played by Marlon Brando in the first pic, and all their aides are callous, selfish and unde-serving of either pity or adulation. Yet, at the same time, there’s enough superficial glory in the panoramic story structure to satisfy the demands of less discriminating filmgoers. Hence Coppola has straddled the potential audience and therefore maximized the commercial potential.