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The Godfather Part II

It is so well documented, it is almost a cliché, but ‘The Godfather Part II’ is in many ways superior to the original, but that should not be taken as a slight to the first film. ‘The Godfather Part II’ is simply brilliant filmmaking, perhaps the finest mafia film ever made. Part sequel, part prequel, the ‘Godfather Part II’ chronicles the lives of both Michael Corleone, post-‘Godfather’ and Vito Corleone, pre-‘Godfather’.
In one storyline, Michael, played by Al Pacino, continues his quest to run the family business in the absence of his father. His efforts to transform the family into legitimate businesses are confounded by an assassination attempt, a traitor within the family, a government crackdown on his organisation and external pressure from rival families.
Interwoven among the post-‘Godfather’ storyline is a history of young Vito Corleone, portrayed remarkably by Robert DeNiro. The film begins with Vito as a young boy in Sicily, where his father, mother and brother are all killed under the auspices of Mafia boss Don Ciccio. The storyline continues through Vito’s emigration to the United States, marriage, children, introduction to organised crime and ultimately, his revenge on Don Ciccio.
In addition to the wonderful script, co-written by director Francis Ford Coppola and author Mario Puzo, the film features a stellar cast. Pacino and DeNiro are joined by Robert Duvall, Lee Strasberg, John Cazale, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Bruno Kirby.  More than thirty years after its release, Coppola’s cinematic masterpiece still stands as the defining film of the genre.