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The Godfather Part II
Alternate Title: Don Michael
Director: Francis Ford Coppola (Dir)
Release Date:   20 Dec 1974
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 12 Dec 1974; Los Angeles opening: 18 Dec 1974
Production Date:   1 Oct 1973--mid-Jun 1974 in Nevada, New York, Miami, FL, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Sparagonga Sicily
Duration (in mins):   200
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Cast:   Al Pacino (Michael [Corleone])  
    Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen)  
    Diane Keaton (Kay [Corleone])  
    Robert DeNiro (Vito Corleone)  
    John Cazale (Fredo Corleone)  
    Talia Shire (Connie Corleone)  
    Lee Strasberg (Hyman Roth)  
    Michael V. Gazzo (Frankie Pentangeli)  
    G. D. Spradlin (Senator Pat Geary)  
    Richard Bright (Al Neri)  
    Gaston Moschin (Fanucci)  
    Tom Rosqui (Rocco Lampone)  
    B. Kirby Jr. (Young Clemenza)  
    Frank Sivero (Genco [Abbandando])  
    Francesca de Sapio (Young Mama Corleone)  
    Morgana King (Mama Corleone)  
    Mariana Hill (Deanna Corleone)  
    Leopoldo Trieste (Signor Roberto)  
    Dominic Chianese (Johnny Ola)  
    Amerigo Tot (Michael's bodyguard)  
    Troy Donahue (Merle Johnson)  
    John Aprea (Young Tessio)  
    Joe Spinell (Willi Cicci)  
    James Caan (Sonny Corleone)  
  Featured players: Abe Vigoda (Tessio)  
    Tere Livrano (Theresa Hagen)  
    Gianni Russo (Carlo [Rizzi])  
    Maria Carta (Vito's mother)  
    Oreste Baldini (Vito Andolini, as a boy)  
    Giuseppe Sillato (Don Francesco ["Ciccio"])  
    Mario Cotone (Don Tommasino)  
    James Gounaris (Anthony Corleone)  
    Fay Spain (Mrs. Marcia Roth)  
    Harry Dean Stanton (F.B.I. man #1)  
    David Baker (F.B.I. man #2)  
    Carmine Caridi (Carmine Rosato)  
    Danny Aiello (Tony Rosato)  
    Carmine Foresta (Policeman)  
    Nick Discenza (Bartender [in New York])  
    Father Joseph Medeglia (Father Carmelo)  
    William Bowers (Senate committee chairman)  
    Joe Della Sorte (Michael's buttonman #1)  
    Carmen Argenziano (Michael's buttonman #2)  
    Joe Lo Grippo (Michael's buttonman #3)  
    Elio Flagello (Impressario)  
    Livio Giorgi (Tenor in "Senza mamma")  
    Kathy Beller (Girl in "Senza mamma")  
    Saveria Mazzola (Signora Colombo)  
    Tito Alba (Cuban president)  
    Johnny Naranjo (Cuban translator)  
    Elda Maida (Pentangeli's wife)  
    Salvatore Po (Pentangeli's brother)  
    Ignazio Pappalardo (Mosca)  
    Andrea Maugeri (Strollo)  
    Peter LaCorte (Signor Abbandando)  
    Vincent Coppola (Street vendor)  
    Peter Donat (Questadt)  
    Tom Dahlgren (Fred Corngold)  
    Paul B. Brown (Senator Ream)  
    Phil Feldman (Senator #1)  
    Roger Corman (Senator #2)  
    Yvonne Coll (Yolanda)  
    J. D. Nicols (Attendant at brothel)  
    Edward Van Sickle (Ellis Island doctor)  
    Gabria Belloni (Ellis Island nurse)  
    Richard Watson (Custom official)  
    Venancia Grangerard (Cuban nurse)  
    Erica Yohn (Governess)  
    Theresa Tirelli (Midwife)  
    Alan Lee (Klingman, casino owner.)  

Summary: In 1901, in the village of Corleone, Sicily, nine-year-old Vito Andolini is comforted by his mother as they walk in his father's funeral procession. When shots ring out, Vito's older brother Paolo is killed, prompting Signora Andolini to take Vito to see local Black Hand leader, Don Francesco, called "Ciccio," whom her husband had offended. She begs him to spare Vito's life, but the don coldly refuses, prompting Vito's mother to take a knife to Ciccio's throat and scream for her son to run. She is killed by the don's henchmen, but Vito escapes. Despite threats from Ciccio's men, some villagers help Vito, enabling him to sail to America. When he is diagnosed with smallpox and placed in quarantine on Ellis Island, Vito, who has been given the surname Corleone by an immigration official, gazes at the Statue of Liberty from his small room.
       In 1958, Vito's grandson, Anthony Corleone receives his First Holy Communion in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. After the ceremony, his parents, Kay and Michael, host a lavish party at their lakeside estate. Michael, who has succeeded Vito as the don of the Corleone family, receives guests who seek his favor, including Senator Pat Geary, a pompous hypocrite, who incurs Michael's enmity when he demands money in exchange for the license Michael seeks for a gambling casino. Others at the party include Michael's weak, older brother, Fredo, who cannot control his drunken wife, and their widowed younger sister, Connie, who prefers the high life to caring for her children. Al Neri, who represents elderly Jewish gangster Hyman Roth, discusses a Cuban casino deal between Roth and the Corleones, while old family friend and lieutenant Frankie Pentangeli begs Michael not to do business with Roth or his cohorts, the ruthless New York Rosato brothers. Late that night, as Michael prepares for bed and admires a picture that Anthony has drawn for him, the room is riddled by machine gun fire. Because Michael drags himself to Kay's side and covers her body with his, neither is hurt, but Kay is quietly resentful and views Michael's promises to turn the family business legitimate as lies. Michael warns his security men to capture the assassins alive, but by the time the men are found near the lake, they have been killed. Privately, Michael confides in his adopted brother, Tom Hagen, that he is the only person he trusts and relates that he will be in complete charge while Michael goes away to try to solve what has happened.
       In 1917, In New York's Little Italy, Vito, now a grown man with a wife and baby son, goes to an Italian-language vaudeville show with his friend, Genco Abbandando, who is in love with one of the actresses. Backstage, Vito sees local Black Hand leader Fanucci intimidate the young actress' father and is distressed to learn that Fanucci offers "protection" to all of the local Italian merchants, even Genco's father, for whom Vito works. Soon after, Clemenza, a neighbor across the alley, throws a package to Vito and asks him to hide it. A short time later, Fanucci comes into the Abbandando grocery and demands that Genco's father hire his nephew. When the distraught Signor Abbandando tells Vito that he must let him go, Vito comforts him and says that he will never forget all of his kindnesses. The next day, Clemenza stops Vito on the street and asks about the package, which contained guns. Impressed when Vito says that he does not concern himself with things that are not his business, Clemenza offers to give Vito's wife a rug that belongs to a friend. Cemenza then takes Vito with him to a luxurious house, where they break in and steal an expensive carpet.
       After leaving Lake Tahoe, Michael travels to Miami, where he goes to the modest suburban home occupied by Roth and his wife, and tells him that Pentangeli was behind the assassination attempt. Agreeing to do business together in Cuba, Roth tells Michael to bring $2,000,000 cash to him in Havana. Michael asks Roth if he minds that Pentangeli must be killed, but Roth dismisses Pentangeli as "small potatoes." Next, Michael travels to Long Island, to his father's former house in Long Beach, now occupied by Pentangeli and his family. He then tells Pentangeli that he knows it was Roth who tried to have him killed and asks him to pretend to make peace with the Rosato brothers so that Roth will be lulled into a sense of security. Sometime later, when Pentangeli and his cohort, Willy Cicci, go to a New York bar to meet with the brothers, Tony Rosato grabs him from behind and, saying “Michael Corleone says hello,” starts to strangle him. Just then, a policeman enters the bar and the Rosatos flee, leaving Pentangeli for dead and wounding Cicci outside. Meanwhile, as Michael travels to Cuba, Kay begins to feel like a prisoner at the estate because the guards, under Tom and Michael’s orders, prevent her from leaving. In Havana, Michael and Roth are among several prominent American corporate executives who are being wooed by the country’s president, who assures them that the country’s rebels will be driven out by the new year. Later, on the way to Roth’s 67th birthday party, Michael sees a mass arrest and is struck by the dedication the rebels show when one man blows up himself and a soldier with a grenade. At the party, Roth, who has a heart condition, tells those gathered that he will leave most of his interests to Michael, then privately asks Michael why the $2,000,000 has not arrived. Back at his hotel room, Michael greets Fredo, who has brought a briefcase filled with the money. After Michael tells Fredo that Roth and his underling, Johnny Ola, are in Havana, Fredo denies having met them. Michael then suggests that they spend the day together. Listening as Fredo almost tearfully asks why they never spent time alone together before, Michael, who thinks that Pentangeli has been killed on Roth’s orders, says that Roth will never see the New Year. That night, which is New Year’s Eve, Fredo acts as host to a number of American VIPs, including Sen. Geary, who now is indebted to the Corleone family because a few weeks before, Tom had covered up the violent death of a prostitute with whom Geary was involved. When Johnny arrives, he and Fredo pretend not to know each other, but when the party goes to a sex show and Fredo casually tells Geary and the others that Johnny had told him about the club, Michael knows that Fredo had betrayed him. Meanwhile, Johnny is strangled in his hotel room. The killer then goes to kill Roth, but because Roth has had a mild stroke, he is being taken to the hospital. There, while one of the nurses leaves to celebrate the New Year with her friends, the killer sneaks into Roth’s room and starts to strangle him, but is interrupted by the nurse and a guard, who kills him before he can finish. At midnight, in the presidential palace, Michael embraces Fredo and tells him he knows that it was he who betrayed him and that he broke his heart. Moments later, the president announces that, because the rebels have advanced, he is resigning and will be leaving the country immediately. As Fredo wanders through the chaos in the streets, Michael calls for him to come with him to a waiting plane, but the frightened Fredo runs away. Days later, Michael meets Tom at a Las Vegas hotel and learns that Kay has had a miscarriage. He tells Tom to find Fredo and tell him that he knows he was misled by Roth but he should come home and not be afraid.
       In 1918, as Vito drives through Little Italy, Fanucci jumps on his car and tells him that he wants him and his friends to “wet my beak” and give him $200 as part of their earnings from stealing expensive dresses. That night, Vito convinces Clemenza and their friend Tessio to give him $50 and promises to make Fanucci accept that. When Vito visits Fanucci at a local café, he offers the $100, saying he needs more time for the rest. Impressed with Vito’s courage, Fanucci agrees, and leaves. Because it is the Festa of San Rocco, Fanucci struts through the crowds and offers money to the church. Unknown to him, Vito has followed him on the rooftops and enters Fanucci’s house. When Fanucci arrives, Vito shoots him at close range, then takes the money from his wallet, disposes of the pieces of the gun in different drain pipes, then joins his wife and three young sons to watch fireworks.
       When Michael returns to his Lake Tahoe estate, he goes to his mother’s cottage to talk with her before his family. Speaking in Italian, he asks if his father ever lost his family. When she says that you never lose your family, he whispers “ tempi cambi ,” times change. At the same time, Willy Cicci, who was only wounded by the Rosato brothers, is testifying before a U.S. Senate committee investigating organized crime, saying that he was a “button man” for Michael when he wanted something done.
       In Little Italy, in 1923, Vito is now known as “Don Vito,” and with his old friend Genco, he has started the Genco Olive Oil Company, which imports oil from Sicily. Vito is so respected and feared within the Italian-American community that when his wife’s widowed friend, Signora Colombo, faces eviction by her landlord, Signor Roberto, the mere knowledge that Vito is her patron, makes the frightened Roberto allow her to keep the dog her son loves and stay in her apartment with a lowered rent.
       When Michael is summoned to testify at the Senate hearings, rather than exercise his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, Michael calmly answers the senator’s questions, saying that he is not a Mafia boss but a legitimate businessman. In a statement, Michael challenges them to produce any evidence of his crimes. A short time later, Michael and Tom learn that Pentangeli survived the attack against him and, thinking that Michael had ordered his death, has been cooperating with the FBI. Michael asks Fredo for information, but Fredo, who knows nothing, lashes out at Michael for relegating his older brother to menial assignments. After Michael says that that is what their father wanted, he tells Fredo that he now means nothing to him and never wants to see him again. After leaving Fredo, Michael tells one of his underlings that he doesn’t want anything to happen to Fredo while his mother is alive. Meanwhile, Pentangeli, who is living in comfort within FBI custody, fears testifying, but his FBI guards assure him that they can protect him. When the hearings resume, Pentangeli, who is set to testify, is stunned when he sees his older brother, who lives in Sicily, enter the chambers with Michael. When questioning begins, instead of corroborating what he had said in sworn statements to the FBI, Pentangeli denies Michael’s criminal activity and says that he merely told the FBI what they wanted to hear. Although the senators suspect intimidation, there is nothing they can do. After the hearings, at their Washington hotel, Kay tells Michael that she is leaving him and taking the children with her. While they are arguing, Michael tells her that he knows that she blames him for the miscarriage but that he will change. She then confesses that it was not a miscarriage but an abortion because the “Sicilian thing” must end and she did not want to bring another of his sons into the world. After slapping her with such force that she falls, Michael screams that she will never take his children from him.
       In 1927, Vito, his wife and their three young children arrive in Corleone. They are welcomed by Vito’s old friend and now business partner in Genco Olive Oil, Don Tommasino. After celebrating with relatives, who admire the prosperous family, Vito accompanies Tommasino to now elderly Don Ciccio’s estate. After introducing himself and kissing Ciccio’s hand, Vito tells him that his father was Antonio Andolini, then rips the don’s belly apart with his knife. As Ciccio screams out and dies, Tommassino is wounded as he and Vito make their escape. Leaving Corleone a short time later, Vito shows baby Michael how to wave goodbye.
       At Mama Corleone’s funeral in Lake Tahoe, a distraught Fredo wants to speak with Michael, but Tom tells him Michael will not enter until Fredo leaves. Connie then goes to speak privately with Michael and tells him that she had hated him for a long time, but now realizes that he was just being strong for the family. Saying that she now wants to take care of him, she asks him if he can forgive Fredo. Michael then goes to Fredo and embraces his sobbing brother, but with his eyes, lets his underling Rocco Lampone know that his feelings have not changed. Sometime later, as Michael and Tom discuss the fact that Roth, who survived a stroke, has been deported from Israel and is flying back to Miami, Michael lashes out at him for not being with him on the things he needs to do. Tom assures him of his loyalty and asks what he can do. Tom soon visits Pentangeli in custody. Assured by Tom that his brother is safely back in Sicily and his own family will be well cared for, Pentangeli, who loves history, lets Tom know that he will die as disgraced Roman senators did, opening their veins in a warm bath. Back in Lake Tahoe, Fredo, who has enjoyed spending time fishing with Anthony is about to go out onto the lake when Connie says that Michael wants Anthony right away. Later, when Fredo and Rocco are out on the lake, Fredo says a “Hail Mary” just before Rocco shoots him. At the same time, Roth arrives at the Miami airport, where he is shot and killed, and the FBI agents discover that Pentangeli has killed himself in the bathtub. As Michael sits alone in his den, he thinks about Pearl Harbor Day, 1941, when he, his brothers and Connie waited for their father to come home for a birthday celebration: Although he is going to college, Michael announces that he has just enlisted in the Marines, angering Sonny and Tom. When their father comes home, everyone leaves the dining room to greet him at the door, except Michael, who remains at the table, alone.

Production Company: The Coppola Company  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp. (Gulf & Western Industries, Inc.)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola (Dir)
  Newton Arnold (Asst dir)
  Tony Brandt (Asst dir, Sicilian unit)
  Henry J. Lange Jr. (2d asst dir)
  Chuck Myers (2d asst dir)
  Mike Kusley (2d asst dir)
  Alan Hopkins (2d asst dir)
  Burt Bluestein (2d asst dir)
Producer: Robert Evans (Exec prod)
  Francis Ford Coppola (Prod)
  Gray Frederickson (Co-prod)
  Fred Roos (Co-prod)
  Mona Skager (Assoc prod)
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola (Scr)
  Mario Puzo (Scr)
Photography: Gordon Willis (Dir of photog)
  Ralph Gerling (Cam op)
  Jim Glennon (1st cam asst)
  Bill Gereghty (Cam asst)
  Bob Edessa (Cam asst)
  Bob Rose (Key grip)
  Johnie Carroll (Grip)
  Pat Campea (Dolly grip)
  George Holmes (Gaffer)
  Carl Gibson (Best boy)
  Larry Howard (Best boy)
  Larry Keys (Elec)
  Steve Pellant (Elec)
  Lloyd Gowdy (Elec)
  Arley Waters (Generator man)
  Bruce McBroom (Stills)
Art Direction: Dean Tavoularis (Prod des)
  Angelo Graham (Art dir)
Film Editor: Peter Zinner (Ed [West Coast])
  Barry Malkin (Ed [East Coast])
  Richard Marks (Ed)
  George Berndt (Asst ed)
  Bobbe Kurtz (Asst ed)
  Lisa Fruchtman (Asst ed)
Set Decoration: George R. Nelson (Set dec)
  Joe Chevalier (Asst set dec, Sicilian unit)
  V. Bud Shelton (Props)
  Doug Madison (Props)
  Nick Caparelli (Props)
  Jerry Graham (Prop master)
  Gary Kieldrup (Asst prop master)
  Matty Azzarone (Leadman)
  John LaSandra (Const coord)
  Claude Powell (Const gang boss)
  Gene Acker (Painter)
  Bob Jepsen (Drapery foreman)
  Gerard Dery (Greensman gang boss)
Costumes: Theadora Van Runkle (Cost des)
  Marie Osborne (Ward)
  Eric Seelig (Ward)
  George Newman (Ward)
  Tommy Welsh (Ward)
  Marilyn Putnam (Ward)
  Nancy McArdle (Ward)
  Sandra Burke (Ward)
  Frances Harrison (Ward)
  Kent James (Ward)
  Cliff Langer (Ward)
  Ray Summers (Key ward)
Music: Nino Rota (Mus comp)
  Carmine Coppola ([Mus] cond/Addl mus comp)
  George Brand (Mus ed)
Sound: Walter Murch (Sd mont & re-rec)
  Howard Beals (Sd eff edd)
  Jim Fritch (Sd eff ed)
  Jim Klinger (Sd eff ed)
  Pat Jackson (Sd mont assoc)
  Mark Berger (Sd mont assoc)
  Chuck Wilborn (Prod rec)
  Nathan Boxer (Prod rec)
  Patrick Mitchell (Boom op)
Special Effects: Wayne Fitzgerald (Title by)
  A. D. Flowers (Spec eff)
  Joe Lombardi (Spec eff)
Make Up: Dick Smith (Makeup artist)
  Charles Schram (Makeup artist)
  Naomi Cavin (Hairstylist)
  Dedee Petty (Hairstylist)
  Edie Lindon (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Michael S. Glick (Prod mgr)
  Valerio DePaolis (Prod supv, Sicilian unit)
  Mario Cotone (Unit mgr, Sicilian unit)
  Ron Colby (New York loc supv)
  Nanette Siegert (Prod secy)
  Michael Fenton (Casting)
  Jane Feinberg (Casting)
  Vic Ramos (Casting)
  Emy DeSica (Casting, Siciian unit)
  Maurizio Lucci (Casting, Siciian unit)
  Carl Skelton (Loc auditor)
  Jack English (Loc coord)
  Deborah Fine (Res)
  Eileen Peterson (Unit pub)
  Randy Carter (Loc asst)
  Mona Houghton (Loc asst)
  Melissa Mathison (Loc asst)
  Sonya Friedman (Subtitling)
  Romano Pianti (Sicilian translation)
  Peter Zinner (Foreign post prod)
  John Franco (Scr supv)
  B. J. Bachman (Scr supv)
  Serena Canevari (Scr supv, Sicilian unit)
  Bruno Perria (Prod asst, Sicilian unit)
  Tammy Newell (Miami coord)
  Ed Guthman (Senate hearings adv)
  American Zoetrope, San Francisco (Prod facilities furnished through)
  Eileen Peterson (Pub)
  Joe Catalfo (First aid man)
  Shirley Deckert (Welfare worker)
  Jim Brubaker (Transportation capt)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Senza mamma (F. Pennino edition) and "Napule ve salute" by Francesco Pennino; "Mr. Wonderful" by Jerry Bock, Larry Holofcener and George Weiss; and "Heart and Soul" by Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael.
Composer: Jerry Bock
  Hoagy Carmichael
  Larry Holofcener
  Frank Loesser
  Francesco Pennino
  George Weiss
Source Text: Based on the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo (New York, 1969).
Authors: Mario Puzo

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Pictures Corp. 9/12/1974 dd/mm/yyyy LP44010
The Coppola Company 9/12/1974 dd/mm/yyyy LP44010

Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Gangster
Subjects (Major): Brothers
  Organized crime
Subjects (Minor): Abortions
  Attempted murder
  Black Hand (Italy and United States)
  Havana (Cuba)
  Tahoe, Lake (CA and NV)
  Las Vegas (NV)
  Miami (FL)
  New York City--Ellis Island
  New York City--Little Italy
  United States. Congress. Senate
  United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  Washington (D.C.)

Note: An early working title for the film was Don Michael . Following the Paramount logo, there are two brief shots: the first is of an empty leather chair; the second shows a kneeling man kissing the hand of "Michael Corleone" (Al Pacino). These brief images refer back to the final shots of The Godfather (1972, see entry above), although in The Godfather the man kissing Michael's hand is Richard Castellano, the actor who portrayed "Clemenza." The opening title card reads: Mario Puzo's The Godfather " with " Part II " added after a brief pause. Although some contemporary sources, including the film's pressbook and studio publicity, variously include a comma, colon or a dash before "Part II," there is no punctuation in the onscreen credits.
       After the title card, the following written prologue appears: "The godfather was born Vito Andolini, in the town of Corleone in Sicily. In 1901 his father was murdered for an insult to the local Mafia chieftain. His older brother Paolo swore revenge and disappeared into the hills, leaving Vito, the only male heir, to stand with his mother at the funeral." The action of the prologue concludes with a shot of young Vito (Oreste Baldini) in confinement on Ellis Island, onto which the following words are superimposed: "Vito Corleone Ellis Island 1901."
       The action then shifts to a First Communion ceremony in Lake Tahoe, over which the following statement is superimposed: "His grandson Anthony Vito Corleone Lake Tahoe, Nevada 1958." The film's credits commence at the end of the picture. Actor James Caan, who appears briefly in the film's flashback dinner table scene set on Pearl Harbor Day, reprised his role as "Sonny Corleone" but was not credited in the onscreen cast list. Instead, he is thanked in the following written statement that appears after the song credits and before the names of the featured players: "The producers would like to thank James Caan for his special participation in this film." Following the 1901 prologue, the picture's narrative is divided between the early 20th century story of Don Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), as he rises in power in New York's Little Italy, and the period 1958 through the early 1960s, after Don Vito's death, when his son Michael solidifies his position as "Godfather" to the Corleone crime family.
       The screen credits state that The Godfather Part II was based on Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather , which also was the basis for the 1972 film. However, even though director-screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola and Puzo shared an Academy Award and WGA Award for Screenplay based on material from another medium, the screen story for The Godfather Part II was, essentially, based only on characters from Puzo's novel. The modern story for The Godfather Part II picks up about three years after the novel [and the first film] ends. Also, the Sicilian and early New York sequences, which take up significant screen time in The Godfather Part II , were barely mentioned in the novel.
       As of 2009, two novels have been published which were sequels to Puzo's novel, both written by Mark Winegardner with the approval of Puzo's estate. The first, published in 2004, was The Godfather Returns , and the second, published in 2006 was The Godfather's Revenge. Neither novel is a sequel to the 1974 film, and instead follow the main characters' stories in different directions. In 1984, Puzo, who died in 1999, wrote The Sicilian , another novel in which the character Michael is featured, but in that book, which was set in Sicily circa 1950, Michael is not the major character.
       Although all of the main characters of The Godfather Part II were fictional, many sources have noted the fact that "Hyman Roth" (Lee Strasberg) was inspired by real-life Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky (1902--1983), who lived in Cuba for many years after being deported from the U.S. Lansky, known for his remarkable longevity among crime bosses, owned several Havana casinos from the mid-1940s until the revolution that ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power. Batista was not a named character within The Godfather Part II , but it is inferred within the story that the "Cuban president," a role played by New York radio announcer Tito Alba, was a surrogate for the dictator. As depicted in the film, Batista fled Cuba on 1 Jan 1959, when revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro entered Havana.
       Changes in setting from the modern to the historical segments of the story continue throughout the film, with sequences of varied length, some of which start and stop abruptly. The final historical sequence takes place in 1927, after Vito has taken revenge against against "Don Ciccio." De Niro's interpretation of Vito in the historical segments harkens to Brando's performance as the older Vito in The Godfather . For example, in The Godfather Part II , De Niro frequently emulates Brando's gestures and facial expressions and speaks in a slightly softer variation of Brando's more raspy-voiced mature Vito.
       Several lines of dialogue from The Godfather were also used in the historical portions of the second film, most importantly "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse." Within the New York and Sicilian scenes, the dialogue is spoken primarily in the Sicilian dialect of Italian, with English-language subtitles superimposed over the action. Subtitles are also used for a conversation in Italian that Michael and his mother have after he returns to Lake Tahoe from Cuba.
       At the end of the film, a flashback to Pearl Harbor Day, 7 Dec 1941 is presented. In the scene, which includes the grown Corleone sons, daughter Connie, her future husband, "Carlo Rizzo" (Gianni Russo) and the older Tessio (Abe Vigoda), the family waits for Vito to come home for his birthday celebration. At the end of the scene, Michael is sitting alone at the dinner table as the rest of the family goes off-camera to welcome home Vito. The final shot of the film shows an introspective Michael sitting alone on a bench at his Lake Tahoe estate.
       The film's pressbook states that pre-production on The Godfather Part II began in spring 1971, but that appears to be an error. All other contemporary sources, including a 2 Jan 1975 LAT feature article on the making of the film, indicate that pre-production did not begin until spring 1972, after the premiere and immediate box office success of The Godfather [which earned a then record-breaking $133,000,000 at the North American box office] ensured its enormous profitability. Coppola was quoted in the LAT article as stating that Charles Bluhdorn, then head of Paramount Pictures' parent company, Gulf & Western Industries, let him set his price, adding "I could do anything I wanted with the sequel."
       According to a 13 Oct 1974 LAT interview with Coppola, the director initially did not like the stigma attached to the word "sequel." When he agreed to work on the second film, he preferred to think of it as a completely separate work stating "We're not exploiting The Godfather , we're amplifying it. That's the only way I would agree to do this picture--if it would be a true sequel, a true continuation of the story."
       Various contemporary and modern sources reported that actors and crew who earned relatively low salaries for their work on The Godfather , earned considerably more for the sequel. For example, as reported in articles in DV and Var on 15 Aug 1973, Coppola's combined fees for producing, directing and co-writing The Godfather Part II was $500,000, plus "a piece of the net and a piece of gross receipts." The same article stated that Coppola's price for the first film was $150,000 plus 6.5% of net profits, which resulted in a $5,000,000 bonus. A DV article on 18 Dec 1974 reported that Coppola's revenue share of The Godfather Part II was expected to be "around 13% of the overall distributor's gross."
       According to the article, Pacino earned $25,000 for The Godfather , but $500,000 for the sequel. The 18 Dec 1974 DV article stated that Pacino also would receive "between five and 10% of the gross after breakeven [$25,000,000 in rentals]," and that Duvall and Puzo also had a small, unknown percentage of the grosses after the breakeven point. An item in a "Rambling Reporter" column in HR on 20 Nov 1972 suggested that Pacino's deal with Paramount to recreate the role of Michael for The Godfather Part II hinged upon the studio's agreement to distribute his 1973 film Serpico (see below), but that appears unlikely. In a brief 28 Jun 1999 Newsweek article, Caan stated that he, Pacino and Robert Duvall earned $35,000 each for The Godfather . When Caan was asked to appear in the brief Pearl Harbor Day flashback scene, he asked for, and quickly received, $35,000.
       According to a DV news item on 28 Nov 1972, actor Marlon Brando, who portrayed "Don Vito Corleone" in The Godfather "demanded $500,000 plus 10 percent of the gross" to appear in the same flashback scene. Contemporary articles, as well as modern sources, have offered several theories about why Brando did not come to terms with Paramount for the brief appearance. Sources variously suggested that it was because of Brando's large salary demands, his dislike of Frank Yablans, then head of Paramount Studios, the studio's anger over Brando's refusal to accept his Oscar for The Godfather , or, as Coppola suggested in the 13 Oct 1974 LAT interview, "[Brando] just doesn't like to work."
       News items also reported that Castellano had been negotiating to reprise his role as Clemenza, but Paramount would not agree to his salary. According to Coppola's 13 Oct 1974 LAT interview, among other contemporary sources, Castellano wanted to portray the young Clemenza as well as the older man and pressured to write some of his own dialogue and back story. In the released film, the character of Clemenza only appears in the early New York flashback sequences, where he is played by B. [Bruno] Kirby, Jr. In the modern part of the story, a surrogate character, "Frankie Pentangeli" (Michael V. Gazzo), briefly refers to Clemenza as having died. The Godfather Part II was the most prominent film role of Gazzo, an actor and playwright who wrote A Hatful of Rain and co-wrote the adapted screenplay for the 1957 film of the same name (see above).
       A 13 Mar 1974 "New York Sound Track" column in Var reported that actor Robbie Benson had been cast to portray "Anthony Corleone" at age eighteen, but Benson was not in the released film, and within the story, the character of Anthony is never seen as a teenager. Actress Julie Gregg, who played "Sandra Corleone," Sonny's wife in The Godfather , was also cast in the film, according to HR production charts and various news items, but neither she nor the character appeared in the released film. Gregg did appear in a deleted scene that was included as added content within boxed-set DVD releases of the three Godfather films. In the deleted scene, which takes place in Michael's study during the Lake Tahoe party sequence, Sandra brings her grown daughter to Michael to ask for permission to marry. Modern sources have stated that early drafts of the script included a subplot about Sandra having an affair with her brother-in-law, "Tom Hagen" (Duvall). While there is an oblique reference to this in a scene late in The Godfather Part II in which Michael questions Tom's loyalty, the subplot is undeveloped in the released film. Other actors listed on HR production charts whose appearances in the released film have not been confirmed are Paul Tulley and Michael Higgins.
       Lee Strasberg (1901--1982), head of New York's famed Actors Studio, known for its advancement of the Konstantin Stanislavski acting approach called "the Method," made his motion picture debut in The Godfather Part II . In the 2 Jan 1975 LAT article, among other sources, Coppola related that he had sought director and former actor Elia Kazan for the Lansky role, but Kazan turned him down and suggested Strasberg. Reportedly Kazan, as well as Brando and Pacino, both former students and friends of Strasberg, convinced him to accept the role. Strasberg went on to act in several additional films before his death.
       Although some modern sources have reported that actor Dominic Chianese, who portrayed "Johnny Ola," made his motion picture debut in The Godfather Part II , Chianese previously had appeared in the 1972 release Fuzz (see above). Producer-director Roger Corman, for whom Coppola worked early in his career, made a brief appearance in The Godfather Part II as a U.S. senator. Although Corman had appeared in a few previous films, this was his first onscreen appearance for more than a dozen years.
       Robert De Niro, whose role as the young Don Vito catapulted him to international stardom, originally had been signed to appear in The Godfather as Carlo Rizzi, according to Coppola's 13 Oct 1974 LAT interview. However, when a larger role in the 1971 film The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (see entry above) opened up, Coppola released him from his contract. The role De Niro took over in The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight had been vacated by Pacino, when Pacino was selected to portray Michael in The Godfather .
       In addition to Pacino, Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale and Coppola's sister, Talia Shire, all reprised their roles from The Godfather . Morgana King as "Mama Corleone" also appeared in both films, as did many of the minor characters, among them Joe Spinelli as "Willy Cicci." Along with Caan, Vigoda as the older "Tessio" and Russo as Carlo, reprised their characters only for the Pearl Harbor Day dinner scene. Roman Catholic priest Fr. Joseph Medeglia, who portrayed the priest in the Baptism sequence in The Godfather , also portrayed the priest giving First Communion in The Godfather Part II . The character name for actor Troy Donahue, who has a small role in the film as Connie's boyfriend, was "Merle Johnson," Donahue's real name.
       Many of the production crew who worked of The Godfather also worked on The Godfather Part II , with the major exception of Al Ruddy, whose producing duties were taken over by Coppola in the second film. Among other key members of the creative team who worked on both films were: Puzo, who co-wrote the screenplay with Coppola, Gordon Willis, who was the director of photography, Dean Tavoularis, who was the production designer, Theodora Van Runkle, who designed the costumes, and composers Ninto Rota and Coppola's father, Carmine Coppola, who wrote additional music for The Godfather Part II , as well as conducted the score.
       As noted in news items, HR production charts and the film's pressbook, principal photography on the film began on 1 Oct 1973 in Lake Tahoe, CA and NV. The lakeside Corleone compound depicted in the film was "Fleur du Lac," built in 1934 for industrialist Henry T. Kaiser and restored and augmented by the production crew. The First Communion sequence was filmed at a Lake Tahoe church. The company was then sent to Las Vegas, where they filmed scenes in the Tropicana Hotel [although the only Las Vegas hotel identified within the released film was The Desert Inn]. According to a 9 Nov 1973 HR news item, confirmed in the film's pressbook, "Klingman," the Las Vegas casino owner in the picture, was portrayed by Alan Lee, part-owner of the Tropicana.
       Another principal location was Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, where filming began on 2 Jan 1974, according to the pressbook. The Caribbean city stood in for Havana, Cuba, and additionally was used for some of the Miami settings, though Miami itself briefly was used as a location, as noted in the onscreen credits. The Presidential Palace in Santo Domingo was the site of the New Year's Eve party and other scenes. Additional locations used in the city included the Biblioteca Nacional and the Hotel El Embajar.
       Various contemporary articles reported that bad weather conditions, including significant rain, caused problems during the Santa Domingo shooting. Additional delays, according to the 13 Oct 1974 LAT article and other sources, occurred when Pacino was felled by illness for three weeks, during which most shooting was halted. A modern book about the three Godfather films stated that Pacino collapsed on set while in Santo Domingo and attempted to return the next day but was ordered by his doctors to stop working for almost three weeks.
       Exteriors for the Little Italy sequences, set in 1917--1918, 1923 and 1927, were shot in New York City. According to the pressbook, Tavoularis selected East 6th Street, between Avenues A and B for a significant reconstruction to make the modern streets appear as they were in the first part of the Twentieth Century. The street was used as the setting of key scenes in the historical portions of the story, including the Festa of San Rocco, during which Vito kills Fanucci (Gaston Moschin), then blends in with the crowds before joining his wife and children to watch the fireworks and celebration.
       The pressbook and other sources reported that because filming at New York's Ellis Island, where immigrants were processed prior to entry into the U.S., proved impossible [the historic site was yet to be restored], the research and art direction team suggested Trieste, in Northern Italy. The city's dockside fish market, Il Grande Mercato Ittico all'Ingrosso , was transformed into Ellis Island for the 1901 sequence in which young Vita arrives in America.
       According to the pressbook, for the lengthy Sicilian sequences, the company was based in Taormina, but shooting of the "Corleone" scenes took place in Sparagogna, a small town situated between the cities of Catania and Enna. The train station sequence, in which the now prosperous Vito returns with his wife and children to his hometown, was shot in the Sparagogna train station after arrangements were made with the Ferrovie dello Stato, the Italian state railroad, to close off a portion of the tracks between Catania and Palermo. Modern sources relate that parts of the company had to return to Sicily more than once to enable them to shoot the film's opening sequence, which required the weather to be dry and the sun to shine brightly.
       Prior to filming the Sicilian and Little Italy sequences, according to the pressbook, De Niro and other principals spent weeks perfecting their Italian (spoken in the Sicilian dialect) with a coach. According to many contemporary articles about the film Raging Bull , it was during the lengthy Sicilian shoot that De Niro read boxer Jake La Motta's autobiography. Thinking that it would make an engrossing movie, he soon brought the book to the attention of director Martin Scorsese, with whom he had worked on Mean Streets (see above, 1973), and suggested that he direct it.
       Some of the film's interiors were shot on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles. According to the pressbook, studio settings included the old Long Beach, NY Corleone family home, Vito's apartment in Little Italy and the U.S. Senate Caucus room. Other Southern California locations included the Sheraton West Hotel on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, which was utilized for the Washington, D.C. hotel in the film; the Chino Correctional Facility, which stood in for the Army post in which Pentangeli is held by the FBI. The film's pressbook also mentioned that location shooting took place at a private house in Bradbury, CA, which was supposed to be the home of Kay's parents, but that scene did not appear in the released film.
       According to a 19 Jun 1974 Var article, because of the number of locations used for the film, as well as the problems of bad weather and illnesses, the budget of the production, originally set at just over $6,000,000, was increased to $8,3000,000, but eventually ballooned to a final cost of over $11,000,000 [the Var review reported the final budget as "$15,000,000-plus."]. A New York article on 13 Nov 1974 and a Time article on 16 Dec 1974 outlined some of the editing issues that faced The Godfather Part II during post-production. According to the New York article, as late as 27 Oct 1974, Coppola's final cut was far from completion, even though the picture was scheduled to have its premiere in Dec. The 13 Nov 1974 Time article reported that, on 27 Nov 1974, when a sneak preview was held in San Diego, CA [some modern sources state that the preview was held in San Francisco], Coppola, who attended with his wife, Cazale, the film editors and some close friends, realized that the lengthy film's final hour was losing the audience's interest.
       During discussions at a local restaurant following the screening, decisions were made to cut some scenes but lengthen others. The group immediately flew back to San Francisco, where the picture was being edited at Coppola's American Zoetrope facilities, and furiously re-cut the final portion of the film to make it ready for the 12 Dec 1974 New York City premiere. At various times, according to the Time and 5 Jan 1975 LAT articles, an intermission was discussed, possibly to take place after the Festa of San Rocco, but Coppola was adamant that the picture's 200 minute final length not be interrupted.
       Some scenes that were deleted from release prints of The Godfather Part II have been included as added content on DVD boxed sets of The Godfather trilogy. Most of the scenes were transitional or background to the historical sections. For example, in one deleted sequence, after Vito first sees Fanucci, but before he is he let go by "Signor Abbandando" (Peter LaCorte), Vito is delivering groceries and sees three young thugs fight Fanucci and slit his throat. Vito discusses what he has seen with "Genco Abbandando" (Frank Sivero), saying that the boys should have finished the job. In another scene, young Clemenza and young Tessio take Vito to a gunmaker named "Antonio Coppola,", whose son, "Carmine Coppola" plays the flute for them. As noted in modern sources, this scene was a tribute to director Coppola's own father. In another New York scene, Clemenza introduces Vito to a young Jewish tough named Hyman. To make his long, ethnic name easier to pronounce, Vito dubs him "Hyman Roth" after the boy says that he admires gangster Arnold Rothstein. Although the young Roth does not appear in the release film, the older character tells Michael about his admiration for Rothstein, the man who "fixed the 1919 World Series."
       LAT , HR and DV articles on 10 Oct 1974 reported that 340 North American exhibitors had remitted an unprecedented $26,000,000 as upfront money to the studio, based on high expected revenues for The Godfather Part II . Some pre-release articles, such as the 13 Nov 1974 New York feature, reported that there was considerable concern that the two contrasting storylines, one set in the late 1950s to early 1960s and the other in the first part of the twentieth century, would not work together. According to a quotation from Coppola in the article, "My friend George Lucas [director of American Graffiti ] told me, 'Francis, you have two movies. Throw one away. It doesn't work.'"
       Reviews for the picture, while not as universally positive as those for its predecessor, were highly praising, especially of the two storylines. In his review of the picture in LAT , critic Charles Champlin wrote "In its way, 'Godfather II' is more daring that the original...the risks were worth taking." The Var reviewer wrote "The alternating period stories advance smoothly" and the HR critics called the picture "...a grand historical epic studying the nature of power in the United States' heritage." Most reviews singled out the excellence of the acting, especially the performances of De Niro, Pacino and Duvall.
       The most prominent discordant note among critics was expressed by Vincent Canby of NYT , who wrote "The only remarkable the insistent manner in which it recalls how much better the original film was." As reported in a 25 Dec 1974 Var article, NYT 's Canby had famously disliked both The Godfather and The Godfather Part II , and the paper itself had carried negative editorials about the film on 23 Dec 1974, not long after the film's New York opening.
       A 12 Mar 1975 DV news item reported that Coppola had prepared a version of the film that had been shortened by eighteen minutes. Although the article stated that the shortened version was being tested in three domestic markets for potential "saturation playoff around the country," no additional information has been located to confirm that a shortened version ever was theatrically released. While not earning as much as The Godfather , the sequel did bring in over $57,000,000 at the North American box office and won more Academy Awards than the first film.
       In addition to winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, The Godfather Part II received five additional Academy Awards: Director; Actor in a Supporting Role (De Niro); Art Direction, Music (Original Dramatic Score)and Writing (Screenplay Adapted from Other Material). By receiving three Oscars in the same year, as producer, director and co-screenwriter, Coppola tied the record that was set by composer Marvin Hamlisch for his work on the 1973 release The Sting (see entry below).
       Coppola also became only the second director in history to have two films nominated for Best Picture within the same year, the other film being The Conversation (see entry above). The Godfather Part II also was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Actor (Pacino); Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael V. Gazzo and Strasberg); Actress in a Supporting Role (Shire) and Costume design. The picture received several Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, and Coppola received the DGA Award for Best Director and shared the WGA Award for Adapted screenplay with Puzo.
       Like its predecessor, The Godfather Part II contained several iconic lines of dialogue, among them: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer;" "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart;" and Michael's often paraphrased quote: "I don't want anything to happen to him [Fredo] while my mother's alive." According to a modern book on the Godfather films, the crayon drawing from "Anthony," which Michael is holding just before the assassination attempt in his bedroom, was actually drawn for Coppola by his son Gio (1963--1986). Modern sources also add that The Godfather Part II was the last American film released on Technicolor dye transfer prints, a practice that had gone out of favor due to the expense of the process.
       The Godfather Part II was ranked 32nd on AFI's 2007 100 Years…100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, the same position it held on AFI's 1997 list. For additional information and background on The Godfather , The Godfather Part III and the televised Godfather Saga , please consult the entry above for The Godfather

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   23 Dec 1974   p. 4745.
Daily Variety   28 Nov 1972.   
Daily Variety   15 Aug 1973.   
Daily Variety   2 Nov 1973.   
Daily Variety   10 Oct 1974   p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety   12 Dec 1974.   
Daily Variety   18 Dec 1974   p. 3.
Daily Variety   12 Mar 1975.   
Esquire   Mar 1975   pp. 31-32.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Nov 1972.   
Hollywood Reporter   1 Oct 1973.   
Hollywood Reporter   3 Oct 1973.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Oct 1973   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Nov 1973.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jun 1974   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Oct 1974   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Dec 1974   p. 3, 14.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner   6 Aug 1972.   
Los Angeles Herald Examiner   18 Dec 1974.   
Los Angeles Times   10 Oct 1974.   
Los Angeles Times   13 Oct 1974   Calendar, p. 1, 40.
Los Angeles Times   17 Dec 1974   Section IV, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   2 Jan 1975   Section IV, pp. 12-13.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   25 Dec 1974   p. 58.
New Republic   18 Jan 1975   p. 22.
New York   13 Nov 1974.   
New York Times   13 Dec 1974   p. 58.
New York Times   22 Dec 1974   Section II, p. 1, 19.
New York Times   25 Dec 1974.   
New Yorker   23 Dec 1974   pp. 63-66.
Newsweek   28 Jun 1999   p. 63.
Time   16 Dec 1974   pp. 70-73.
Variety   13 Mar 1971.   
Variety   15 Aug 1973.   
Variety   19 Jun 1974.   
Variety   11 Dec 1974   p. 16.
Village Voice   23 Dec 1974   pp. 88-89.
WSJ   23 Dec 1974.   

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