Best Picture Winners Part 47 (of 89): The Godfather Part II

Title: The Godfather II
Year: 1974
Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
Runtime: 3 hr 22 mins

What It Is: The follow up to the legendary film based on Mario Puzo’s novel. We have Michael Corleone now full ingrained at the top of the family. We watched previously as he ascended this throne now we get to know how his father created an empire built on life and death. As nothing but an immigrant moving here to the United States, we are gifted a legendary performance from Robert De Niro who would go on to win Best Supporting Actor. Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson were both robbed by Art Carney who surprised everyone to win Best Actor for Harry and Tonto.

Memorable Quote: Michael Corleone: I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!

Competition: Chinatown is Roman Polanski’s best film but also one of my favorite films of all-time and easily a classic. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway are great and if not for Coppola’s herculean direction on Godfather Part II this easily could have gone Polanski’s way. With The Conversation Francis Ford Coppola pretty much owns the 1970’s. Not only did he win for Godfather II but he directs this Gene Hackman gem. Tense, taut and filled with great performances. Who knew you could make sound editing so interesting. Another Broadway play turned into a film with Lenny. Bob Fosse, a legend of the Hollywood musical directs the heck out of this. The biopic into the look of comedian Lenny Bruce. Featuring an iconic turn by Dustin Hoffman holding the whole thing together. Lastly, The Towering Inferno is the worst of these films and even it is still really good. Faye Dunaway strikes again this particular year! Not only is she great in Chinatown but in this as well. It features perhaps the only cast ever pitting Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and William Holden all in the same place with strangely, Fred Astaire. There were a lot of great films that I think didn’t get enough love including Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein two great comedies. From a dramatic perspective, I think Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and A Woman Under the Influence deserve more love.

Next up we have a film that accomplished something not done since the 1930’s. Look out for that in our next installment of Best Picture Quest, and watch as another film joins the foray.

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