ACF#22: Godfather Part II

 

Today, John Presnall and I complete our discussion of The Godfather. We look at how Part II reverses the structure of the original–we move from a young Michael and adult Vito to the reverse. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola thus complete the portrayals of the two generations. Then we also discuss the all-American story of the immigrant Corleone family, of making it in New York, moving out West, and going international in Cuba. The Corleones rehearse American history and this changes the non-American Sicilian principle of “True Friendship” Vito tries to adapt to the New World.

Next week, we’ll be publishing our discussion of The Godfather: Part III, the necessary tragic conclusion of the trilogy, and also the confrontation of Old World and New World within the Corleone family and enterprise. It’s a great movie, to be sure, and you’re in for a treat, but it is a movie apart, with no structural relation to the previous two. More on that next week.

Of course, I have also interviewed Prof. Paul Rahe for the Middlebrow series of the podcast, on The Godfather, and he brings the historian’s and student of political philosophy’s perspective to the ancient politics of the Corleones and the modern politics of America.

And in our Critic series, after the first interview with the counter-cultural conservative critic Armond White, which was very well received, I’m happy to say, we will follow up early next week with another interview with Armond White! We will discuss his Better Than list, a tradition of over a dozen years now, showcasing movies that deserve more attention than the favorites of the strangely liberal cultural press.

As always, please share our podcast, rate and review it on iTunes, and join the conversation here on Ricochet!

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Curt North (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    There is a cut of Parts 1 and 2, where it has all been rearranged chronologically. Have you seen that? I thought it worked fairly well that way.

    Holy cow how long is THAT one? To make it watchable they’d have to drop a LOT of footage, and these are both masterpieces (IMHO), can’t imagine a single minute missing from either movie.

    I guess he means it’s just all done in fictional chronological order, not that anything was taken out.

    I think it’s not a great idea–there’s a lot to be said for all the structures of parallels & inversions we discuss in the podcasts.

    But I agree with Judge, it would work just fine as a story.

    The artifice is supposed to be both didactic & emotionally impressive, not to make up for a weak story…

    • #31
  2. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Titus Techera (View Comment):
    Yeah, it’s a question. You could start asking it by noticing that you have to conflicting motives in wanting the simple life & wanting not to take orders from anyone.

    It’s not the quite the simple life I was referring to. More like the honest life guided by reason and law. Or the American life of law and self determination. And it’s not about giving or taking orders; it’s about controlling your own destiny. I think Vito saw early on that that really was just a dream. The reality is the same as it ever was even if the procedures are a little different. One is not safe simply to live for himself unless he grabs the puppet strings. Benevolent dictator; philosopher king; this time communism will work because we have the right people in charge; this line of thinking is evergreen. To the extent these unicorns ever exist in reality it always ends in violence and ruin.

    • #32
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Curt North (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    There is a cut of Parts 1 and 2, where it has all been rearranged chronologically. Have you seen that? I thought it worked fairly well that way.

    Holy cow how long is THAT one? To make it watchable they’d have to drop a LOT of footage, and these are both masterpieces (IMHO), can’t imagine a single minute missing from either movie.

    There isn’t, because they didn’t drop a single frame.  If I remember, it was done for television.  A two-night, mini-series event.

    • #33
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