The Reckoner!

The Godfather or The Godfather Part II? Either way, you're taking sides against the family!

Whenever anyone unilaterally says that 'sequels suck', they have roughly four seconds to add 'except for The Godfather Part II' to the point they're making before somebody else makes it for them.  And nobody likes that moment, where Mr. Movie decides to show up to correct everybody.

Yes, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.  Both great, great movies.  They're like two siblings who went out and became incredible successes in the world, but secretly believe that the other sibiling is doing better.  Almost everybody loves them both.  But almost everyone also has their favorite of the two, and nobody seems able to settle which is better.  Let's settle this, once and for all!

Let's go to the tape:

  • The Godfather

    One war hero's descent into having his pinky kissed by large, strange Italian men.  Gave everyone on a bad date the dream of going to the bathroom, finding a gun behind the toilet, and shooting their dinner companions.  Also gave everyone a lifelong fear of oranges, cannolis, elevators, and tollbooths.  Taught us how to make spaghetti sauce like an Italian.
  • The Godfather Part II

    The story of an olive oil magnate who'll do anything to make his business a success.  Taught us the best way to really stick it to a US Senator, and that Lake Tahoe is pretty.  Also made testifying before Congress look like a lot of fun, but made fishing in Lake Tahoe look like less fun.  Never asked who gave the order.  It had nothing to do with business.

OK, Reckonauts.  Settle this one for me!  Which is better, for all time!

Reckoning Results!
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
Sonny's ride on the LBX!
Fredo's fun fishing trip!
Previous Reckoning!
Nineties Television Block Programming Throwdown: TGIF vs Snick
Next Reckoning!
Tastykake vs. Hostess

Reckoning Comments!

Both movies are great, obviously.  But I think I like the original better than the sequel.  The theme of the original is "we may be done with fate, but fate is never done with us."  The theme of the sequel is basically: "It's okay to be a mobster and leader of organized crime, as long as you're really charismatic and not a sourpuss about it."

That scene where young Vito stalks Fanucci across the rooftops of the Lower East Side, though?  That's the best in the series, bar none.

Pacino is amazing in the sequel, but the ensemble from the first is quite simply one of, if not, the greatest ensembles ever put together.  

An interesting article from a few years ago posited that it'd be altogether impossible to put an ensemble like that together now because of the dearth of young actors of that caliber.  

As incredible as the rest of the cast is, do any of them command the screen -- even in the scenes he's not in -- like Brando?


And if that weren't enough, there's this: "Leave the gun; take the cannoli."

The Reckoner!