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The Godfather (1972) vs The Godfather Part II (1974) – Face Off

It is one of the most common debates among fans of cinema: which film is better — THE GODFATHER or THE GODFATHER PART II. Perhaps “better” is the wrong word since both films are rightly considered masterpieces. But which do you prefer? With the original celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it’s a difficult question made even more challenging as there are no wrong answers. As similar as these classics are, there are myriad differences. The streamlined story of The Godfather takes a relatively simple crime saga and elevates it to operatic heights, telling a tale of family, greed, honor, and vengeance. Its sequel, The Godfather Part II, is a decades-spanning epic, hitting all those aforementioned topics along with adding political intrigue and new insight into some of the previous picture’s most important characters.

Both films boast excellent casts led by Al Pacino, flawless production design, masterful directing from Francis Ford Coppola, haunting music, and stunning acts of violence and rage. Each are critically-acclaimed Best Picture winners and can be counted among the most influential films in history. And while it’s easy to say “I love them both” and move on, that’s not what we’re going to do today. This is Face-Off, and the battle of the Corleones will be fierce and bloody, as they’re both landmarks of the gangster genre. Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. So pour yourself a glass of Cabernet, grab a cannoli or two, and dim the lights, because only one film will make it out of here alive. You know what it’s time for… FACE OFF!

This episode of Face Off is written by Eric Walkuski, narrated by Shawn Knippelberg, and edited by Lance Vlcek. Let us in the comments which mob epic is your favorite — the OG The Godfather or its expansive sequel The Godfather Part II?

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