Robert De Niro as young Vito Corleone stands on a street in Little Italy in a scene from the Godfather Part II

Robert De Niro as young Vito Corleone in a scene from The Godfather Part II

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Why I Love The Godfather: Part II

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Summer is upon us, and it’s my favorite of the seasons. The warmth, the longer days, the promise of football in the fall, and family gatherings with lots of storytelling. And there is no greater family saga than the story of the Corleones. Through the intrigue, power struggle, and drama of this classic mafia organization emerges a simple story of a family and the struggles to keep it together.

Al Pacino sits in a chair as Don Michael Corleone

Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone

Photo credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

One of the beautiful ways the director, Francis Ford Coppola, depicted the change of time in his masterpiece, The Godfather Part II, was by altering the colors of each time period. When he told the story of Vito Corleone, he shot the scenes of the 1920s in a darker amber light, similar to the light of an old filament bulb. And when the story transitioned back to the story of his son, Michael, the 1950s is a world of washed-out Technicolor. With a story this complex and a timeline that disrupts traditional narrative structure, the color changes are a masterful way of organizing the chapters and pages of this classic drama. It is a must for a summer movie night.

Actor Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo exits a car in a scene from The Offer.

Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo in The Offer on Paramount+

Photo credit: Miller Mobley/Paramount+

And if you’re as much of a Godfather fan as I am, check out The Offer on Paramount+ to learn more about the making of the epic first film in the trilogy.

— Ed Mann