This brilliant companion piece to the original The Godfather continues the saga of two generations of successive power within the Corleone family. Coppola tells two stories in Part II: the roots and rise of a young Don Vito, played with uncanny ability by Robert De Niro, and the ascension of Michael (Al Pacino) as the new Don. Reassembling many of the talents who helped make The Godfather, Coppola has produced a movie of staggering magnitude and vision, and undeniably the best sequel ever made. Robert De Niro won an Oscar®; the film received six Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1974.
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Al PacinoActorAlfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi) and Sal Pacino. They divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' home in the South Bronx. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies. Bored and unmotivated in school, he found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting onstage, he went through a period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to succeed to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many 1970s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, Pacino finally attained success off-Broadway with Israel Horovitz's "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie Award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?" His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a drug addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of other actors either wanted it or were mentioned, but director Francis Ford Coppola wanted Pacino for the role. Coppola was successful but Pacino was reportedly in constant fear of being fired during the very difficult shoot. The film was a monster hit that earned Pacino his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield (1977), but regained his stride with And Justice for All (1979), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Unfortunately, this would signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced flops like Cruising (1980) and Author! Author! (1982). Pacino took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult film Scarface (1983), but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution (1985) endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino fell ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script further derailed the project. The Revolutionary War-themed film, considered among the worst films ever made, resulted in awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino did much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic (1990), but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking policeman. This marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, Pacino made The Godfather: Part III (1990) and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful adaptation Dick Tracy (1990). This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny (1991). In 1992, he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992). A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way (1993) proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro. He directed the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Looking for Richard (1996). During this period, City Hall (1996), Donnie Brasco (1997) and The Devil's Advocate (1997) all came out. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave commanding performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999). In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including Ocean's Thirteen (2007), but his choice in television roles (the vicious, closeted Roy Cohn in the HBO miniseries Angels in America (2003) and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack (2010)) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Never wed, Pacino has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a set of twins with former longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes Jill Clayburgh, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Carole Mallory, Debra Winger, Tuesday Weld, Marthe Keller, Carmen Cervera, Kathleen Quinlan, Lyndall Hobbs, Penelope Ann Miller, and a two-decade intermittent relationship with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. He currently lives with Argentinian actress Lucila Solá, who is 36 years his junior.More
Robert De NiroActorOne of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, English, Dutch, German, and French. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop. De Niro first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), but he gained his reputation as a volatile actor in Mean Streets (1973), which was his first film with director Martin Scorsese. He received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and received Academy Award nominations for best actor in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978) and Cape Fear (1991). He received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980). De Niro has earned four Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his work in New York, New York (1977), opposite Liza Minnelli, Midnight Run (1988), Analyze This (1999) and Meet the Parents (2000). Other notable performances include Brazil (1985), The Untouchables (1987), Backdraft (1991), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), Heat (1995), Casino (1995) and Jackie Brown (1997). At the same time, he also directed and starred in such films as A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006). De Niro has also received the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2010.More
Robert DuvallActorVeteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a two-year hitch in the army after graduating in 1953. He began attending The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre In New York City on the G.I. Bill in 1955, studying under Sanford Meisner along with Dustin Hoffman, with whom Duvall shared an apartment. Both were close to another struggling young actor named Gene Hackman. Meisner cast Duvall in the play "The Midnight Caller" by Horton Foote, a link that would prove critical to his career, as it was Foote who recommended Duvall to play the mentally disabled "Boo Radley" in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). This was his first "major" role since his 1956 motion picture debut as an MP in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), starring Paul Newman. Duvall began making a name for himself as a stage actor in New York, winning an Obie Award in 1965 playing incest-minded longshoreman "Eddie Carbone" in the off-Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge", a production for which his old roommate Hoffman was assistant director. He found steady work in episodic TV and appeared as a modestly billed character actor in films, such as Arthur Penn's The Chase (1966) with Marlon Brando and in Robert Altman's Countdown (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (1969), in both of which he co-starred with James Caan. He was also memorable as the heavy who is shot by John Wayne at the climax of True Grit (1969) and was the first "Maj. Frank Burns", creating the character in Altman's Korean War comedy MASH (1970). He also appeared as the eponymous lead in George Lucas' directorial debut, THX 1138 (1971). It was Francis Ford Coppola, casting The Godfather (1972), who reunited Duvall with Brando and Caan and provided him with his career breakthrough as mob lawyer "Tom Hagen". He received the first of his six Academy Award nominations for the role. Thereafter, Duvall had steady work in featured roles in such films as The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Killer Elite (1975), Network (1976), The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Occasionally this actor's actor got the chance to assay a lead role, most notably in Tomorrow (1972), in which he was brilliant as William Faulkner's inarticulate backwoods farmer. He was less impressive as the lead in Badge 373 (1973), in which he played a character based on real-life NYPD detective Eddie Egan, the same man his old friend Gene Hackman had won an Oscar for playing, in fictionalized form as "Popeye Doyle" in The French Connection (1971). It was his appearance as "Lt. Col. Kilgore" in another Coppola picture, Apocalypse Now (1979), that solidified Duvall's reputation as a great actor. He got his second Academy Award nomination for the role, and was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most versatile actor in the world. Duvall created one of the most memorable characters ever assayed on film, and gave the world the memorable phrase, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!" Subsequently, Duvall proved one of the few established character actors to move from supporting to leading roles, with his Oscar-nominated turns in The Great Santini (1979) and Tender Mercies (1983), the latter of which won him the Academy Award for Best Actor. Now at the summit of his career, Duvall seemed to be afflicted with the fabled "Oscar curse" that had overwhelmed the careers of fellow Academy Award winners Luise Rainer, Rod Steiger and Cliff Robertson. He could not find work equal to his talents, either due to his post-Oscar salary demands or a lack of perception in the industry that he truly was leading man material. He did not appear in The Godfather: Part III (1990), as the studio would not give in to his demands for a salary commensurate with that of Al Pacino, who was receiving $5 million to reprise Michael Corleone. His greatest achievement in his immediate post-Oscar period was his triumphant characterization of grizzled Texas Ranger Gus McCrae in the TV mini-series Lonesome Dove (1989), for which he received an Emmy nomination. He received a second Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in Stalin (1992), and a third Emmy nomination playing Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996). The shakeout of his career doldrums was that Duvall eventually settled back into his status as one of the premier character actors in the industry, rivaled only by his old friend Gene Hackman. Duvall, unlike Hackman, also has directed pictures, including the documentary We're Not the Jet Set (1977), Angelo My Love (1983) and Assassination Tango (2002). As a writer-director, Duvall gave himself one of his most memorable roles, that of the preacher on the run from the law in The Apostle (1997), a brilliant performance for which he received his third Best Actor nomination and fifth Oscar nomination overall. The film brought Duvall back to the front ranks of great actors, and was followed by a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for A Civil Action (1998). Robert Duvall will long be remembered as one of the great naturalistic American screen actors in the mode of Spencer Tracy and his frequent co-star Marlon Brando. His performances as "Boo Radley" in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), "Jackson Fentry" in Tomorrow (1972), "Tom Hagen" in the first two "Godfather" movies, "Frank Hackett" in Network (1976), "Lt. Col. Kilgore" in Apocalypse Now (1979), "Bull Meechum" in The Great Santini (1979), "Mac Sledge" in Tender Mercies (1983), "Gus McCrae" in Lonesome Dove (1989) and "Sonny Dewey" in The Apostle (1997) rank as some of the finest acting ever put on film. It's a body of work that few actors can equal, let alone surpass.More