Al Pacino Settles The Godfather Best Movie Debate Once And For All

Al Pacino thinks the original The Godfather film was the best because it was more entertaining.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Al Pacino says The Godfather is a better film than the 1974 sequel. The legendary actor and Hunters star, made the revelation during a discussion with David Rubenstein for the 92nd Street Y, New York’s People Who Inspire Us series. When asked if The Godfather Part II surpassed its predecessor, the 82-year-old Any Given Sunday actor replied thoughtfully, saying the original has more entertainment value.

The Godfather is more entertaining. Godfather II is this study, this personal thing for Francis [Ford Coppola],” the actor explained via The Hollywood Reporter. Al Pacino expanded on his thoughts by saying The Godfather always has two or three things going on in a scene. “You’re always in the story. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s storytelling at its best.”

Godfather II sort of linearizes, and [it’s] kind of different, somber, moves slowly. But it’s a great movie,” he continued. However, Al Pacino assures fans that he isn’t trying to downplay The Godfather II. “I don’t mean to be overly modest because I star in it with [Robert] de Niro, but at the same time, it’s a different film,” he said.

Released in 1972, the Al Pacino starrer is based on Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the story follows an Italian-American mafia family and their patriarch Vito Corleone. But the main plot focuses on his youngest son Michael (Pacino), who initially wants nothing to do with the family’s criminal activities. But he is eventually drawn in after a series of events.

The Godfather Part II was released two years later. It serves as both a sequel and prequel to the first movie. The plot is split between two storylines. One focuses on the early life of Vito Corleone (played by Robert De Niro) and the continuing story of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he expands the family’s criminal empire as the Godfather.

While both Al Pacino movies are regarded as some of the best films ever made, many fans consider 1972’s The Godfather superior. Many fans feel that the original does a better job of exploring its characters. We see Michael’s transformation from an outsider to a ruthless mob boss, Sonny’s hot-headedness, Fredo’s weakness, and Vito’s wisdom and power.

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The Godfather also explores themes of power, loyalty, and family. While the second outing continues to explore these elements, it also adds new angles, such as immigration, assimilation, and the corrupting influence of power. Some fans prefer the first movie’s more straightforward, more focused storytelling.

While Al Pacino has become synonymous with The Godfather, he also reflected on his work in Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Scarface during the New York’s People Who Inspire Us interview. And when asked if there were any movies he regretted passing on, the 82-year-old said he turned down a Star Wars role during the early years of his career.

“So I was there, and all of a sudden, they gave me a script that was called Star Wars. But Al Pacino turned it down because the story made no sense to him, unlike The Godfather. “They offered me so much money, but I [didn’t] understand it.” He eventually declined the role of Han Solo for that reason. “I gave Harrison Ford a career, which he has never thanked me for!” the actor joked.