Sequels were beginning to become all the rage in the early seventies, so it's not surprising that a film as popular as THE GODFATHER gave birth to what could easily have been just a followup exploitation. What is remakable, perhaps unique, is that THE GODFATHER, PART II actually expands upon and amplifies its predecessor. This is in fact both a sequel and a "prequel," intercutting the reign of Don Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) with the early story of his father, Vito, here brilliantly played by Robert De Niro. Coppola was given a free hand with this sequel, and his deft directorial touches are everywhere, particularly in the earlier historical sequences. Cinematographer Willis superbly captures the turn-of-the-century period, applying a seriographic tint to flashback scenes for a softer, richer look than the sharp image of the ongoing contemporary story.