Al Pacino reveals which ‘Godfather’ movie he thinks is the best

It’s a debate that has been dividing cinephiles all over the world for decades: which Godfather movie is the best?

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 mob masterpiece The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time, but many fans argue that its sequel The Godfather Part II is even better. (Many just ignore the less-acclaimed Part III.)

Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, and John Cazale publicity portrait for the film ‘The Godfather’, 1972. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

Both movies have their merits: do you prefer Marlon Brando or Robert DeNiro as Vito Corleone? Do you prefer to “make him an offer he can’t refuse” or “keep your friends close but your enemies closer?”

Now, the films’ star Al Pacino has weighed in on which Godfather he thinks is superior.

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Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather’

The Godfather was a breakout movie for Pacino, who was then a little-known theater actor. Coppola cast him as protagonist Michael Corleone over bigger names like Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and Warren Beatty, which caused a rift with the studio

The now-classic film faced many production problems, and at the time Pacino thought the film was going to be a disaster.


“Diane Keaton and I got drunk and thought, ‘This is it, our careers are over. This is a mess,’” Pacino recently revealed in a new interview for 92NY’s “People Who Inspire Us” series, per the Hollywood Reporter.

On the contrary, The Godfather was a massive commercial and critical success, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time and winning three Oscars including Best Picture. It is widely regarded as one of the best films ever made.

And it’s one of the rare films that has a sequel that is considered just as good, if not better: 1974’s The Godfather Part II is regarded as a masterpiece, and also won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Al Pacino returned as Michael Corleone, whose reign as the new mafia don causes personal strains in his life. The story also features flashbacks to the rise of a young Vito Corleone, played by Robert DeNiro.

Al Pacino sits in a chair in a scene from the film ‘The Godfather: Part II’, 1974. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

Which ‘Godfather’ is best? Pacino weighs in

During the 92NY interview, Pacino weighed in on the debate after being asked if he thought Part II was the better movie — and he revealed he actually prefers the original, praising its entertainment and storytelling.

“I really think [Part II is] more — what would you call it — artistic or something, I don’t know,” Pacino said. “I don’t mean to play it down and be overly modest because I star in it with Bob de Niro, but at the same time, it’s a different film.”

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“You see, The Godfather is more entertaining. Godfather II is this study, this personal thing for Francis [Ford Coppola],” he continued. “Godfather I, I saw it recently, it’s always got two or three things going on in a scene. You’re always in the story, you’re going. You don’t know what’s going to happen next, it’s storytelling, it’s really storytelling at its best. Godfather II sort of linearizes, and [it’s] kind of different, somber, moves slowly. But it’s a great movie, I have to say.”

There you have it, movie fans: Michael Corleone himself thinks the original Godfather is better. However, it’s clear that both films are all-time classics that both have a lot to offer. (And Part III, despite its reputation, has its moments.)

Offered a role in ‘Star Wars’

In the same interview, Pacino also revealed he was almost in a very different 1970s movie classic: Star Wars. He revealed he was offered a heavy paycheck to play a role (presumably Han Solo, ultimately played by Harrison Ford) but didn’t connect with the space opera’s script.

“So I was there and all of a sudden they gave me a script that was called Star Wars. I said, ‘I got the script, they offered me so much money, but I don’t understand it,’” he said. “I gave Harrison Ford a career, which he has never thanked me for!”

Do you agree with Al Pacino that the original Godfather is the best, or do you think Part II is superior? Share this story and let us know your thoughts!