Fredo, you broke my heart

5 Mar

Finally, finally, I have seen “The Godfather 2.” It’s taken me so long to watch the whole thing, the mafia was threatening to revoke my 50 percent Italianness.

Cazale

Maybe you’ve noticed that AMC has been playing The Godfather movies on pretty much a continual loop for the last week or two to celebrate the movies’ 40th anniversary. Having no interest in having a four-hour flick turned into a seven-hour flick with maximum commercial interruption, I opted to rent the the movie.

Now first, I must say that it wasn’t for lack of trying that I managed to hit 28 without seeing “The Godfather 2.” I have tried. Twice. But each time, I started it at 1.30 in the morning. I don’t think I made it 45 minutes in either attempt. So we put it in Saturday at 11.30 p.m., and I made it a good hour or hour and a half in before I said, “Sweetie, can we save this until tomorrow?”

Now I’ve finally seen it in its entirety, and my No. 1 response? How the hell come no one ever talks about how amazing John Cezale is as Fredo? His face … his eyes … his line delivery … it’s impeccable. Fredo broke Micheal’s heart??? Fredo broke my heart. (OK, fine, he didn’t help plot my assassination, whatever.)

"I don't want anything to happen to him while my mother's alive."

So I did a little Googling to learn some more about this actor I’ve never seen in anything else. Clearly, I haven’t seen Cezale in anything because I suck, not because of any fault of Cezale’s as an actor. He has been in five movies — the two Godfathers, “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Deer Hunter,” and “The Conversation” — and every single one was nominated for a best picture Oscar, though he was never nominated (oversight much?). He died fantastically young, at 42 of bone cancer. The last thing he did was “The Deer Hunter,” with his lover, Meryl Streep.

Apparently, a documentary on Cezale came out two years ago, “I Knew It Was You” (from the above clip). I must get my hands on this. I don’t do Netflix because I never want to see the movie I chose by the time it arrives, but maybe I need to sign up for a $5 month or two so I can watch this thing.

What must-see movies are glaringly missing from your list? And/or: What’s your favorite thing about “The Godfather 2”?

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