• Image of The Godfather "Don Vito" tee
  • Image of The Godfather "Don Vito" tee
  • Image of The Godfather "Don Vito" tee
  • Image of The Godfather "Don Vito" tee

"The Empire Strikes Back," "Teen Wolf Too," "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," "Speed 2: Cruise Control," "Weekend at Bernie’s 2," and "The Godfather: Part II." All movie sequels that have either rivaled or blown away their predecessors.

The Godfather: Part II was the first sequel to win an Academy Award for best picture and took six Oscars out of 11 nominations. It is widely considered one of the best films of all time and is selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

Robet De Niro is an idol of mine. I can’t think of an actor I respect more, or whose mannerisms I've studied more, than De Niro's. The first time I watched the Godfather films, I watched them one after another on a snow day. Those nine hours changed the way I looked at movies. It was like having a filet after eating round steak my entire life…other movies were just cheap and tasteless in comparison.

De Niro, a trained method actor following in the footsteps of his idol Marlon Brando, auditioned for the roles of Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone, Carlo Rizzi, and Paulie Gatto in “The Godfather" before he was cast as “young Vito” in “The Godfather: Part II." De Niro became the first actor to win an Academy Award while speaking mainly a foreign language, in this case multiple Sicilian dialects. De Niro and Brando, who played the older Vito Corleone in the first film, are the only actors to have won Oscars portraying the same fictional character.

This print is highlighting my favorite image of De Niro, as well as all of the Godfather films, in which Vito is shooting Don Fanucci in the doorway of a New York apartment in 1920. Vito stalks the New York underworld boss to his apartment during a “festa” and shoots him dead in a darkened stairway. Vito’s revolver, wrapped with cloth for a makeshift silencer, catches fire immediately after the gun is shot. This event, and captured image, not only marks the beginning of Vito’s reign of the underworld, but also creates one of the most iconic images of American film.

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