If you ask people which of the Godfather films they like most, the original with Marlon Brando usually comes out on top. It's action-packed and romanticized and meets the criteria for a Hollywood blockbuster, with plenty of stars and a good gripping story.
In Godfather III, however, a new feature emerges, and it's not nearly as exciting or romantic, and that is the legitimization of the crime family's business. These "poor" and "marginalized" descendants of immigrants are now going to go legit. We should be happy for them. For is this not the American Way? After all, we know that John Kennedy's father emerged from Prohibition as a rich man after obviously engaging in nefarious practices. But he went legit and managed to push his family into the establishments of the elite, Harvard, ambassadorship and eventually the White House.
The Godfather films end with poor Michael Corleone, old and alone, dying in a chair in Sicily.
But the story continued. And it continued with as much violence and vengeance as in Parts I and II. We are now living in the reality of the Godfather IV era, where the criminals have successfully infiltrated the halls of power in the United States. They have their minions in Congress, in the Senate, in every important firm on Wall Street, and especially in the banks.
This corrupt system is self-perpetuating because it allows the strong, the ruthless, the amoral, to justify their position at the top of society through the accumulation of money. There is no other standard of measurement. The more money you have, the more power you have and therefore the more "respect" you get. The people within the holy circle of the elite don't love each other, in fact they consistently cut each other's throats at the drop of a deal. But they do have one thing in common and it pulls them together in times of crisis: they fear and hate the mass of "ordinary" people, the milieu their families emerged from. What they know and don't want to admit is the fact that deep down inside they are all empty versions of Michael Corleone, dying alone and unloved on an island where feudalism still reigns.