This is one of the greatest and saddest endings of any film ever. Because there isn’t anyone with four or five decades under their belt who doesn’t have a memory or two like this one. The idealism of youth never holds; one way or another it detaches and falls away like dried leaves. In 99% of The Godfather, Part II Michael Corleone is a calculating ice man, at best a shadow of a remnant of the guy he was at 19 or 20. And then at the very end we finally meet that guy, and it’s heartbreaking to think of how young Michael was gradually bled to death, how his family’s tradition gradually caught up to him and forced his dark hand.