John Cazale as Fredo, “I’m smart and I want respect.”
The great actor, John Cazale, has an unusual distinction among his fellow actors. He starred in 6 major motion pictures, one, The Godfather Part III, used archival footage after his death, and every one of them was nominated for Best Picture. As usual, Wikipedia has the details.
Cazale’s talent, as often happens, can be overlooked because Al Pacino is so great. Earlier in the film we had a scene which is often called the “kiss of death” in Havana, when Michael says, “You broke my heart, Fredo.” I call the scene below the “look of death” when Michael, while embracing Fredo in seeming forgiveness, gives Neri a look that says “OK, our mother’s dead, you can take care of Fredo now.” With all that going on, one might miss the look on Fredo’s face when he sees his brother, the way he puts the cigarette in the ashtray and the gut-wrenching embrace.