The Godfather

Corrected entry: Michael is accused of killing the heads of the 5 families in 1951, but during that scene in the movie, he leaves the church in a 1954 Packard. (02:35:10)

Correction: The shooting of the other Dons happen in 1955. Sonny is shot in 1951, Michael returns home, reunites with Kay and has Anthony in 1952, which makes Tony three years old in the scene where Don Vito dies. Also, Vito's tombstone is marked '1955'. So if Michael becomes Don in 1955, the 1954 car is entirely in its place.


Corrected entry: Clemenza has Paulie pull over so that he can go urinate in the bushes. The man in the back seat shoots Paulie in the head. Clemenza and the shooter then leave the car there, with Paulie's body inside. How do Clemenza and the shooter get home? Hitchhike?

Correction: Many different ways that were not shown in the film. Hitchhike. They could have hidden bikes along the route. They could have hidden a car. They could have planned to be picked up on that spot at a certain time. Not everything needs to be shown.


Corrected entry: When Brando is being taken home from the hospital there are mercury-vapor street lamps visible in the area. They were not in use in 1946 or so.

Correction: Not so. Mercury vapor lights were introduced in the 30's:

Corrected entry: In the beginning, Marlon Brando looks outside his window when they bring the wedding cake in. On the left side in the crowd there is Sonny, who is supposed to be in the room with the Godfather. You can identify him by the white flower in his lapel and by his bride sister who walks up to him from behind. (00:23:50)

Correction: The man that the Connie walks up from behind is NOT Sonny. It's pretty obvious that it isn't him from the distance shown originally, but it becomes even more obvious if you were to zoom in. You can easily tell it's not him if you closely compare their hair and facial features.


Corrected entry: The first time we see Jack Woltz's mansion, there is a large TV antenna on the left side of the roof. Surely television had not been invented yet, and it is not a radio antenna. The next time we see the mansion, when Woltz is about to awaken to a surprise in his bed, the antenna is no longer visible. It was assumed that the error was realized and the antenna was removed by the filmmakers.

Correction: The scene is set in 1945, but regular television broadcasts started in 1931 in NY and LA so it's not impossible that he had an antenna.

Corrected entry: An arithmetic issue. Tom Hagen suggests to Sonny the the "Five Families" would "come after" him if they hit a police captain (which will be Capt. McCluskey). Since the Corleones are one of the five families, that would leave only four others to oppose them.

Correction: His own family would come after him, as well. Making the cops angry at them would not be good for business.

Corrected entry: Shooting a .38 in a stone walled basement is very painful unless you have earplugs. Michael and Clemenza do not. (01:12:40)

Correction: After firing, Michael complains "Madonn', my ears" to Clemenza.

Corrected entry: When Sonny arrives at the toll booth there is a toll booth operator taking money from the other cars. When Sonny drives up, the toll booth operator ducks down and then disappears, never to be seen again once the hit is over-he simply vanishes from the scene altogether.

Jeanne Perrotta

Correction: The toll booth operator ducks down behind a door, and he knew that all the gangsters would shoot Sonny, so if I had been the toll booth operator, I would also stay down, untill it was safe to come out again.


Corrected entry: The infamous horse whose head is found in the bed of his owner, bloodied and mangled, has a white spot on it before it is chopped off. Later the white spot is gone.

Correction: The white spot is still there, just less visible because it's smeared with blood.


Corrected entry: When Michael allows Kate to ask him just 1 question about his business, he walks up to his desk and places both hands on the desk. When the camera angle changes to a rear view of Michael he is seen just standing straight up, when it changes again to a front view he is leaned over with his hands back on the desk.


Correction: In the shot from the back you see just Michael's head and part of the shoulders. That's by no means enough to tell that his position has changed.


Corrected entry: Luca Brasi goes to meet the Tattaglia family and Sollozzo, to pretend he would like to defect. Before they garrot him, Tattaglia stabs a knife into Brasi's left hand. Halfway through his death throes a wider shot reveals the knife in his right hand. The sequence concludes with Brasi slumped on the floor with his knife-impaled left hand still on the counter.

Correction: His right hand is stabbed. The other man grabs his left hand after lighting his cigarette, and just holds his arm so Tattaglia can stab the other hand.


Corrected entry: Just before Michael Corleone shoots Virgil Solozzo, he speaks Italian to him. When Michael then is in Sicily, he needs his friend Calo to translate from English to Italian for him while he is talking to Signor Vitelli.


Correction: Being of Sicilian descent and quite knowledgeable in Italian/Sicilian history, I can tell you that there is no single 'Italian' language. The 3 main regions of Italy (Northern, Central and Southern) all have different dialects and even different cultural ideals. As such, Sicily has a completely different dialect which is vastly different from basic 'Italian'. It is in fact more Greek rooted and has a distinct differentiation in most respects. Some individual towns in Sicily even have their own distinct and unique dialect to this day. Plot-wise, Michael was also trying to keep his identity and reasons for being there secret. It was also more respectful to not directly address Signor Vitelli given the situation.

Corrected entry: James Caan is hit with at least a few dozen Tommy gun bullets at point blank range, which should've turned him into a hamburger. Instead, he appears to be riddled with little red holes.

Correction: Well, maybe. From that era, the standard 45cal load (Army 45 pistols and Thompson submachine guns both fire the same cartridge) was a round-nosed lead bullet. That round doesn't deform unless it hits a bone. From the front where the bullets went in, all you'll see is a round hole maybe 1/2" across. If the bullet goes thru and punches out, unless it hits a bone and deforms, the outbound hole isn't much bigger.

Corrected entry: The scene where Sonny is shot at the toll booth is supposed to take place in the late 1940's. However, as Sonny is driving up to the toll booth, he is listening to a baseball game on the radio that took place on October 3, 1951. In that game, Bobby Thompson hit a home run off Ralph Branca as the Giants beat the Dodgers and won the pennant. (01:52:25)

Correction: No, Sonny is shot in 1951. If you count backwards it is easy to see this: Vito Corleone dies in 1955 (according to what it says on his tombstone). In Vito's death scene, Anthony was about two-three years old, so he was born in 1952, meaning that Michael had returned home in 1951/early 1952, which happened almost directly after the shooting of Sonny.


Corrected entry: Tattaglia tells Tom that the Godfather survived in spite of having been shot five times. But even if the first two bullets missed while he was running we can tell from the way the hitmen aimed at him that he is hit close range at least nine times while he is leaning against his car. (00:43:05 - 00:50:00)


Correction: It's quite possible that the information he is getting about The Godfather's shooting is not totally accurate. The Godfather may have actually been hit nine times, but unless he is getting the info directly from the doctor, it's possible that "the word on the street" doesn't parallel with the medical reality of The Godfather's condition.

Corrected entry: When Paulie is murdered in the field and Clemenza says leave the gun, take the cannoli, the field is full of phragmite that were not present in the U.S.A. when the story took place.

Correction: Phragmite australis has been in New England since the late 19th Century.


Continuity mistake: When Luca Brasi is practicing his speech he is wearing a square faced watch. When he gives his speech to the godfather he's wearing a round faced watch.

Bill Early

More mistakes in The Godfather

Tom Hagen: I'm an attorney for the Corleone family. These men are private detectives hired to protect Vito Corleone. They are licensed to carry firearms. If you interfere you'll have to appear before a judge in the morning and show cause.

More quotes from The Godfather
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Trivia: The infant playing Connie and Carlo's baby son Michael Francis Rizzi who Kay holds during the christening scene is Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, who was born in May 1971. Sofia later had a prominent role in Part III as Michael's daughter, Mary. Other than the main characters, Sofia is the only actor to have appeared in all three films. In The Godfather II, she can be briefly seen as an immigrant girl on the ship that brings Vito Corleone to Ellis Island.

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Question: Why did Don Corleone send Luca Brasi to gather intel on Sollozzo? Wouldn't it have been obvious to the Don that sending his bodyguard, who was widely known to be unquestionably loyal, wouldn't fool his adversaries, which would eventually, with Brasi dead, lead to his own death?

Answer: Luca wasn't Vito's bodyguard, Paulie Gatto was. In Mafioso circles the bodyguard is also usually the chauffeur which was the other part Paulie played. Luca was an independent who had loyalty to Vito. Unlike other members of the family, Luca had his own operation and his own scams. He was usually only called into service by the Don when some particularly nasty piece of business needed to be taken care of for which Luca was paid handsomely. Few people knew why Luca was loyal to Vito, it had to do with a bit of trouble Luca got into with a young girl, Luca was looking at some hard time and Vito was able to get him out of it. As explained in the books, Luca didn't care if he lived or died, he didn't even care if he was killed, but he cared very deeply that he wouldn't be killed by Vito. That was the hold Vito had on Luca which made his loyalty so deep. So far as the rest of the underworld was concerned Luca was just an independent contractor who worked for the Corleone's from time to time. If you'll recall when Kay sees Luca Michael tells her "he helps out my father sometimes." Barzini was probably the only other one who truly understood how deep Luca's loyalty went. So, why did Vito send Luca: Vito thought he was dealing with the Tataglias. Ten years prior to the Sollozo meeting there had been a Mafia war. Vito planned the strategy of the war while Sonny handled the tactics. The war was bloody and costly but the Corleone's were able to out maneuver the other families and come out on top. After that war Vito was top dog of all the 5 families. Had Vito been correct that Philip Tataglia was behind Sollozo, sending Luca would have been a smart move. As Vito mentions after the meeting of the commission "Tataglia is a pimp, he never could have out fought Santino." Tataglia would have seen getting Luca as a huge win, not only would he have Vito's special muscle, but he'd probably also believe he'd be able to get information from Luca. Where Vito made the mistake was not seeing Barzini pulling the strings, had he believed Barzini was involved he'd have handled it differently.

The line in Goodfellas seems illuminating here where Henry Hill explains that the Mafia is essentially an organisation that offers protection for those who can't turn to the legitimate law of regular society. This suggests that these "family" ties are not as strong as we imagine. These criminals are not a definite part of an orderly corporation, like head of HR at IBM, but a loose confederation of connections and loyalties that are rather more fluid. This is a theme also explored very well in the book and film, Donnie Brasco. Therefore, it wouldn't be totally unthinkable that someone in Luca Brasis position could turn to another "family" if he felt it expedient. However, these kind of guys have a tendency towards mistrust.

Answer: Luca was instructed by Don Corleone to act as if he was unhappy with his current situation within the Corleone family. In the book, this mission was planned more thoroughly and was spread out over a longer period of time with Luca frequenting the Tattaglia family's bars and bordellos, where he (falsely) bitterly complained to the prostitutes and anyone who'd listen about how he was underpaid and undervalued by the Godfather. Either this ploy did not fool Sollozzo or, if he did believe it, he didn't care and used it to send a message to the Corleones by killing Luca.

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