The Godfather

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: 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: As the gangster hands Michael a pistol to try in the basement he tells him that the grip and trigger has a special tape that latent prints can not be lifted from. There is no such tape.

Correction: At the time, fingerprints had to be very clear to be lifted from an object. Simple atheletic tape has a rough enough texture that would make it nearly impossible to get prints from.


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: 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: 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.

Revealing mistake: When Sonny is punching Carlo under the spraying fire hydrant, he misses an audible punch by at least six inches. (01:43:30)

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
The Godfather mistake picture

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.

More trivia for The Godfather

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.