The Godfather

Question: Sounds like a stupid question. Why were the cops at the wedding writing down license plate numbers? Wasn't it a private party at the Corleone's residence?

Answer: Yes, and although Vito keeps his hands relatively clean, he is still well-known to the FBI as the chief of one of New York's larger organized crime families. So they are interested in knowing who is associating with him, so they can investigate and maybe find some evidence of his criminality to use against him. Since they never enter the property, they are within their rights to record the plate numbers.

Question: Why would the killing of a police captain cause an "All out war?"

Answer: In short, because of the unwanted attention it would bring. The syndicate (Mafia) operates outside the law, which they are able to do in part through bribes to the police and the lawmakers to turn a blind eye to their activities. Murder a police chief, or some other high profile public servant, and the authorities would have no choice but to come after the mob, bribes or no bribes, because of the public outcry and demand for justice. Hence, the other families would turn on the Corleones for causing such problems. This is why, as Tom Hagen later states, the family uses their contacts in the newspapers to spread stories of McCloskey's corruption, which causes the pressure to solve his murder to wane and the other families to ease up.

Question: Is Don Tommasino a paraplegic?

Answer: Yes. As revealed in Godfather Part II, he was shot in the legs with a shotgun in Sicily while helping Vito Corleone exact revenge on Don Ciccio for the murder of his (Vito's) family. This rendered his legs disabled for the rest of his life.

Question: In Godfather Part 2 Michael was convinced Fredo was the traitor in his family. Who opened the drapes in his bedroom, certainly not the nimble handed Fredo who couldn't hold a gun when his father was being gunned down. Who killed the 2 assassins after Michael told Rocco he wants them alive? If Fredo was the only traitor, as Michael said, can we really accept the premise that Fredo was capable of killing those two men? Fredo says to Michael "I got involved because Johnny Ola said you were being hard on the negotiations," letting in assassins to the compound doesn't fit with "being hard on the negotiations." It all doesn't make sense, can someone explain?

Answer: Fredo was not directly involved in the assassination attempt on Michael, nor did he know about it. He was duped by Ola and Roth into believing that they only wanted his help because Michael was being difficult during negotiations. Fredo was offered a large sum of money in exchange for some inside information that was then used to set up the assassination attempt. It's unknown who opened the drapes, how the assassins got in or who killed them, but it was not Fredo.

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Question: In the Vito Corleone funeral scene at the grave site, the family is sitting before the coffin, Fredo is absent, where is he?

Answer: Freddy had been sent to Las Vegas after the Don was shot, not only to learn the casino business but also because he was emotionally traumatized by the murder attempt. He was also severely affected by his brother Sonny's death. Attending his father's funeral would have been too much for him, becoming overwrought and making a scene. Michael, now head of the family, would not have wanted this.

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Question: I've read that The Godfather has gotten 270-280 million dollars at the box office. Now I though that Jaws was the first to get 100 million. Was this statistic just in the US or did the Godfather garner this number with a re-release?

Dra9onBorn117

Chosen answer: The Godfather's totals mentioned above include domestic + foreign + re-releases over the years. In its initial release (and re-release after the 1973 Academy awards) it earned $85.7 million domestically. Jaws received $123 million in its initial domestic release.

Question: Why was it necessary for Michael to kill Sollozzo and McClusky? Sonny knew where the meeting would take place. He could have sent in a team of assassins any time during the meal.

Answer: The plan was to make the murders look as if the Corleones were not involved and that Michael was falsely accused and forced to disappear to protect himself. If Sonny's men went in and just started blazing away, deliberately killing a police captain, the Corleones would have lost Mafia allies and political power. Michael was also the only person who could get close enough to kill Solozzo because he was not considered a threat. It was a tactical element of surprise. Sonny and Hagen also wanted to avoid a bloody gunfight that would have killed innocent bystanders, something all the Mafia families disdained. After enough time had passed, the Corleones bribed a condemned prisoner to "confess" to murdering Sollozzo and McClusky, offering him a large sum of money ensuring his family would be taken care of. Michael was then exonerated and returned to the USA.

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Question: A "war" started when McCluskey and Sollozzo were killed at the diner. Wouldn't the murder of the heads of the other families cause another war that would leave the Corleones outnumbered 4 to 1?

Answer: Perhaps, but it would be a war the Corleones could win fairly easily. The murder of the heads of the other families would also render them leaderless and with multiple potential heirs, and while they fought amongst themselves for control, the Corleones would be able to fill the power vacuum the infighting created. But more likely, outside of a few hotheaded revenge killings, the other families would see this swift and brutal demonstration as a sign that the Corleones are too powerful to take on (Michael's powerful position in the next film would seem to attest to this).

It was mentioned in the book that a significant number of soldiers from the other mafia families immediately defected to the Corleone side, further fortifying their strength.

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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

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