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?

1

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.

2

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

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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.

2

Question: Why was Sonny the only one dealing with Carlo's abuse to Connie? Michael and Fredo never intervened, and I'm pretty sure that Vito and his wife must've known as well.

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Answer: This is better explained in the book. Vito knew Carlo was abusive, but he had very old-fashioned and outdated morals and ideas, including non-interference in another's marriage. In that era and culture, spousal violence was often more tolerated. Vito worried that his intervention would make Carlo fearful and unable to perform his "husbandly duties," driving an even deeper wedge between the couple. Vito expressly forbid his sons or anyone from interfering. However, Vito was having Carlo secretly watched. Unfortunately, the family's seeming non-action emboldened Carlo to become even more physically abusive, unaware of Sonny's wrath. Sonny finally lost control and, disobeying his father, beat his brother-in-law. Carlo never harmed Connie again, up until the plot to murder Sonny.

raywest Premium member
1

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.

raywest Premium member
3

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.

raywest Premium member
2

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.

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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.

raywest Premium member
3

Answer: Michael was used as bait to set up a meeting with Sollozzo and McClusky so that they could be set up for assassination. Michael was picked up in a neutral spot and driven to the cafe; if Michael wasn't there Sollozzo would have remained in hiding under protection.

michael g

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).

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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.

raywest Premium member
1

Question: What did Barzini promise Carlo if he set up Sonny to be killed?

Rob245

Answer: It was never specified, but likely a large sum of money and some sort of position within Barzini's crime family.

raywest Premium member
1
The Godfather mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Sonny is shot at the toll booth the front windshield is torn apart by bullets yet when the bodyguards arrive thirty seconds later, the windshield is intact. (01:53:20)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Look again, the broken windows you are seeing are from the side windows, the windscreen was shot out entirely.

The screenshot shows the windscreen is intact after being shot out.

Ssiscool Premium member
More mistakes in The Godfather

Clemenza: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

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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