The Godfather

Question: What is the name of the melody/song that is played just after Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey? It is played while you see some newspapers with big headlines etc.

don_corleone

Chosen answer: The mattress montage music is called "This Loneliness." It is written and performed by F.F.C's father.

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?

Chosen answer: Luca was instructed by Don Corleone to act as if he was unhappy with his current position within the Corleone family. In the book, this mission was planned more thoroughly and it was spread out over a longer period of time with Luca frequenting the Tattaglia family's bars and bordellos, where he 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.

raywest

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.

Question: When Clemenza is explaining to Michael how to shoot Sollozzo and McCluskey why does he keep on telling Michael to 'drop the gun' when he's finished. Why can't he bring the gun home?

Chosen answer: For one thing, Michael isn't going home. The plan is for him to immediately be taken to a ship headed for Sicily. Secondly, the last thing a murderer wants is to be caught with the gun he just killed someone with. Clemenza tells Michael the gun is "cold," meaning it cannot be traced to any owner. The handle had also been wrapped in a special tape to prevent fingerprints being left on it. Even if Michael had been detained by police, they could not tie the gun to him, and the Corleone family could buy off any witnesses.

raywest

Question: At the start of the film, Michael says that he doesn't want anything to do with the family business. However at the end of the film, he is the don. I've been wondering where exactly does he change his beliefs in the film. Mates have told me its when Vito dies, but I believe its either after the hospital (when Vito is shot the first time) or after Michael's wife in Sicily dies. Are any of these true?

Dra9onBorn117

Chosen answer: It is a gradual process and it happens long before Vito Corleone's death because Michael had already taken over as Don. Michael was deeply affected by his father being shot and nearly dying. Michael changes and will now do anything to protect his father, and in the hospital tells him, "I'm with you now." Michael kills Sollozzo because he knew his father would never be safe while Sollozzo lived. His wife's death certainly had an effect, but it really is his brother Sonny's murder that cements the path that Michael is now on. He also knows that Don Corleone cannot live forever, and the Corleone family will be vulnerable once he dies. To ensure the Corleone empire stays protected and in tact, Michael takes over as Don. He and his father (now retired) then plot to murder the remaining mob heads. Don Corleone had also never wanted Michael, his favorite son, to join the family business, knowing what it would do to him. Ultimately, there was never anyone else capable of succeeding Vito Corleone.

raywest

Question: At the wedding, Vito Corleone says that Carlo is to be given a living, but not allowed in the family business. Before Michael has him killed, he tells him that his punishment for setting up Sonny's murder is that he is out of the family business. When was he let in?

Iain

Chosen answer: He was initially let into the family business when he married Connie, the Don's daughter, but only in a minor way. Vito Corleone knew Carlo only married Connie because of who her family was, and that Carlo was now expecting to have an important position within the Corleone empire. Because he was considered mediocre and incompetent, he was always relegated to a minor job, and would never be allowed into the upper ranks. When his part in setting up Sonny's murder was learned, the Don couldn't bring himself to have Carlo killed because he didn't want to be the one to make his daughter a widow. He knows that Michael will have Carlo executed after he becomes Don. Michael will kill Carlo for revenge, but he waits in order to aid his plot to murder the heads of the five families. Killing Carlo before then would tip them off that the Corleones' knew of Carlo's involvement in Sonny's murder. Michael even lulls Carlo into believing that he will be playing an important role within the family when they move to Nevada. Michael waits until the opportune time to have him executed, first confronting Carlo that he knew about his part in Sonny's murder.

raywest

Question: In the scene from the wedding why did Luca Brasi "not expect to be invited", considering he is such a loyal comrade of Godfather?

shikharpande

Chosen answer: Because Brasi was such a vicious killer that he terrified everyone. Even Don Corleone became nervous in Brasi's presence, although the Godfather was the only person who could control him. In the book, Brasi was so monstrous and inhumane that he killed a prostitute immediately after she bore his child, then forced the mid-wife who delivered the infant to throw it into a burning furnace while it was still alive. Terrified for her life, the woman went to Don Corleone for protection. He intervened, and kept Brasi out of prison, earning him Brasi's undying loyalty and service. Corleone invited Brasi to the wedding only as a courtesy, although he would have preferred not having him there. The Don is also a diplomatic person (eg., always preferring to reason first), so he would have seen inviting Brasi as a good diplomatic move - showing Brasi that the Don truly values him as a "friend" (you invite friends to weddings).

raywest

Question: Just before Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey, what are Michael and Sollozzo saying to each other in Italian?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: Solozzo: (indicating Michael's broken jaw) I'm sorry.Michael: Are you serious?Solozzo: You must understand that what happened between me and your father was a business matter. I have great respect for your father, but your father is an old-fashioned man. He doesn't understand that I am a man of honor.Michael: Don't tell me these things. I know them.Solozzo: You know? You know, I have helped the Tattaglia family. I think, we can come to an agreement. I want peace. And let's stop all that nonsense.Michael: Do you want to play...umSolozzo: What?Michael: How do you say..? What I want, what is most important to me is that I have a guarantee.

ChiChi

Question: How does Don Vito Corleone know that a meeting was going to be setup for Michael's assassination?

superflyingcrap

New this month Answer: Being a Don for such a long time, Vito has probably seen most every dirty trick used by the other families.

Chosen answer: Because that's how he would organize a hit like that.

Captain Defenestrator

New this month Answer: The Corleones are the most powerful of the New York Five Families. With Don Corleone now retired, Michael is perceived as an inexperienced and weak successor, making him a likely target for the other dons. He would be the most vulnerable at a closed meeting. Vito knows this and that if Michael were assassinated, the Corleone empire would fall apart and their territory taken over.

raywest

Question: Were the pictures from newspapers used in the montage during the War with the other families real pictures from the 30's when the real Italian Mobs were around?

Chosen answer: It appears to be compilation of staged photos with actors in the movie, and also actual historical ones from that era.

raywest

Question: Why did Barzini rip the picture that was taken of him? Sure he's one of the heads of the 5 families which I guess you can say brings a lot of heat to his family, but all he's doing is attending Connie's wedding.

Chosen answer: Barzini does not want anything publicly known about his private affairs, regardless of how innocuous or mundane. If photographers can get away with taking pictures of a mafia don at a wedding, then they'll photograph him and other key mob figures in all type of situations, some more compromising than others. Barzini is warning the press to stay away or risk retaliation. Continuing to take unwanted photos could result in a photographer getting killed.

raywest

Question: Two people kiss Michael's ring in the final scene. Clemenza is one, who is the other?

Chosen answer: First, Clemenza kisses Michael's ring, then Rocco Lampone. Al Neri is the one who closes the door, but he is not shown kissing the ring.

raywest

Question: When Michael is doing his first "godfather-job" they are in a very big church/cathedral. Does anyone know what that is named?

don_corleone

Chosen answer: The church is St Anthony's in Staten Island. It's no longer in use.

Answer: Mount Loretto Catholic Church. It burned down in 1973 and rebuilt later on with just the front stone kept of the original structure.

Question: What's the name of the music heard when Tom Hagen first arrives to Hollywood to meet with the film Director?

Chosen answer: It's 'Manhattan Serenade' performed by Tommy Dorsey.

ChiChi

Question: After Michael shot the Turk and police captain he ran out the front door and the Turk's car was still there. Where was Lou, the driver? Wouldn't he have been standing guard there while the Turk was inside?

MARC6314

Chosen answer: Not necessarily. Both sides were wary of each other, and many arrangements were made on exactly how the meeting would be conducted. The Corleones would have insisted that none of Sollozzo's men other than McClusky be present inside the restaurant. Captain McClusky was Sollozzo's personal bodygaurd, and both he and Sollozzo were convinced that Michael did not have access to a weapon. As Michael was immediately picked up after the murders by a waiting car, it would be reasonable to assume that any nearby Corleone men were watching Lou and would act if he made any attempt to interfere after the shootings took place.

raywest

Question: After Paulie is shot, Clemenza says, "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." Do the two men then walk home, catch a cab, take a bus?

stella01

Chosen answer: No. Everything was pre-arranged, and the entire trip was a ruse solely to execute Paulie for his part in setting up the hit on Don Corleone. Clemenza had Paulie drive them in Paulie's car on the pretense of looking for apartments to house Corleone "soldiers" in the event of a gang war. He directed him to drive and then stop at that specific isolated location where Rocco shot him. Another car is waiting nearby to pick up Clemenza and Rocco.

raywest

Question: When Clemenza is explaining to Michael how to shoot Sollozzo and McCluskey, he says to take no chances and shoot them both twice in the head. I know he shoots McCluskey twice, but am I correct that he only shot Sollozzo once in the head? (I realize this was Michael's first murder and he was extremely antsy and nervous and may have forgotten and it doesn't really matter since Sollozzo died anyway.) I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing a shot.

Chosen answer: He did shoot Sollozzo only once. This is explained in the book. After shooting Sollozzo, Michael instinctively knew the first shot was fatal, and he purposely ignored Clemenza's instructions.

raywest

Question: What was Fabrizio saying in Italian to the Italian soldiers when they were driving by?

Chosen answer: They weren't Italian soldiers, they were American. He was jestingly suggesting they take him with them back to America, as well as a few names of famous Americans. He says: "Hey, hey, take me to America! G.I.! Hey! Hey, hey, hey, take me to America, G.I.! Clark Gable! Hey! America, America, ha! Take me to America, G.I.! Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth!"

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.

Chosen 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

Question: What does going to the mattresses have to do with war?

Chosen answer: "Going to the mattresses" means they will find a place for their soldiers to live during the fighting, a place that the enemy families do not know about. The novel explains it a bit more, saying that the apartment would be outfitted with enough mattresses for everyone to sleep on, as well as basic cooking supplies.

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?

Chosen 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).

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?

Chosen 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?"

Chosen 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?

Chosen 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?

Chosen 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

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

Chosen 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
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Quotes

Michael Corleone: Fredo, you're my older brother and I love you. But don't ever take sides against the Family again. Ever.

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Mistakes

In the scene when Michael visits his father in the hospital in 1945 there's a NYC Fire Dept. Sign on the wall with the name of the Commissioner, Robert O. Lowery, who was commissioner from 1966 to 1973.

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Trivia

The baby used in Michael and Kay's baby christening scene is Sofia Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's daughter. Sofia later had a prominent role in Part III as Michael's daughter, Mary.

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