Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Fridge / TheGodfather

Go To




to:

* The assassination attempt on Michael in Sicily? It worked. Captain Michael Corleone, USMC, died in that car with his wife. Don Michael Corleone of the Five Families is what remained when the smoke cleared.



to:

* Why does Clemenza say "Take the cannoli"? Because the reason he had cannolis in the car in the first place was because his wife had asked him to pick some up while he was at work that morning. He may be a tough as nails mobster, but he's also a good family man and wanted to complete the errand his wife gave him.



to:

* In the late 1950s it was not impossible for wealthy, well-connected women to get an abortion in the US. And it was not unusual for a woman to give a false name to the abortionist. Which means that there is a doctor in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada who might not realize that he just killed Michael Corleone's "son", and that Michael has a history of getting his revenge even if it takes years of investigation.


* Don Vito uses his connections and influence as an actual godfather (ie a guardian) rather than as a crime lord. This is because he did not wish to stay a criminal, or to let his children take to crime; he is aware that criminal life will eventually destroy the people who stay in it too long. He himself had gone down the path of crime only because he had no other choice to survive. He sadly comments to Michael that he had hoped his family would leave the underworld life behind and achieve legitimacy, which reinforces this theory.

to:

* Don Vito uses his connections and influence as an actual godfather (ie (i.e., a guardian) rather than as a crime lord. This is because he did not wish to stay a criminal, or to let his children take to crime; he is aware that criminal life will eventually destroy the people who stay in it too long. He himself had gone down the path of crime only because he had no other choice to survive. He sadly comments to Michael that he had hoped his family would leave the underworld life behind and achieve legitimacy, which reinforces this theory.


* Michael was widely regarded to be a noncombatant by the different Mafia families, despite being the son of Vito Corleone, due mainly to the fact that he stayed out of the Family Business, kept his nose clean, and was a certifiable war hero. He might as well not be part of the family as far as they are concerned, when there are far more relevant targets such as Sonny (or Vito himself) whose deaths would actually affect how the family was run. Once Michael gets drawn in, he is shown to be [[BewareTheNiceOnes very ruthless]], and [[TranquilFury very cold]]. When asked what he would do after killing Sollozzo and [[DirtyCop [=McCluskey=]]], he replied that he would sit down and finish his meal. When his godson is being baptized, he has his men do a [[ThePurge mass-killing]] of the rival family heads [[AndZoidberg and Moe Greene]]. In the second movie, he is told that he pissed off a ''lot'' of people when he did that, as it wasn't ''how things are done'', and it is implied that this bought him a short term advantage at the cost of long-term problems. Why does he take this approach? Because he doesn't have any direct background in the Mafia. He is a soldier, who was trained to deal with his enemies far more directly than what is considered appropriate in the American Mafia. If someone is an enemy and is dangerous to you, ''you kill them'' before they can do the same to you... if you are talking about two armies on the battlefield.

to:

* Michael was widely regarded to be a noncombatant by the different Mafia families, despite being the son of Vito Corleone, due mainly to the fact that he stayed out of the Family Business, kept his nose clean, and was a certifiable war hero. He might as well not be part of the family as far as they are concerned, when there are far more relevant targets such as Sonny (or Vito himself) whose deaths would actually affect how the family was run. Once Michael gets drawn in, he is shown to be [[BewareTheNiceOnes very ruthless]], and [[TranquilFury very cold]]. When asked what he would do after killing Sollozzo and [[DirtyCop [=McCluskey=]]], he replied that he would sit down and finish his meal. When his godson is being baptized, he has his men do a [[ThePurge mass-killing]] of the rival family heads [[AndZoidberg and Moe Greene]]. In the second movie, he is told that he pissed off a ''lot'' of people when he did that, as it wasn't ''how things are done'', and it is implied that this bought him a short term advantage at the cost of long-term problems. Why does he take this approach? Because he doesn't have any direct background in the Mafia. He is a soldier, Marine[[note]]Fought in the Pacific in World War II, awarded the Navy Cross for bravery, and discharged as a Captain to recover from wounds in 1945.[[/note]], who was trained to deal with his enemies far more directly than what is considered appropriate in the American Mafia. If someone is an enemy and is dangerous to you, ''you kill them'' before they can do the same to you... if you are talking about two armies on the battlefield.



to:

** The gunshot happens so immediately after the "Amen" that Fredo was still in whatever state of Grace he had achieved with his prayer.


** Except that actor {{John Cazale}} set up a definite rhythm for Fredo's prayer: "Hail Mary ... full of Grace ... The Lord is with thee..." Members of the audience who know the prayer are pulled into repeating it along with Fredo, in the same sing-song rhythm Fredo (and presumably, the audience) learned in Sunday School. Even though we no longer hear Fredo's voice, the audience is mentally finishing the prayer: "Now... and at the hour of our death... Amen" And then: BLAM! The gunshot clearly comes <i>after</i> Fredo finishes praying.

to:

** Except that actor {{John Cazale}} set up a definite rhythm for Fredo's prayer: "Hail Mary ... full of Grace ... The Lord is with thee..." Members of the audience who know the prayer are pulled into repeating it along with Fredo, in the same sing-song rhythm Fredo (and presumably, the audience) learned in Sunday School. Even though we no longer hear Fredo's voice, the audience is mentally finishing the prayer: "Now... and at the hour of our death... Amen" And then: BLAM! The gunshot clearly comes <i>after</i> ''after'' Fredo finishes praying.



* More on the flashback in ''Part II'', it's revealed that of all his siblings, Fredo is the only one who supported Michael's decision to join the Marines. At first it looks like a heartwarming moment... But then, once we put it together with just how badly Fredo resents Michael, his father's favorite son, for stepping over him, the scene takes a much more darker turn. Of course Fredo ''wanted'' Michael to join the Marines; of course Fredo ''wanted'' Michael to keep out of family's business. Michael's mere presence makes him feel weak, ineffectual, and conscious of his shortcomings. His resentment to Michael has been growing all this time.

to:

* More on the flashback in ''Part II'', it's revealed that of all his siblings, Fredo is the only one who supported Michael's decision to join the Marines. At first first, it looks like a heartwarming moment... But then, once we put it together with just how badly Fredo resents Michael, his father's favorite son, for stepping over him, the scene takes a much more darker turn. Of course Fredo ''wanted'' Michael to join the Marines; of course Fredo ''wanted'' Michael to keep out of family's business. Michael's mere presence makes him feel weak, ineffectual, and conscious of his shortcomings. His resentment to Michael has been growing all this time.


* Fredo turns out to be the traitor in ''Part II'' and Michael intends to have him killed when he finds out. When the deed is done, the traitor is saying a "Hail Mary" while fishing. Some believe that those who die while praying automatically get into Heaven (this is why Theatre/{{Hamlet}} didn't kill his uncle while he was praying) and that may have been Michael's intention. The traitor may have been a traitor, but he was still Michael's brother.

to:

* Fredo turns out to be the traitor in ''Part II'' and Michael intends to have him killed when he finds out. When the deed is done, the traitor is saying a "Hail Mary" while fishing. Some believe that those who die while praying automatically get into Heaven (this is why Theatre/{{Hamlet}} didn't kill his uncle while he was praying) and that may have been Michael's intention. The traitor may have been a traitor, but he was still Michael's brother.
brother.]
** Except that actor {{John Cazale}} set up a definite rhythm for Fredo's prayer: "Hail Mary ... full of Grace ... The Lord is with thee..." Members of the audience who know the prayer are pulled into repeating it along with Fredo, in the same sing-song rhythm Fredo (and presumably, the audience) learned in Sunday School. Even though we no longer hear Fredo's voice, the audience is mentally finishing the prayer: "Now... and at the hour of our death... Amen" And then: BLAM! The gunshot clearly comes <i>after</i> Fredo finishes praying.


* [[spoiler:Fredo]] turns out to be the traitor in ''Part II'' and Michael intends to have him killed when he finds out. When the deed is done, the traitor is saying a "Hail Mary" while fishing. Some believe that those who die while praying automatically get into Heaven (this is why Theatre/{{Hamlet}} didn't kill his uncle while he was praying) and that may have been Michael's intention. The traitor may have been a traitor, but he was still [[spoiler:Michael's brother.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:Fredo]] Fredo turns out to be the traitor in ''Part II'' and Michael intends to have him killed when he finds out. When the deed is done, the traitor is saying a "Hail Mary" while fishing. Some believe that those who die while praying automatically get into Heaven (this is why Theatre/{{Hamlet}} didn't kill his uncle while he was praying) and that may have been Michael's intention. The traitor may have been a traitor, but he was still [[spoiler:Michael's brother.]]
Michael's brother.



to:

* [[spoiler:Fredo]] turns out to be the traitor in ''Part II'' and Michael intends to have him killed when he finds out. When the deed is done, the traitor is saying a "Hail Mary" while fishing. Some believe that those who die while praying automatically get into Heaven (this is why Theatre/{{Hamlet}} didn't kill his uncle while he was praying) and that may have been Michael's intention. The traitor may have been a traitor, but he was still [[spoiler:Michael's brother.]]


* Michael was widely regarded to be a noncombatant by the different Mafia families, despite being the son of Vito Corleone, due mainly to the fact that he stayed out of the Family Business, kept his nose clean, and was a certifiable war hero. He might as well not be part of the family as far as they are concerned, when there are far more relevant targets such as Sonny (or Vito himself) whose deaths would actually affect how the family was run. Once Michael gets drawn in, he is shown to be [[BewareTheNiceOnes very ruthless]], and [[TranquilFury very cold]]. When asked what he would do after killing Solozzo and [[DirtyCop McCluskey]], he replied that he would sit down and finish his meal. When his godson is being baptized, he has his men do a [[ThePurge mass-killing]] of the rival family heads [[AndZoidberg and Moe Greene]]. In the second movie, he is told that he pissed off a ''lot'' of people when he did that, as it wasn't ''how things are done'', and it is implied that this bought him a short term advantage at the cost of long-term problems. Why does he take this approach? Because he doesn't have any direct background in the Mafia. He is a soldier, who was trained to deal with his enemies far more directly than what is considered appropriate in the American Mafia. If someone is an enemy and is dangerous to you, ''you kill them'' before they can do the same to you... if you are talking about two armies on the battlefield.

to:

* Michael was widely regarded to be a noncombatant by the different Mafia families, despite being the son of Vito Corleone, due mainly to the fact that he stayed out of the Family Business, kept his nose clean, and was a certifiable war hero. He might as well not be part of the family as far as they are concerned, when there are far more relevant targets such as Sonny (or Vito himself) whose deaths would actually affect how the family was run. Once Michael gets drawn in, he is shown to be [[BewareTheNiceOnes very ruthless]], and [[TranquilFury very cold]]. When asked what he would do after killing Solozzo Sollozzo and [[DirtyCop McCluskey]], [=McCluskey=]]], he replied that he would sit down and finish his meal. When his godson is being baptized, he has his men do a [[ThePurge mass-killing]] of the rival family heads [[AndZoidberg and Moe Greene]]. In the second movie, he is told that he pissed off a ''lot'' of people when he did that, as it wasn't ''how things are done'', and it is implied that this bought him a short term advantage at the cost of long-term problems. Why does he take this approach? Because he doesn't have any direct background in the Mafia. He is a soldier, who was trained to deal with his enemies far more directly than what is considered appropriate in the American Mafia. If someone is an enemy and is dangerous to you, ''you kill them'' before they can do the same to you... if you are talking about two armies on the battlefield.



to:

* The logo for the series, the hand holding the marionette puppet strings, might seem an odd choice for a saga about a mafia family, until you remember the quiet conversation between Vito and Michael shortly before Vito's death, about how he didn't want to be anyone's puppet, and hoped that one day Michael would be the one holding the strings.



to:

* This may not be intentional, but Sollozzo's death could be interpreted as the death of the "classic" movie gangster from UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood. In old, pre-Godfather gangster movies, the wiseguy gangster, who always looked, dressed and talked like Sollozzo, would get killed by the incorruptible police in the end. That's how the audience was supposed to learn that "crime doesn't pay" and keep the censors from clamping down on the movie. In the Godfather, the character designed to represent the classic gangster archetype, Sollozzo, is gunned down right alongside a [[DirtyCop distinctly corrupt police officer]]. And by whom? The quiet, decent war hero son of the most respected figure in the community, born into a world of family, honor, tradition, respect, etc. Basically telling the audience once and for all that this would not be like the older gangster movies.


* The opening scene of ''Film/TheGodfather'' gives us Amerigo Bonasera asking Don Vito to kill (implied) the men who ravaged his daughter as vengeance, describing how "she will never be beautiful again." This scene is mirrored later in the film after [[spoiler:Sonny's death]], where we find Don Vito asking Bonasera not for vengeance, but simply for him to use his skills as an undertaker ''to make [[spoiler:Vito's son]] beautiful again.''
* In ''Part I'', Vito says to the other dons, [[spoiler: "I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we've made here today." [[ExactWords Technically]], he kept his promise, but in ''Part III'', his granddaughter Mary, an innocent civilian, is killed by a bullet meant for Michael.]]
** [[spoiler: Even more appropriate considering how heavily implied it is that Vito orchestrated the whole thing, with Michael just "pushing a button", so to speak.]]

to:

* The opening scene of ''Film/TheGodfather'' gives us Amerigo Bonasera asking Don Vito to kill (implied) the men who ravaged his daughter as vengeance, describing how "she will never be beautiful again." This scene is mirrored later in the film after [[spoiler:Sonny's death]], Sonny's death, where we find Don Vito asking Bonasera not for vengeance, but simply for him to use his skills as an undertaker ''to make [[spoiler:Vito's son]] Vito's son beautiful again.''
* In ''Part I'', Vito says to the other dons, [[spoiler: "I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we've made here today." [[ExactWords Technically]], he kept his promise, but in ''Part III'', his granddaughter Mary, an innocent civilian, is killed by a bullet meant for Michael.]]
Michael.
** [[spoiler: Even more appropriate considering how heavily implied it is that Vito orchestrated the whole thing, with Michael just "pushing a button", so to speak.]]



* The use of ''Cavalleria Rusticana'' in ''Part III'' becomes even more poignant when the ''Intermezzo'' plays over [[spoiler:Mary's death, and ultimately Michael's during]] the ending. As the ''Intermezzo'' is only played in the ''middle'' of the Opera, it highlights the realization that [[spoiler:Michael's death]] is not really the end, but simply the closing of one tragic if bloody chapter in the Corleone saga. Something that Kay voices out earlier in the film: "It never ends."

to:

* The use of ''Cavalleria Rusticana'' in ''Part III'' becomes even more poignant when the ''Intermezzo'' plays over [[spoiler:Mary's Mary's death, and ultimately Michael's during]] during the ending. As the ''Intermezzo'' is only played in the ''middle'' of the Opera, it highlights the realization that [[spoiler:Michael's death]] Michael's death is not really the end, but simply the closing of one tragic if bloody chapter in the Corleone saga. Something that Kay voices out earlier in the film: "It never ends."



* The ending to ''Part III''. Before the passing of Mario Puzo, he and Francis had plans to make the next Godfather as Vincent's time as the Don, and he would have gone into the drug trade. [[spoiler:It would have ended with his death sometime in the mid-90s, after being hunted down and killed in a police shootout]]. Taken this account, Michael's death in '97 makes it all the more tragic since the Corleone name was by that point a worthless name because of the damage Vincent had done. Michael Corleone would have truly died broken and alone.
** Technically, according to a "Corleone family tree" found in the Coppola Restoration compilation as an extra, [[spoiler:Vincent gets gunned down in 2005 after soiling the Corleone name by getting into the drug business.]]

to:

* The ending to ''Part III''. Before the passing of Mario Puzo, he and Francis had plans to make the next Godfather as Vincent's time as the Don, and he would have gone into the drug trade. [[spoiler:It It would have ended with his death sometime in the mid-90s, after being hunted down and killed in a police shootout]].shootout. Taken this account, Michael's death in '97 makes it all the more tragic since the Corleone name was by that point a worthless name because of the damage Vincent had done. Michael Corleone would have truly died broken and alone.
** Technically, according to a "Corleone family tree" found in the Coppola Restoration compilation as an extra, [[spoiler:Vincent Vincent gets gunned down in 2005 after soiling the Corleone name by getting into the drug business.]]


* Carmela (Vito's wife) is actually the bad apple in the marriage: all the Corleone boys have terrible defects not present in Vito: Sonny's violence, Fredo's vices and Michael's cold heart. Since all this didn't come from Vito, then it had to be from their mother's side who doesn't appear that much to be noticed as an actual evil person. In a way, she might be the BiggerBad or even TheManBehindTheMan since in the part II flashbacks she's the one who introduced her husband to the first of his "godsons" asking favors.
** In the beginning of Godfather II, Connie brings a man to the party for the First Communion of Michael's son. When she asked her mother, Carmela, to help her skip over everyone else to see Michael, she tells Connie to visit her children first before waiting in line to see Michael like everyone else. The way she said it, is the same way Sonny would have said it, if he was alive.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 60

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report