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Quotes / The Godfather

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There is a ridiculous amount of good quotes from the Godfather series.

Exclusive to The Godfather novel

"Tom, don't let anybody kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult."
Michael Corleone

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."
Vito Corleone

The Godfather

"I believe in America. America has made my fortune."
Amerigo Bonasera

Bonasera: I ask you for justice.
Vito Corleone: That is not justice — your daughter is still alive.
Bonasera: Let them suffer then. As she suffers. How much shall I pay you?
Vito: Bonasera. Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you to treat me so disrespectfully. If you had come to me in friendship then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies then they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.
Bonasera: Be my friend... Godfather.
Vito: Good. Someday - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.
Opening scene of Part I

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."
Vito Corleone to Johnny Fontane

"Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home on the wedding day of your daughter. May their first child be a masculine child."
Luca Brasi, practicing his speech

"Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter's wedding... on the wedding day of your daughter's wedding... And I hope that their first child is a masculine child."
Luca Brasi, before Vito Corleone

"A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
Vito Corleone to Johnny Fontane

"Goddamn FBI don't respect nothin'."
Sonny Corleone

"I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense."
Sollozzo to Tom Hagan

"Bene, Don Corleone. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million dollars in cash. I need, Don Corleone, all of those politicians that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes."
Sollozzo to Vito Corleone

"So the next day, my father went to see him; only this time with Luca Brasi. An' within an hour, he signed a release, for a certified check for $1000."
"How'd he do that?"
"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
"What was that?"
"Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract. That's a true story."
"That's my family, Kay, it's not me."
Michael Corleone and Kay Adams

"My father is no different than any other powerful man — any man who's responsible for other people, like a senator or president."
"You know how naive you sound...senators and presidents don't have men killed."
"Oh? Who's being naive, Kay?"
Michael Corleone and Kay Adams

"No Sicilian can refuse any request on his daughter's wedding day."
Tom Hagen to his wife

"It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."
Peter Clemenza to Sonny Corleone

"In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns."

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
Peter Clemenza to Rocco

"It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."
Michael Corleone

"How bad do you think it's gonna be?"
"Pretty goddamn bad. Probably all the other Families will line up against us. That's all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one. You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they was just asking for trouble."
Michael and Clemenza, discussing the coming mob war.

"Hey, come over here kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, ya fry it, ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil, you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. And a little bit of wine. And a little bit of sugar, and that's my trick."
Clemenza giving Michael his special recipe.

"I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless. But not men."
Vito Corleone to Michael Corleone

"I knew Santino was going to have to go through all this and Fredo... well, Fredo was... But I never wanted this for you. I worked my whole life. I don't apologize to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool, dancing on a string held by all of those big shots. That's my life, I don't apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone. Governor Corleone. Something."
"Another pezzonovante."
"Well, there wasn't enough time, Michael. There just wasn't enough time."
"We'll get there, pop. We'll get there."
Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone

"But I'm a superstitious man. And if some unlucky accident should befall him - If he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell - or if he's struck by a bolt of lightning, then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room, and that I do not forgive. But, that aside, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we've made here today."
Vito Corleone

"Now listen: I want somebody good — and I mean very good — to plant that gun. I don't want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands, alright?"
Sonny Corleone to Peter Clemenza and Tom Hagen

"Only don't tell me that you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry."
Michael Corleone to Carlo Rizzi

"Tom, can you get me off the hook? For old times' sake?"
"Can't do it, Sally."
Tessio and Tom Hagen

"...also don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, "I have powders; if you put up three, four thousand dollar investment, we can make fifty thousand distributing." So they can't resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable."
[slams table]
"I don't want it near schools! I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamita. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls."
Don Zaluchi

"How's Paulie?"
"Oh, Paulie... won't see him no more."
Sonny Corleone and Peter Clemenza

"Look how they massacred my boy."
Vito Corleone to Amerigo Bonasera

"I have to go to the bathroom. Is that all right?"
"You gotta go, you gotta go."
Michael Corleone and Captain McCluskey

"I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I've spoiled them as you can see. They talk when they should listen. [...] Santino. Come here. What's the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft, from all that comedy you're playing with that young girl. Never tell anybody outside the family what you're thinking again."
Vito Corleone

"Don't ask me about my work, Kay."
Michael Corleone

"Times have changed. It's not like the old days when we could do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. Don Corleone had all the judges and the politicians in New York, and he must share them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly, he can present a bill for such services. After all, we are not Communists."
Don Barzini

"Fredo, you're my brother and I love you. But don't ever take sides against the family again."
Michael Corleone

The Godfather II

"It made me think of what you once told me: "In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate." That was seven years ago."
"I know. I'm trying, darling."
Kay Adams-Corleone and Michael Corleone

"I saw a strange thing today. Some rebels were being arrested. One of them pulled the pin on a grenade. He took himself and the captain of the command with him. Now, soldiers are paid to fight; the rebels aren't."
"What does that tell you?"
"It means they could win."
Michael Corleone and Hyman Roth

"I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!"
"That's the way Pop wanted it."
"It ain't the way I wanted it!... I can handle things! I'm smart, not like everybody says, like, dumb! I'm smart, and I want respect!"
Fredo Corleone and Michael Corleone

"Hyman Roth has been dying from the same heart attack for the last twenty years."
Michael Corleone

"You're nothing to me now... You're not a brother. You're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do... I don't want to see you at the hotels. I don't want you near my house... When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance so I won't be there... You understand?"
Michael Corleone to Fredo Corleone

"Our friend and associate Hyman Roth is in the news. The High Court of Israel turned down his request to live there as a returning Jew. He landed in Buenos Aires last night offering a "gift" of a million dollars if they'd let him stay. They said no. His passport's been invalidated, except for his return trip to the States."
"He'll try Panama next."
"Panama won't take him. Not for a million, not for ten million."
Al Neri, Tom Hagen, and Michael Corleone

"Sir, my client has answered every question asked by this committee with the utmost sincerity."
Tom Hagan

"There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."
Michael Corleone

"If I could only live to see it, to be there with you. What I wouldn't give for twenty more years! Here we are, protected, free to make our profits without Kefauver, the goddamn Justice Department, and the F.B.I. ninety miles away, in partnership with a friendly government. Ninety miles! It's nothing! Just one small step, looking for a man who wants to be President of the United States, and having the cash to make it possible. Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel."
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!"
Michael Corleone

"I don't want anything to happen to him while my mother's alive."
Michael Corleone, regarding Fredo's murder

"I've always taken care of you, Fredo."
"Taken care of me? I'm your older brother, Mike, and you're taking care of me? Did you ever think about that?"
Michael Corleone and Fredo Corleone

"Is it worth it? I mean, you've won. Do you wanna wipe everybody out?"
"I don't feel that I need to wipe everybody out, Tom... just my enemies."
Tom Hagen and Michael Corleone

"There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada... made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI's on the way to the West Coast. That kid's name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn't even a plaque, or a signpost, or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn't angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen; I didn't ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!"
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"I'm going to take a nap. When I wake up, if the money is on the table, I'll know I have a partner. If it isn't, I'll know I don't."
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power."
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"Young man, I hear you and your friends are stealing goods. But you don't even send a dress to my house. No respect! You know I've got three daughters. This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little. I hear you and your friends cleared $600 each. Give me $200 each, for your own protection. And I'll forget the insult. You young punks have to learn to respect a man like me! Otherwise the cops will come to your house. And your family will be ruined. Of course, if I'm wrong about how much you stole, I'll take a little less. And by less, I only mean - a hundred bucks less. Now don't refuse me. Understand, paisan? Understand, paisan?... Tell your friends I don't want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak. Don't be afraid to tell them!"
Massimo Fanucci, to Vito Corleone

[watching a Punch and Judy show]
"Oh, this is too violent for me!" [walks away]
Massimo Fanucci

"But Vito is only nine. And dumb-witted. The child cannot harm you."
Signora Andolini to Ciccio

[Vito returns to Sicily to visit Ciccio, who murdered his family]
"I see you took the name of the town. What was your father's name?"
"Antonio Andolini."
"You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you!"
(Vito moves closer)
"My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you!"
[Vito stabs Ciccio]
Ciciio and Vito Corleone

"Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners. One by one, our old friends are gone. Death, natural or not, prison, deported. Hyman Roth is the only one left, because he always made money for his partners."
Johnny Ola, to Michael Corleone

"I loved baseball ever since Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series in 1919."
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"I'd give four million just to be able to take a piss without it hurting."
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone

"C'mon Frankie... my father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth."
"Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth... but he never trusted Hyman Roth!"
Michael Corleone and Frank Pentangeli

"Michael, why are the drapes open?"
Kay Adams-Corleone, just before an attempted assassination.

"Oh, Michael. Michael, you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. An abortion, Michael. Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something that's unholy and evil. I didn't want your son, Michael! I wouldn't bring another one of your sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son Michael! A son! And I had it killed because this must all end!"
[Michael slaps Kay]
"I know now that it's over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael... no way you could ever forgive me now with this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2,000 years."
"Bitch! You won't take my children!"
"I will."
"You won't take my children!"
"They're my children too."
Kay Adams-Corleone and Michael Corleone

"Your country ain't your blood."
Sonny Corleone to Michael.

The Godfather III

"Don Lucchesi, you are a man of finance and politics. These things I don't understand."
"You understand guns?"
"Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger."
Vincent Mancini and Licio Lucchesi

"It seems in today's world the power to absolve debt is greater than the power of forgiveness."
Archbishop Gilday

"Power corrupts those who do not have it."
[Stabs Licio Lucchesi in the throat with his own glasses]
Calo to Licio Lucchesi

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."
Michael Corleone

"When they come... they come at what you love."
Michael Corleone

"Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment."
Michael Corleone

"Never let anyone know what you are thinking."
Michael Corleone

"The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes."
Michael Corleone

"Your sins are terrible. It is just that you suffer. Your life could be redeemed, but I know you don't believe that. You will not change."
Cardinal Lambento to Michael Corleone

"My dear children: It is now better than several years since I moved to New York, and I haven't seen you as much as I would like to. I hope you will come to the ceremony of papal honors given for my charitable work. The only wealth in this world is children; more than all the money, power on earth, you are my treasure."
Michael Corleone

"I would burn in hell to keep you safe."
Michael Corleone to Mary Corleone

"I am your son. Command me in all things."
"Give up my daughter. That is the price you pay for the life you choose."
Vincent Mancini and Michael Corleone

"I'll always love you."
"Love somebody else."
Mary Corleone and Vincent Mancini

"Now they'll fear you. Michael."
"Maybe they should fear YOU!"
Connie Corleone and Michael Corleone

"The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends."
Michael Corleone

"Kay, I had a very different destiny planned for us."
Michael Corleone, to Kay Adams-Corleone

"You know, Michael; now that you're so respectable, I think you're more dangerous than ever. I liked you better when you were just a common Mafia hood."
Kay Adams-Corleone to Michael Corleone

"The Pope's doing exactly what you said he'd do, he's cleaning house."
"He should be careful. It's dangerous to be an honest man."
B.J. Harrison and Michael Corleone

The Godfather video game

There are people in this world who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games. They jump out of their automobiles in a rage. They humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know. These are people who wander through the world shouting, "kill me". And there's always someone ready to oblige to them.
Don Vito Corleone

About The Godfather

"The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." What day of the week is it? "Maunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday." And the answer to your question is "Go to the mattresses." You're at war. "It's not personal, it's business."
Joe Fox in You've Got Mail


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