Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quotes and Scenes from the Godfather and Godfather Part 2

Preston L. Allen’s favorite quotes and scenes from The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2

Godfather 1

1) Tom: "Thank you for dinner and a very pleasant evening. If you could arrange for a car to take me to the airport—Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately."

2) Don 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, if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he is struck by a bolt of lightning, I'm going to blame some of the people in this room. And then I shall not forget."

3) Luca: “Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home on the wedding day of your daughter. And may their first child be a masculine child.”

4) Don Corleone: “I understand. You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, made a good living, the police protected you and there were courts of law and you didn't need a friend like me. But, now you come to me and you say ‘Don Corleone, give me justice.’ But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my home on the day my daughter's to be married and you ask me to do murder for money.”

5) Don Corleone: “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.”

6) Scene: Producer Jack Woltz and the horse head. There is no need to discuss this scene. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

7) Don 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 work my whole life, I don't apologize to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. I don't apologize for that. That's my life. 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.”

8) Scene: Sonny kicks Carlo’s butt in broad daylight.

9) Scene: Carlo kicks Connie’s butt again, chasing her into the bathroom. This is the notorious “vaffunculo” scene that ends with Connie calling Sonny for help.

10) Scene: Sonny, on his way to kick Carlo’s butt again, ignoring Tom’s pleas to take bodyguards, stops to pay the toll and is shot to pieces by waiting assassins. I love/hate this scene. You have to admit Sonny is one of your favorites and you hate to see him go out like this. Dang, why didn’t he wait for the bodyguards? Why? Why? Why? Such a hothead. The way he dies . . . the scene is very moving, very violent . . . it reminds of the scene in Bonnie and Clyde when Bonnie and Clyde get theirs . . . you understand why a young Warren Beatty was almost cast for the part of Sonny in the Godfather—he reminds of James Caan, and I personally believe that Beatty would have done a pretty good job with the part, but props to James Caan who played his butt off in that part. It’s hard watching him go down like that.

11) Scene: Don Corleone and Tom—Tom has to tell the Don that Sonny has been killed. What a tough scene. The worn and disheveled don, still recovering from his wounds, looking as though he has aged twenty years, takes the whiskey from Tom and says something along the lines of: “My wife is crying. I hear cars coming and going from the house. Consigliore, don’t you think it is time you told your Don what everybody else already seems to know?” Tom, the adopted son, looks at him with weepy eyes, “They got Sonny. He’s dead.” Then the don says, "I want no inquiries made. I want no revenge. Call Tataglia and set up a metting. Call Bonsera the undertaker . . ." then the don, in a tender, fatherly move, hugs and comforts the weeping Tom. This small scene is powerful because it resonates with so many other things in the movie—remember that it is the boy Sonny who found the homeless boy Tom and brought him home to live with the Corleones as a brother and son—it is because of Sonny’s compassion that Tom, an orphan, is a rich powerful lawyer and Consigliore today—Sonny is Tom’s brother, protector, and childhood friend. Note also that Sonny is the firstborn in a traditional Italian family in a movie that really is about families—what does this mean to his father, the don, as he gets up and slowly, painfully, wordlessly makes his way back upstairs to his room? Also, the way the scene is played out, Tom is being punished somewhat, with the Don turning his back on Tom and wordlessly walking away—remember that it is Tom who says to Jack Woltz the scumbag producer earlier in the movie that the don is a man who likes to hear bad news right away—Tom shows his weakness by not telling him right away—as much as we love him (and boy does Robert Duvall play the heck out of this role) Tom is not Sicilian, Tom is not a real Corleone, Tom, then, perhaps, is not fit to be Consigliore. The next time you watch the scene in which Michael tells Tom that he is out, remember this small scene which came earlier.

12) Scene: Are you ready to repay the debt you owe your godfather, Bonasera? Don Corleone and the Undertaker Bonasera: The weeping don says something like, “Look how they massacred my boy. Use all of your power and your skills, Bonasera. I don’t want his mother to see him like this.”

13) Scene: Moe Greene, Fredo, and Michael in Las Vegas—Moe Greene says, “You buy me out?” There is some mention of Fredo’s banging cocktail waitresses two at a time. Great scene.

14) Scene: Michael, Clemenza, Tessio, and the retired Don Corleone (Tom in the background): Clemenza says, “Don Corleone, you once said the day would come when me and Tessio could form our own families. Until today I would never think of such a thing but now I must ask your permission, and the Don responds, “Well, Michael's head of the family now and if he gives his permission then you have my blessing.” The scene ends when it is made clear to Tom that he is out as an advisor. The Don tells the distraught Tom: “Tom, I advised Michael. I never thought you were a bad Consigliari. I thought Santino was a bad Don, rest in peace. Michael has all my confidence as do you. But there are reasons why you must have nothing to do with what's going to happen.” Tom pleads to Michael and Michael tells him: “You’re out, Tom!” Great scene.

15) Clemenza: “Mikey, why don't you tell that nice girl you love her? I love you with all-a my heart, if I don't see-a you again soon, I'm-a gonna die.”

16) Sonny: “Hey, 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, all right?”

17) Michael: “They want to have a meeting with me, right? It will be me, McClusky and Sollozzo. Let's set the meeting. We get our informants to find out where it's going to be held. Now we insist that it be held in a public place, a bar or a restaurant where there'll be other people there so I'll feel safe. They're going to search me when I first meet them, right? So I can't have a weapon on me. But if Clemenza can figure a way to have a weapon planted for me, then I'll kill them both.”

18) Enzo the Baker: “If there is trouble, I stay here to help you. For your father. For your father.” Another great little scene. Because Don Corleone rules with compassion, the people under his protection, like little, insignificant Enzo the Baker are willing to lay down their lives for him. Enzo is shaking in this scene—he is no Mafioso—but he is willing to die for his don. Remember Luca Brasi in the earlier scene on Connie’s wedding day—so impressed that the don would invite a mug like him to his daughter’s wedding? Luca is like Enzo—he loves his don.

19) Clemenza: “It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.” One of the great characters in this movie is Luca Brasi, who really does not have many scenes before he is killed. Nevertheless, his presence is strongly felt because of Michael’s telling Kay that grim story about him at the beginning of the film, the fear and respect the rival family Tataglias have for him, and the way the hopes of the Sonny-led Corleones seem somewhat dashed when they find out that he has been killed. The novel does more with Luca. You should read it—there is a great back story about why Luca is so loyal to the don, something involving a woman who was pregnant, tragically, with Luca’s child. Read it—I promise you will enjoy it.

20) Tom: “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.”

21) Scene: Clemenza teaching Michael how to shoot that gun.

22) Sollozo: “What guarantees could I give you, Mike? I am the hunted one! I missed my chance. You think too much of me, kid--I'm not that clever. All I want, is a truce.”

23) Scene: Michael shoots Sollozo and the captain. Good riddance. I hate Sollozo.

24) Kay and Tom: “If I take that letter from you, in a court of law they can prove I know his whereabouts.”

25) Scene: Michael challenges Apollonia’s father, a bald man in suspenders, backed up by his two lanky, broad-shouldered sons, saying something like, “ . . . your daughter will lose a father instead of gaining a husband.”

26) Scene: The courtship of Apollonia and Michael—hahaha, they don’t even get to sit together. I love it—the traditional Sicilian courtship. She is so beautiful. I love her doe eyes, more Greek than Italian indeed.

27) Apollonia: “Mondi, Tuesdi, Winsdy . . .”

28) Scene: The death of Apollonia. I don’t want to talk about it. Too sad.

29) Barzini: “Times have changed. It's not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use 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.”

30) Don Corleone: “Tattaglia's a pimp. He never could've out-fought Santino. But I didn't know until this day that it was Barzini all along.”

31) Tom: “Mr. Corleone never asks a second favor once he's refused the first, understood?”

32) Sonny: “I want you to take care of that son of a bitch right away. Paulie sold out the old man. I want you to make that first thing on your list, understand?”

33) Clemenza: "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

34) Don Corleone: “So, Barzini will move against you first. He'll set up a meeting with someone that you absolutely trust guaranteeing your safety and at that meeting you'll be assassinated. I like to drink wine more than I used to. Anyway, I'm drinking more.”

35) Michael: “You have to answer for Santino, Carlo. You fingered Sonny for the Barzini people.” Oh, man, this is a great scene. Michael sweet talks Carlo and gets him finally to admit that he did finger Sonny, and then he sends him off to his death believing he has been forgiven. This scene is actually part of the whole Christening/revenge scene in which Michael is in church standing godfather to Carlo and Connie’s baby while all of his enemies are being gunned down elsewhere in New York and Las Vegas. The priest says, “Michael, do you renounce Satan?” and Michael says, “I do,” as elsewhere Moe Greene gets one in the eye and Barzini gets a load in the guts. What a scene. Carlo had it coming. By the way, it is not mentioned in the movie, but in the novel one of the reasons Sonny attacks Carlo so vituperatively is that he (Sonny) is the one who brought Carlo home to Connie. He feels personal guilt for setting her up with such a brute of a husband. Sonny, the firstborn, is a very important character in this story. He is the hotheaded son who runs the family with violence and little discretion in his father’s absence—making more enemies than the family needs; he is the son who brought home Tom, the adopted brother, who proved to be effective in many ways but just not Sicilian enough to be a don’s Consigliore—Tom’s weaknesses leading perhaps indirectly to Sonny’s own death; and Sonny is the son who introduced the treacherous Carlo into the family, which of course led directly to his (Sonny’s) death.

36) Tessio: "This screws up all my arrangements."

37) Michael: “Enough! All right. This one time, this one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs...” Even at the end of GFI, there’s a great scene. Don Michael Corleone swears to Kay that he did not kill Carlo, but then she walks out of the room and we see in the background Neri and Clemenza honoring Michael by kissing his hand as that door slowly, ominously swings closed. It leaves no doubt in our mind that he is the new Godfather, power has been transferred, and if a stinking weasel of a brother-in-law like Carlo has to die, then Michael is the one to give the order—no one else would dare kill the godfather’s brother-in-law, right? That is a scary scene. Great way to end a movie. Coppola is a genius.

Godfather 2

1) GF2Michael to Senator Geary: "Senator, you can have my answer now if you like. My offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally."

2) GF2Kay: “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 you 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!”

3) GF2Scene: Senator Geary and the dead hooker. Haha. Robert Duval says something like, “Don’t worry, senator, we’ve got people who will take care of this,” and the senator is like stuttering, “But . . . but . . . she was alive when I went to sleep, and we had done this before . . .” Oh, they set him up real good. Don’t mess with the Corleones.

4) GF2Michael: “I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.”

5) GF2Michael: “I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!”

6) GF2Michael: “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.”

7) GF2Vito Corleone: “My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you.”

8) GF2Michael: “IN MY HOME! IN MY BEDROOM! Where my wife sleeps... and my children play with their toys.”

9) GF2Connie: “Michael, I hated you for so many years. I think that I did things to myself, to hurt myself so that you'd know - that I could hurt you. You were just being strong for all of us the way Papa was. And I forgive you. Can't you forgive Fredo? He's so sweet and helpless without you. You need me, Michael. I want to take care of you now.”

10) GF2Vito Corleone: “Do me this favor. I won't forget it. Ask your friends in the neighborhood about me. They'll tell you I know how to return a favor.” I love this scene! The cruel landlord chickens out. The great thing about these movies is that both Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro are great as Don Corleone. There is no fall off of talent going from one to the other. Who is the genius who cast these two movies?

11) GF2Scene: Pentangeli before congress recants his earlier testimony, saying something like, “Ahhh, I don’t know nuthin. . . . ahhh, Michael Corleone a godfather . . . ahhh, I know what you’re talking about—back in the old days, me and his pop were in business together, olive oil. The FBI guys, they come to me and they say Michael Corleone this, Michael Corleone that, and I say okay . . .” Great scene.

12) GF2Scene: The death of Michael’s assassin in black—just minutes before he would have killed Roth. Doesn't he remind you of the assassin in black that Pacino as Tony Montana killed in Scarface?

13) GF2Scene: Michael gives Fredo the kiss of death in Cuba.

14) GF2Fredo: "Well 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!"

15) GF2Scene: young Clemenza and young Vito stealing a rug.

16) GF2Scene: Vito and the flaming gun after his first murder. DeNiro is solid in this movie, solid! But this scene . . . oh, I’m blown away. And so is the so-called black hand.

17) GF2Scene: The death of Fredo. This scene is great, but so sad. Come on, we all loved Fredo, right? Couldn’t we give him another chance? It is, however, another great way to end a movie.

1 comment:

geoffreyphilp101@gmail.com said...

Preston,
Bella, first Happy Birthday!

I’ve awarded your blog a “You Make My Day” award. For more info, click here:

You Make My Day

Bless up,
Geoffrey

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Pulitzer Prize Winner!!!

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The genius Is At It Again/The Rapper CHIEF aka Sherwin Allen

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Check out Sandrine's Letter To Tomorrow. You will like it, I insist.

All or Nothing

All or Nothing

Editorial Reviews of All or Nothing

New York Times--". . . a cartographer of autodegradation . . . Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu — the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand."

Florida Book Review--". . . Allen examines the flaming abyss compulsive gambling burns in its victims’ guts, self-esteem and bank accounts, the desperate, myopic immediacy it incites, the self-destructive need it feeds on, the families and relationships it destroys. For with gamblers, it really is all or nothing. Usually nothing. Take it from a reviewer who’s been there. Allen is right on the money here."

Foreword Magazine--"Not shame, not assault, not even murder is enough reason to stop. Allen’s second novel, All or Nothing, is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable. P’s inner dialogues illuminate the grubby tragedy of addiction, and his actions speak for the train wreck that is gambling."

Library Journal--"Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."—Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH

LEXIS-NEXIS--"By day, P drives a school bus in Miami. But his vocation? He's a gambler who craves every opportunity to steal a few hours to play the numbers, the lottery, at the Indian casinos. Allen has a narrative voice as compelling as feeding the slots is to P." Betsy Willeford is a Miami-based freelance book reviewer. November 4, 2007

Publisher’s Weekly--"Allen’s dark and insightful novel depicts narrator P’s sobering descent into his gambling addiction . . . The well-written novel takes the reader on a chaotic ride as P chases, finds and loses fast, easy money. Allen (Churchboys and Other Sinners) reveals how addiction annihilates its victims and shows that winning isn’t always so different from losing."

Kirkus Review--"We gamble to gamble. We play to play. We don't play to win." Right there, P, desperado narrator of this crash-'n'-burn novella, sums up the madness. A black man in Miami, P has graduated from youthful nonchalance (a '79 Buick Electra 225) to married-with-a-kid pseudo-stability, driving a school bus in the shadow of the Biltmore. He lives large enough to afford two wide-screen TVs, but the wife wants more. Or so he rationalizes, as he hits the open-all-night Indian casinos, "controlling" his jones with a daily ATM maximum of $1,000. Low enough to rob the family piggy bank for slot-machine fodder, he sinks yet further, praying that his allergic 11-year-old eat forbidden strawberries—which will send him into a coma, from which he'll emerge with the winning formula for Cash 3 (the kid's supposedly psychic when he's sick). All street smarts and inside skinny, the book gives readers a contact high that zooms to full rush when P scores $160,000 on one lucky machine ("God is the God of Ping-ping," he exults, as the coins flood out). The loot's enough to make the small-timer turn pro, as he heads, flush, to Vegas to cash in. But in Sin City, karmic payback awaits. Swanky hookers, underworld "professors" deeply schooled in sure-fire systems to beat the house, manic trips to the CashMyCheck store for funds to fuel the ferocious need—Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming. Fun time in the Inferno.

World Series of Poker

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At Books and Books

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Bio


Preston L. Allen is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature and the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction for his short story collection Churchboys and Other Sinners (Carolina Wren Press 2003). His works have appeared in numerous publications including The Seattle Review, The Crab Orchard Review, Asili, Drum Voices, and Gulfstream Magazine; and he has been anthologized in Here We Are: An Anthology of South Florida Writers, Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, Miami Noir, and the forthcoming Las Vegas Noir. His fourth novel, All Or Nothing, chronicles the life of a small-time gambler who finally hits it big. Preston Allen teaches English and Creative Writing in Miami, Florida.