Godfather question: Did anybody back home know that Michael got married while he was in Italy?*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vinny123, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

    Location:
    York UK
    On a side note I came over to New York in April to celebrate my 50th birthday with my wife and kids. I took a walk around little Italy and went down Mott St. to where they filmed the shooting of the Don.
    It has now been absorbed into China Town but there is still a little store across the road selling fruit :D
    I also went to the church where they filmed the interior for the christening and there was a wedding about to start, I quickly went in and got a photo of the altar. Nobody minded and when I was coming out the bride was waiting in the foyer so I wished her good luck. I wonder if they knew what was filmed there...
     
  2. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Having had this discussion earlier in this thread, and given how well written your position is here, I completely understand the point you are making.

    But there are problems with it that I think are enough to undermine the basic point.

    Go back to the first part of the film. Is there any evidence or indication that Michael didn't love Kay? What was the logic of their relationship if not based on care? Sure I get the argument that she fit an image, and was good looking (not that thinking your romantic partner is good looking somehow contrary to loving them, of course). But at the time Michael had no obvious reason to be looking for a woman who would merely fit an image for him. Merely being the key word - people who are in love can certainly be so while still hoping their partner makes them look good however one might define that.

    And Michael knew that Kay loved him.

    Michael separated from Kay because he had to, to go to Sicily and hide out. While there, he meets Apollonia, a very different type of woman. And falls in love with her. But that doesn't mean he didn't care for Kay at any time. No doubt when Apollonia was killed that left a huge and adverse impression on Michael. But I don't think it necessarily meant he could never love again. It might have made him feel, however, that he could never fall in love with someone else again. But he already loved Kay, even if not as much, or just differently, than Apollonia. In other words I don't buy that his loving Apollonia meant he could not come back and love Kay.

    More important still is that Kay was going to be problematic for Michael given that he knew she was morally opposed to the whole crime business. I think he was okay with that because he held out hope that he could take the Corleones legit. But why run the risk, the issue of dealing with Kay, if he didn't care for her? He could have found a woman who not only would not have had moral objections, but who was not as strong a personality as Kay was.
     
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  3. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Yes, it goes back to the attack on Vito and Fredo's poor reaction. In fact it was likely the case even before then that all concerned did not look at Fredo as someone who would ever take over a real leadership role in the family.
     
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  4. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
    From the book:

    Michael wasn't too pleased about his emotions being so easily read. But this was the first time in his life such a thing had happened to him. It was nothing like the adolescent crushes, it was nothing like the love he'd had for Kay, a loved based on her sweetness, her intelligence and the polarity of the fair and dark. This was an overwhelming desire for possession, this was an unerasable printing of the girl's face on his brain and he knew she would haunt his memory every day of his life if he did not possess her. His life had become simplified, focused on one point, everything else was unworthy of even a moment's attention. During his exile he had always thought of Kay, though he felt they could never again be lovers or even friends. He was, after all was said, a murderer, a Mafioso who had "made his bones". But now Kay was wiped completely out of his consciousness.
     
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  5. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Little Italy was shrinking even when they filmed that scene. Assimilation.

    Next time visit Vazacs Bar/7B at 7th Street and Avenue B. That is where they filmed the Rosatos trying to kill Frankie. Plus many other films (Crocodile Dundee, Angel Heart, etc).
     
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  6. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    This is a great summation. One of the best scenes of Godfather II for them is where Fredo is complaining about them never spending quality time together.

    When Michael grabs Fredo's head I always think...shouldn't Fredo be able to kick his ass? Shouldn't be able to push him off? This has to bug Fredo. I know there is the whole Don thing, I know there is the respect thing, but in the end, Fredo is a very frail like person that felt passed over and resentment in ways that almost made him suicidal. I know people like that, and Fredo was a very good entertainer and had a happy demeanor, but the real guy you see in the phone call bed scene and perhaps also when Fredo is drinking. Man I love these movies. I have thought more about Godfather II in this last week than I ever have.
     
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  7. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

    Location:
    York UK
    I know what you mean... I need the wife and kids to go away for a weekend so I can watch them both again :)
     
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  8. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    Location:
    columbus, oh, usa
    INCREDIBLE THREAD.

    I've read the novel about a dozen times, the Winegarner sequels, the Family Corleone prequel, seen the first two movies over ten times each, even the third 4 times or so.

    And you guys are giving me completely new ways to think about some of this stuff.
     
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  9. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Re Fredo- Is it possible that the fever that he had as a baby left him somewhat ‘brain damaged’?
     
  10. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    I blew an entire day last weekend watching I and II again thanks to this thread!
     
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  11. Paulette

    Paulette Your love for me has just got to be real.

    Location:
    US
    Good observation. And in general he was sickly too.
     
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  12. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I was talking mostly of when Michael returned from Italy and married Kay when I say I don't think he loved her. As for his feeling for her earlier, its hard to say. Maybe he loved her, maybe not. But I think his relationship with Kay, like his military service, was part of his rebellion against the family and life his father envisioned for him. He imagined a whole separate path for his life, and Kay fit that. The depth of his feelings for her prior to Apollonia are debatable. But post Apollonia? I don't think he loved her, no. He went back to her because he calculated he could get her to fill a needed role. Once she became the mother of his children, I'm sure she held some value, but I don't think it was love. I don't think he had that left in him.
     
  13. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
    Kay became a possession once they were married. She, like everyone else in Michael's life, became someone to perform some sort of service to him.
    What always got me was, in GFII she tells him that she had an abortion, and he casts her out of his life. She had appeared to have grown to hate him, and yet at the end Michael shows up and she is still there seeing the kids. He goes to shut the door on her, and she's standing there looking at him as if she still loves him. And Michael, cold as ice, shuts the door in her face.
     
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  14. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    Uh. That's not how it happens in the movie. Like tens of millions of married couples, they had different ideas about family and morality and it resulted in a love/hate relationship. Kay didn't handle this any better than Michael. Sure, it's her choice by law if she wants to have an abortion but she can't expect that to go over too well with her Catholic husband, especially while she simultaneously tells him that she abhors everything about him and his heritage. Not justifying the way he reacted in violence, but as bad as the slap was, it was quite restrained given at how Kay was abusing him with her words and the revelation about her abortion. After that, Michael had to close the door on her, regardless of feelings.

    If you really see Michael as a hateful, heartless animal and Kay as the innocent victim, you're missing a lot of what the movie is about.
     
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  15. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Interesting analysis. I always figured that Kay had an illegal abortion, thinking this was pre Roe v Wade. Regarding the slap, you’re right. She dangerously pushed his button. She also knew what she was getting involved with when she married Michael. I mean, check out how Michael was dressed in Mafia black when he went to see her after he was in Italy! He has a black car driving behind him as they walked outside Kay’s school. I really think most women would be pretty hesitant about signing on. But I don’t think she knew until later how ruthless Michael could be.
     
  16. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    As she was a woman of significant means, Kay would have had ample opportunity to get a legal abortion from a reputable doctor prior to RvW.

    Michael and Kay loved each other, and Michael really did want the Corleone family to go legit. He wasn't lying to Kay about that. But, like the saying goes, every time he thought he was out they pulled him back in.

    There's all types of women. Some would have been turned on by his power and aloof demeanor. Some would just care about money. Some would have loved his faithfulness and been ok with the rest. But Kay was different and became a ticking time bomb before Michael could retire from the business.
     
  17. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I always thought that obvious.

    It was before antibiotics. If you survived certain illnesses, you might well have diminished capacity. And poor Fred was an infant.
     
  18. Muzyck

    Muzyck Just another anonymous canine Beatle fan

    Could be. I never interpreted it that way. I always thought that scene was put in the movie to portray him early on as "weak".
     
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  19. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
    I didn't say that I saw her as an innocent victim.
     
  20. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    How millions of other couples act doesn't mean he is devoid of being cold.

    Regardless of how it goes over with Michael, him attacking her is no excuse. I don't think she was attacking his heritage, but was mocking his criminal distorted view of it.

    Kay was saying normal things when you are speaking about a cold hearted murdering shell of a man. He had no right to close the door on her, and one would have to be blind if they didn't understand that he used his power to make sure she couldn't see her kids. I think defending this behavior and then proclaiming that Kay is to blame in any way shape or form is missing the point.

    Kay is absolutely innocent. Sure she married a murderer, but I don't think she thought Michael was murdering. You can see that with her wanting to believe Michael in the first movie and him lying to her about it. She was young and dumb, but that doesn't make her not a victim.

    Kay has a right to abort her child, and actually she can never tell Michael about it. Whether it "goes over well" is no excuse. I don't agree with doing that, but in the end that doesn't make her wrong because it is how I believe. Also about the things that she said, are you forgetting about the lying manipulating crap that Michael was saying to her? I don't believe for a single solitary second that he truly gives a rat's ass about how she feels. When he slaps her, he has no regret. He doesn't care if he hurt her, and doesn't care what has been done. All he cares about is what he can control and what he will possess in the now and in the future.

    While the other poster in no way shape or form said Kay is without fault as been implied by you, I am saying it. Kay was INNOCENT. Her going off on him was a nice thing to do. He needed that wake up call, but worse, he needed his ass put in jail and probably executed for his crimes. That is just a fact.

    No, Kay had a NORMAL reaction. The ticking time bomb was Michael. Kay wanted no part of that murdering ass as soon as she was hip to the game.

    Her only fault was still wanting forgiveness from him. She should have got out while she could, but the kids are a bit of an issue there.
     
  21. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    That's true. Sorry if I misrepresented what you said. I think @genesim sees her as more of an innocent victim.

    He has to give people what they deserve. He's warm to Connie when she opens up to him. But while she was refusing to confide or trust in him he had to hold her at arm's length. He can't afford to let his emotions interfere in things so no doubt he comes across as cold, but he seems in touch with his emotions in a way few men are, and able to deal with them honestly. I think of cold men as those who have no emotions or are unable to understand their emotions. Michael wasn't like that. He even tells Fredo "you broke my heart," and what does Fredo do? Runs away. Fredo lets emotions rule him.

    No, she specifically says she would never bring another son of his into this world with "this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2000 years" and she also tells him it "must end" leaving it open to interpretation whether she means his family specifically or the entire heritage. Anyway, there's not much room for debate that she was attacking his heritage.

    As anyone knows who has court ordered visitation/timeshare with young children, not only do you have a right to close the door on your ex but if they are not respecting the handoff or making it problematic or traumatic for the kids, you can call the cops and have them taken away. Connie was begging Kay to get out of the house for the entire opening of the seen and Kay refused. Frankly, if her previously agreed time for visitation had ended, she was in violation and deserved worse than a door closed in her face. Her own son didn't want anything to do with her, so she should have respected that that's where his emotions were at that point in time and left so as to avoid that unnecessary confrontation. Michael handled it about as well as can be expected in these circumstances. There was no yelling or other interaction that would have caused the kids trauma.

    She was in love with him as a soldier. He killed lots of people in the war and was awarded a medal. Kay was not dumb. Naive - yes. Judgmental - yes. She was educated and idealistic.

    Agreed, but she did tell him, and in language that was very hurtful and demeaning, even as he was trying to be conciliatory and re-commit himself to going legit. She knew the type of confrontation she was setting up would make him uncontrollably angry and she did it anyway.

    Michael had just felt like he had his heart ripped out, his family broken, and everything he believed about her and was hoping for the future literally aborted. He genuinely did want to go legit and was telling her he could change because he believed it. The monstrous crimes he had committed were to consolidate his power and provide for his family, but if he could just leave the life of crime behind, he believed they had a chance.

    The movie is set up for the viewer to identify pretty strongly with Michael, who was a level-headed college kid looking for something to put his trust and faith into, as we all do as young men. First he put it in his country, and went off to fight in the war. Then he put it in family. The first film sets this up rather brilliantly because even though it's a crime family, the patriarch is a man you yourself have praised despite him committing acts of murder every bit as illegal and brutal as those Michael committed. So I think you are being more than a little hypocritical here.

    Regarding Kay, it is not innocent to exchange vows, have a family with a man and then start aborting pregnancies and expressing an interest in taking his children away. Even with the best intentions, there is just nothing innocent about that. If you've seen Sopranos, it's a much different dynamic between Carm and Tony, but at one point Carm goes to see a therapist who tells her she's been an enabler and has been living off blood money. So had Kay. She knew it, and it may have bothered her, but it also benefitted her in many ways.

    Then she either should have had a frank discussion with Michael about going legit with a set time after which they needed to establish separate lives, or she needed to just leave everything behind and vanish into a different life. How she handled it may have been within the bounds of normalcy but it was about the worst idea in that range--the worst for their relationship and for their kids.
     
  22. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    I don’t want to journey into politics here, but was it/is it legal for a wife to abort a child without consent from the husband? That does not sound legally correct to me, especially for the 70s (I do not know exactly what year that scene takes place in).

    What I do know and understand, is Michael being done with her after it happened. She knew it too. That was her plan to get out. She wasn’t happy with it after the fact (maybe she foolishly thought she would get the kids), but it was her plan.
     
  23. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    So here is the question. If Appolonia had lived, would Michael have done everything the same on the business side, but have been more peaceful like Vito? Or would Appolonia have perhaps kept him in a place where he would not have killed Fredo for instance, since he would have had more peace at home, and not have been so paranoid (partially caused by Appolonia’s murder).
     
  24. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    It's not a question of politics but of the laws at the time. RvW was in 1973 but prior to that some states had laws that granted women the right to choose abortion.

    I don't think it was planned well at all. For one thing, it should never have happened with the kids around, within earshot. For another, she clearly started out knowing not to disclose the abortion, but as the conversation went on she just couldn't help herself and her real feelings came out badly along with it. The abortion disclosure was one thing, but telling a Don that the whole Sicilian thing had to end is not going to make for a very diplomatic, productive conversation.

    Appolonia would have been old school like Michael's mom, who never asked Vito about his business because she didn't see that as her place. The whole new world/old world dynamic was set up to show that in the old days women had faith in their husband and would do nothing to compromise the family, but times changed.
     
  25. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Totally agree
     

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