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. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I struggle with this ending, because on one hand I like to think of him being dignified and accepting of his punishment and an almost suicide by cop approach....the to other side, a convenient plot device to throw in some almost soap opera flair.

    I go with the former though, because it is more important to try to see what the film maker wants then what I want it to be. Also, one can not know what the boat trip started out like...then sitting alone with Al behind you, coming to the realization and just letting the path take you. I shudder at that scene. Heartbreaking.

    In the grand scheme of things, I think the GF II is the best example of a sequel following another great movie, and enhancing it to the point of ALMOST being equal. While Empire Strikes Back in seen that way by many....I don't put it in the same universe and this comparison.
     
  2. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

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    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    As far as whether Fredo knew what was up or not, imagine had it been Luca, not Neri, in the boat. Woulda been a totally different scenario!;)
     
  3. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I predict they both would have been sleeping with the fishes without one shot fired.*

    *oh geez...there he goes with the fat jokes...well takes one to know one.;)
     
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  4. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.

    Location:
    Michigan
    And how does Kay and Anthony know in Part III that Michael was responsible? I can't remember if they say, I just remember that Kay says that Anthony knows.
     
  5. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Not sure how she'd know. I can't see Michael ever actually telling her he did it. The rumor is out there, so maybe its just that Anthony believes it, and being raised by Kay, he would get Kay's view of Michael.
     
  6. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Location:
    America
    Apologies if someone made this point and I missed it, but Michael seeking out Kay when he returned to America made sense, since he knew she knew what his family was like and loved him anyway. Had she been totally repulsed by the story Michael told her at the wedding about his dad making the bandleader an offer he couldn't refuse, that would have been it for her, but she knew what his family was like and stayed with him anyway. That is why he knew she wouldn't be a difficult sell once he approached her and told her he loved her.
     
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  7. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Yeah one more lie he tells "...that isn't me". She didn't accept it, she thought he was separate from that.
     
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  8. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    Yeesh, I think anyone could see that Michael at that time did not identify strongly with his family. He rejected what his father had planned for him to join the army and was doing his own thing. He wasn't lying. It took his father getting shot and him thinking on his feet to save his life before he started embracing his family.
     
  9. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    No doubt that Michael knew whether or not she had a boyfriend when he wanted her back.
     
  10. buzzzx

    buzzzx Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cal.
    And boy did he embrace them! I always thought Michael's "heel turn" happened awfully fast. He went from "that's my family, Kay, not me" to ruthless mafia thug very quickly.
     
  11. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    So did his decision to join the army. He was a bit of a rebel and an intellectual, exploring what to put his faith into. Seeing his father on his deathbed and the target of assassins made him realize his true calling. When he saw Enzo shaking in fear while he was cool as a cucumber, he realized he was uniquely suited to helping his family and the only one who had the courage, temperament and strategic capacity to build on his father's business.
     
  12. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Not unlike the Karen Hill character in Goodfellas, except Kay didn't go so far as to say out loud that the violence and whatnot actually turned her on...for a time.
    Not necessarily by choice, though. With Sonny six feet under and Fredo not even up for consideration, who else was gonna take over the Family?
     
  13. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

    Location:
    York UK
    Apparently Anthony saw Al Neri kill Fredo from his bedroom window, according to the Godfather wiki page about Anthony. Seems he didn't go straight to Reno...
     
  14. buzzzx

    buzzzx Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cal.
    He changed before that though, Sonny was still alive when he shot Solozzo and McCluskey. He went from no involvement in the family to double murderer awfully fast in my opinion.
     
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  15. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Well a lie by some definitions is something that turns out not to be true. Although what I always felt as a real definition of a lie is saying something with the intention of deceiving.

    This is the rub. In Michael's eyes, the lies that he tells are not to intentionally deceive in a personal gain sense, but for the greater good of the family or cause...or whatever else in his distorted views. There is no doubt that many aspects of this are picked up from his father. But then again, let us take a step back. If one is to really put a handle on the murders we witness, people hurt...would you really care to come up with a chart of deaths and people hurt with Vito against Michael? I mean in all seriousness, the deaths we see with Vito are with Don Fanucci and that Don Ciccio. One was for a greater good and how he was treating the neighborhood and people he loved, the other was someone that killed his mother. While I am sure one can drum up more deaths in backstory, and folklore and other things outside of the movie (which I think are firmly outside of this discussion), the key is that other than a few friends caught in crossfire, no one can seriously compare that to people that were caught in the crossfire of Michael's wars (Sonny either actually). Michael quite frankly is a serious monster in this capacity.

    When Vito was disgusted by the "war" and Sonny proclaiming what Michael did... it is clear that there is no approval of this revenge aspect.

    So getting back to Michael, while he may have a view in his head, it doesn't change the fact that his views can and do change on a dime with zero thought to others. Like for instance blind siding his family with the enlistment decision, or him murdering the heads of the five families (and I am saying with a complete confidence that Vito would have none of this)...etc. So when he makes the statement that "that isn't me" I think he is lying. Because that is what he does his whole life. Not just to Kay, but actually to himself. Him joining the war effort then using that as a defense to being a corrupt mob leader is a lie, him saying he intends to be legit is a lie (because let us face it, if anything is threatened on this "legit" path, Michael would kill again to keep the distorted view alive), and most importantly him saying that he knows Kay is a LIE. Liars have patterns and we know he does it all the time. Hell he even let his Dad get him a deferment and then turns around and joins the war anyway without letting his dad in on the decision?

    Case in point in regards to Kay, let us go back to the hotel room abortion argument.

    "it was between the brothers Kay I had nothing to do with it" uh huh...

    "I love you...and I won't allow it" (quite a contradiction there)

    "Nothing's happened to him...he's fine" (of course he is...because little Anthony will soon grow to hate his mother because daddy wants to make sure that this happens...even Connie can see it).

    "I don't want to hear about it...over" ...is she supposed to now roll over next? His finger is still pointing as he does throughout the scene.

    "what do you want from me" ...again, not a thought to how she feels. The only thing he is concerned with is how he can end the conflict so he can go back to business, he doesn't give a rats ass about how she feels.

    "do you expect me to let you go"...again...CONTROL

    "I swear I'll make it up to you...I'll...I'm going to change" Notice in this moment, I call it the "throw anything against the wall and see if it sticks" reasoning. When he says...I'll...does he perhaps think..we can have another baby? Perhaps he can get her something...no wait...she wants me to change? Yeah that's right...I'll tell her that.

    "I've learned that I have the strength to change" uh huh...RIGHT...and in changing how many more people are you going to murder again? Let us see...the "change" actually mirrors the murder parade of the first one, except now you have made more enemies of friends, and family members are all good to go too!

    "then you'll forget about a miscarriage"...Really? Notice that Kay has only said she was leaving up to this point, but the minimal way he speaks to her like less than a dog...out of all the things he has said to her, this is the moment that it is clear that he has no regard for her feelings.

    When she says "because THIS must all end". I think she is referring to his criminal ways, he disregard for her and others, and most importantly the macho male view of women as being subservient little pets fo 2000 years has to end as well. No wonder he sees nothing wrong with Anthony. He thinks Anthony should grow up and treat women just like he has!

    So when I say he is lying to her, not only is lying saying that it is his family and not him (which we know turns out to be not true), but I think he is actually laying the foundation of conning her into his life to set up getting close to the mob family after he has proved his point of running away to war and defying his family and father. Is it all subconscious yes, is he really intending to do an about face, well only as much as when he joined the war effort. It is all about doing what he wants and saying screw what other people think.

    Not that I think there is anything wrong with that as long as you are not HURTING others. Michael loved his father, I believe that, and I do think he loved others, but somewhere along the way he lost touch of nurturing and expressing in a constructive manner. You can love someone and still be a frickin' ****. In the end, your intentions aren't as important as the result if you are destroying those around you. Kind of like having gas and speed and great control of a car, but the end results are you are going off a cliff.

    Operative word is "build". I think he took steps to destroy his fathers Legacy. Business is more than money. A smart business should be how you treat people and their families.

    p.s. I was thinking about the Kenobi vs Vader fight and how Kenobi says "I was but a learner, now I am the master" and Kenobi says "...only a master of EVIL".
     
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  16. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    She knew what his family was like, but also that he was not like them, or so she thought. And perhaps hoped more than logically concluded.

    Frankly I don't see how one can see Kay's character as one who was "okay" with the whole Mafia thing. From her point of view...

    Michael was a war hero who was not in the family business.

    His father is nearly assassinated, and he tells her he has to leave the country, but does not say why. Does she know it was because he was going to and later did kill McCluskey and Solozzo, or for his own protection?

    He comes back more than a year later, but again it is not clear that she knows he murdered those men. She does know, more or less, that he has joined his father. But he says he is taking the Corleone business "legit".

    Then the plan is hatched to move to Nevada, which (in hindsight laughably) is portrayed as heading in the legit direction.

    Vito then dies, and sure enough, they sell the house and are going to Nevada. At this point, someone with Kay's limited knowledge of what was really going on, and with a certain level of naïve hope, can tell themselves Michael is living up to his word.

    But then a crisis occurs - Carlo is killed, and Connie blames Michael. Kay is aware of this, and confronts Michael.

    But what happens? He lies to her face that he was not responsible. Part I then ends.

    As Part I ends, we of course are left to wonder whether Kay believed Michael, is skeptical, or? Personally I think it makes no sense to say she did not believe him at all, and flat out thought he was lying, and stayed with him. So it was somewhere between believing him and, while not fully accepting what he said, not knowing otherwise.

    Then we are into Part II, which of course is in part a narrative about how Kay comes to no longer accept what was going on.
     
  17. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    What likely became of the Rosato Brothers?

    The last we hear, Tom says "they are on the run." Would Mike bide his time, hunt them down, and kill them? Did they have to start a new life in exile, perhaps in Argentina?
     
  18. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    And this where I have issue when some see her as less than innocent for lashing out.

    Me personally, she might have miscarried. Sometimes women say some crazy things to peeve the other dude off. In my mind, I am undecided on that one. Though someone may have an inside track on this one.

    Regardless when Michael slaps her and calls her b*tch, I think this is clearly a man that has lost all control when things don't go his way.

    He has a right to be upset, he has a right to argue with her, and heck he even has a right to not want anything to do with her anymore, but to physically attack her? He was way out of line, but then again with a man that thinks he is above the law and murders people whenever he decides to push a "button man", well it is all relative I guess.
     
  19. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Kay's relationship with Michael accurately reflects where marital relations were at back in the day AND how they evolved. In the 'good ol' days' women/wives were frankly more subservient to their husbands. A man often had girlfriends and outside business going on and his mate was supposed to grin and bear it. This shifted during the late 50's-early 60's as women found their voice. I think all this is perfectly reflected in the Godfather.
     
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  20. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    In many ways, that is why it makes Michael seem horribly out of touch with human emotion/relationships. I truly believe he bit off more than he could chew even if there was the appearance of success.

    The way Vito treats his wife, even for a few scenes, I think there is a whole lot more love there, and the concern he has for his children is just so much more. DeNiro really did do a good job there even if I prefer Brando for obvious reasons.
     
  21. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    Makes me wonder where the cold-hearted Corleone 'gene' stems from. Vito, Mama Corleone, Sonny & Fredo had heart, Michael & Connie had ice-water running thru their veins!;)
     
  22. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I don't know about that. Connie at least begged for Fredo and felt love for Carlo even if misplaced....which gets to something I noticed.

    When I was watching the dinner scene, Fredo sure looks a bit suspicious and looking away when introduced to Carlo. It reminds me of being introduced to Ola...hmmm



    Sonny says he already knew him so I guess not so bad. Still he does look weird. I think Fredo's brain was fried for sure.
     
  23. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Well hold on now. Vito was still responsible for a large quantity of misery and mayhem. He showed more restraint than both Sonny and Michael, but he still threatened, killed or terrorized scores of people. And his reluctance to peddle dope is because the corrupt politicians and judges would not like it, not because it might be bad.

    Vito cultivates the role of patriarch and wise man but he is a ruthless, viscous sociopath.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  24. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Where do you get this? He clearly says that the drug business is dirty business. I don't disagree that Vito is no angel, but compared to what we saw on the screen, what did he do that was anywhere as close to what Michael did?

    I think a scoring is in order. Let us tally innocents slaughtered, hits made, ....etc. I don't see where Vito is anywhere near what Michael is, and to say "terrorized"?? Really? In the flasback Vito was very controlled despite the guy threatening him on the street. Ok sure he had something done to some rapist and pedophiles for "justice"...but I can't say I disagree with what he did. Matter of fact, a horse's head for a pedophile that is destroying a person's life forever?
     
  25. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC

    He tells Solozzo that the politicians would not be friendly any longer were he to peddle dope. Sure it was and remains a dirty business, but beheading a horse and putting it in some guy's bed is not an exercise in business ethics.

    Yea "TERRORIZED" as in holding a gun up to someone's head in order to help your singer buddy get out of a contract. (see above example with horse head). Something tells me you would piss in your pants if someone did that to you.

    Vito Corleone is the head of the most powerful CRIME Syndicate in America. He did not get there by selling Amway to old ladies.
     

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