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. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    I can see how you arrived at that. Their relationship never had a chance to develop. Michael certainly wanted to keep his mind off of business, so what better way than to play.

    You never know what to make of the scenes with her father. Either Michael is so smitten with Apollonia that he wants to court her correctly, in the Sicilian tradition, or, he thinks he's such a badass that he can talk her father into giving his blessing just so he won't have to go to bed alone anymore. It's open to interpretation.
     
    genesim likes this.
  2. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    It’s funny this has come up, and really it’s a great question! I always thought she was just someone for him to have fun with until he went back home. It never ocurred to me he would bring her back with him. I figured he would just end up with Kay after things blew over. Shows how the same scenes can be totally interpreted differently by different people! Above it’s been suggested Appolonia was the love of his life. Who really knows. Interesting.
     
  3. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I posted before reading most of the replies...glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that! I kinda felt bad I did after reading the love of his life post!
     
  4. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Off topic, but I discovered these films relatively late in life and I find I watch them a lot, even Part 3 which I know a lot of people didn’t like. Do a lot of you watch it repeatedly? I’ve seen these at least 10 times on dvd and don’t seem to get tired of them.
     
  5. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I think one of the things that may contradict my viewpoint is the suggestion that she would make a great American wife. His smile can be interpreted as approval or a polite acknowledgement knowing that Kay is back home. There is a lot going on in Pacino's eyes. Make no mistake, he didn't want her fate and I think he felt sorry for her regardless.

    The one thing I keep thinking about is that Appolonia gave no indication that she wanted to leave her family, but Michael kept asking when he could go back. He seemed to be almost completely separated from her in his pleas. This is why I think that he looked at her like a plaything.

    Picking the brain of a man that had become very dark is a hard thing. His true darkness was after the tragedy without question. That is the greatness of this movie. There are no easy answers. Yes I have watched this movie so many times. I can't get into III in the same way, but I still enjoy it. It should have been treated like the prologue that Francis wanted. I also think it is worse for not having Duvall as originally planned.
     
  6. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot not pepsi cola, more like holy water

    Location:
    Charlotte Area
    Going to the old country and marrying a girl just to bang her is an unclassy move that Michael Coleone would not do. He would not besmirch her, her reputation, or her family (nor his own) in such a way. That's what Sonny would have done.

    This is what a traditional, powerful Sicilian Mafioso would do and I'm not surprised that somewhere, even if it was an add on, his revenge was not addressed in the saga.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    tkl7, S. P. Honeybunch and dlokazip like this.
  7. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot not pepsi cola, more like holy water

    Location:
    Charlotte Area
    With Appolonia, there is a slight turn of roles. Whereas Michael is drawn to Kay's American waspiness, he is Appolonia's ticket to America. I can't help but think he would was considering the difference of having a wife, who understood and accepted the old ways, opposed to a wife who would be judgmental of his every move.

    If you think about it, the difference in wives is somewhat symbolic of how each country accepts (or not) the idea of the Mafia. With Appolonia, it was just a matter of life. With Kay, there was a bit of disbelief and repulsion. While, at the same time, both wives loved him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    BZync, jwoverho, Vidiot and 1 other person like this.
  8. mikeyt

    mikeyt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think it's open to interpretation; the first time Michael sees her is love at first sight. There's nothing about that moment or the scenes that follow to suggest that it's lust. It's also implied that being the daughter of the local don, pursuing her would be risky even for Michael. I believe that he is told this but does it anyway and rather than trying to seduce her in secret, approaches her father about a formal meet and greet and then marriage. He respected tradition, and her. This isn't what you do in lust. He wanted to return home not out of boredom but b/c he knew he had to after Sonny's death, the subtle indications that Apollonia was on board with going to America was her learning english, how to drive, and adopting American traits like smoking and a fashionable hairstyle. And on a technical level everything tells you it's genuine. The performances, score, direction, etc. make it clear that it was love and that her death is the true turning point for Michael. Her death pushing Michael further into the dark ruthlessness that he was capable of was the entire point of this sequence. If it were otherwise this part of the movie wouldn't have had nearly as much screen time and would have been very different, adding a very unecessary shade to the character arc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  9. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    The last three posts have been very convincing especially this last one.

    I don't think he respected her as an equal though, but looking at it from the angle of a balance she would have gave him and how the Corleon's were, I stand corrected.

    Great points to all. Thinking about further she probably would have saved him not as being a mob boss, but being able to cope in that world. She might have saved Fredo giving him back some compassion from patience.
     
    Nice Marmot likes this.
  10. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I’ve watched 1 and 2 tons of times, now maybe once a year. Usually the first hour or so of each before the Saturday night drinks catch up to me.

    3 nope. I tried watching it again a few years ago and couldn’t do it. The ridiculous amount of money Michael gives the church, the stupid name of Joey Zaza that I can’t take seriously, freaking George Hamilton as consigliere, everyone likes on Sofia Coppola but she doesn’t bother me nearly as much as all the other serious flaws of it.
     
    Jrr and Vidiot like this.
  11. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    I also watch 1 and 2 regularly. I watch 3 maybe every third time though but I always FF through the Sonny Jr./ Sophia crap.
     
  12. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK
    I'd prefer it if lll had never been made. It was a Coppola cash-grab, so we can' 'pretend' it never happened. :)

    My reading is that Michael never told Kay about his first marriage and that the relevant family members (Tom Hagen, Mama C) were under strict orders not to mention Appolonia to Kay. In fairness, that family being what it was, they wouldn't have needed to be told the info was confidential. I'm sure, for obvious reasons, Fredo was kept completely in the dark! :)

    Michael being a chilly controlling type, he probably made a determined (and successful) effort to move on after Apolonnia's murder , while ensuring that Fabrizio was 'fixed' (in the TV version). I like the idea of Michael keeping it as his 'personal secret', so even his children wouldn't know about it.
     
  13. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK

    Doesn't Don Tommasino (or someone) say something about her becoming 'a good American wife' (sic)?
     
  14. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    The impression I got from the script (and the novel) is that Coppola intended for Michael to be struck with the thunderbolt (fulmine) and was just incredibly attracted to Apollonia. But she was just a simple peasant girl -- not a strong American woman with intelligence who had a good sense of the world. I think the thing with Apollonia was just a marriage on a whim -- like Rod Stewart said, "the attraction was... purely physical." I don't think that marriage would have lasted a long time at all, bomb or no bomb.

    I think the family back home did receive reports on Michael every so often, but they were very careful about it. Only when Vito Corleone established a truce with all the families could they arrange for Michael to finally come home and clear him of any charges. Even by the third film, it's established that although everybody knew that Michael had run the mob for years, I believe it's commented that he's never been arrested for anything. (And a lot of this is covered in more depth in the novels.)
     
  15. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
    I was just going to write that in the book, they talk about Michael getting hit with the 'thunderbolt'; it also says that Apollonia was the first time that he felt like he had to 'own' a woman, or it would drive him mad. So it sounds like a bit of lust thing, more than anything.
     
  16. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident

    She'd be a great American wife at the start of the week, but around Wednesday things would get a little fuzzy.
     
    BZync, MekkaGodzilla, Jrr and 2 others like this.
  17. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
    For me, the first two movies are ones that are an absolute must watch if you're flipping though the channels. It doesn't matter where they're at in the film, I have to watch it.
     
    Jack Lord, Siegmund and Jrr like this.
  18. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Location:
    Michigan
     
  19. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident

  20. Witchy Woman

    Witchy Woman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Third Coast, USA
    The “thunderbolt” was about more than intense lust; it was about instant infatuation, at least that’s how I understood it from the book. I think he really fell in love with her, and had every intention of taking her back home to the U.S. when the time was right. I can’t imagine he’d go through all the trouble of marrying her just to get laid, esp. when Italian Catholics didn’t get divorced. He loved Kay, too but she was part of the past at that point and so he wrote her off.

    To answer the OP’s question, I believe the immediate family members knew Michael got married, thru messages from Don Tommasino. Kay did not, at least not for a long time.
     
  21. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I completely agree with this summation.

    Right. And behaving that way while there under Don Tommasino's protection would have insulted The Don as well. I don't think Michael would have done that, and don't think he had any intention of treating Apollonia as a plaything and then dropping her. That would be the Sonny move, as you say.
     
    Nice Marmot likes this.
  22. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Apollonia is the love of his life.
    Kate is just a good friend....which usually leads to a bad marriage
     
    tkl7, Metralla and Nice Marmot like this.
  23. JPagan

    JPagan Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Calo, Michael's bodyguard (the loyal one), said it just before she died.
     
    Nice Marmot and Siegmund like this.
  24. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    And to inject some Freudian thought into it, Apollonia was the woman who was like his mother. Kay fit his rebellion against the family business, but by this time he had already killed to avenge his father. I also believe that Apollonia was his true love, and if not killed would have made the perfect wife for a Don.
     
    BZync, Nice Marmot, Jrr and 2 others like this.
  25. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    Location:
    California
    Appolonia was put together really well, if you didn't notice. I would have married her and tried to protect her from the bad guys, but it isn't easy when you're Michael Corleone and everybody is gunning for you. I agree that it was a love at first sight kinda deal for him when she walks by and he notices her.

    Michael is a complex character, and knew that something was up before the car bomb exploded. At least he tried to save her. Would Sonny have screamed at his wife to save her from dying? Maybe, and maybe not. We know that Michael would. He had a pretty decent brain and didn't always use if for evil. Trying to save Appolonia is one of the noblest things he does onscreen.
     

Share This Page