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. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

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    Daddyland, CA
    To add to some of the above: his instinct was to choose a Sicilian wife like his father before him. It was a good instinct as one can assume that, had Apollonia lived, she would have stood by his side and not asked many questions, similar to Michael's mother accepting Vito's business dealings without question. Instead, Michael ended up with an independent-minded American wife who ultimately rejected him and his core values.
     
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  2. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

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    United States
    Michael's life (in a twisted way) would have been much better with Apollonia. What Vito always had was his family. Remember Michael's private conversation with his mother:

    Michael: Tell me something, Ma. What did Papa think -- deep in his heart? He was being strong -- strong for his family. But by being strong for his family -- could he -- lose it?
    Mama: You're thinking about your wife -- about the baby you lost. But you and your wife can always have another baby.
    Michael: No, I meant -- lose his family.
    Mama: But you can never lose your family.
    Michael: Times are changing.

    Appolonia would have given Michael that family center that Vito had. And it likely would have given him much more peace. Michael had the seedy side of his business life, AND a family in turmoil. I think Michael saw this with Apollonia, and he would have brought her back and taken over the family replacing Vito. As is, he went back to Kay. Really, as was said above, it is the death of Apollonia that sends Michael into his descent.

    I am not justifying Michael's actions, but up to that point he had tried to do right. His one crime was a vengeance killing against two criminals, which he likely saw as a way to protect his father (remember the hospital incident). But it would get much worse after Apollonia was murdered (which was supposed to be Michael of course).

    Do we ever figure out how that hit came about and from who?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  3. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

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    Marple, PA, USA
    I don't think the book ever explained it. But in the book, Mike gets revenge. Some people seem to believe that his revenge was filmed, but the footage was cut and lost
     
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  4. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

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    New York
    Nice discussion here, and I tend to agree that Michael loved Apollonia, for the numerous reasons mentioned. My issue here concerns the implication that his relationship with Kay was, by comparison, rather cold blooded. I don't quite see it that way.

    First of all my guess is not everyone here looks at this sort of question the same way. A concept such as the love of one's life may well mean the one who you most care about, but does that preclude, after that one becomes unavailable, by death or otherwise, that love with another is not possible, or will always be something incomplete? I don't think so. So, from the beginning and especially after Apollonia's death, was Michael literally incapable of loving anyone else? No.

    And he knew Kay from before. Knowing her from before, and even given the cold turn he probably took after Apollonia was murdered, why did he seek Kay out, with the clear intention of marrying her?

    There is the cold blooded explanation - he's back, he wants to have both his life in America and pursue a family. From that perspective Kay seems like marriage material. But he could have looked elsewhere, and there is no indication he even thought of doing so.

    I think the answer has to do with place and time, America/Italy and when things in his life were happening that changed his reality. He was with Kay, seemed happy to be so, and Vito was nearly killed. Michael knew this would lead to changes, and he had to put her aside. In their last night in that hotel room, he told her he would call her when he could. He did not know it would be years later, but I think he knew it could be that long. He came back after the truce among the Mafia families. And took up with her again. Two things:

    The first is I think Michael understands completely a great lesson of the whole Godfather saga, certainly as made clear in his own life. You have your intentionality, your will, and you pursue it. But things happen, and your situation changes, which means your plans also must change. Michael didn't look back when this happened. He was forward looking. Except...

    The second thing is I do think he cared for Kay, and a huge part of that was that he knew she cared for him. When he drove up in the limo and they met again years later, he knew she would get in the car. What was that based on? Again, why did he seek her out? It wasn't merely that she was an American who was good looking.

    How much did he love her? THat is a difficult question. Especially considering the hardness that took over him. But I can't see his seeking her out as purely a matter of filling a need for an American wife.
     
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  5. Chris from Chicago

    Chris from Chicago Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes

    Michael loved Appolonia. But it was primarily physical. She didn't challenge him intellectually. He was a smart guy. So was Kay. There was a connection between Kay and him that Appolonia and he would never share.

    He wasn't born a ruthless mob boss. He grew into that role. And part of that was seeing his wife killed in his place.

    And...I think Godfather 3 was brilliant... at times. Only the miscasting of Sophia Coppolla lowered the bar. The movie suffered from being compared to the first two. I can't stress how difficult it must've been to follow up what many consider to be one of the finest American movies ever... and then arguably the best sequel ever made. It's the tallest of cinematic tasks. It is only by comparison that it failed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  6. Luke The Drifter

    Luke The Drifter Forum Resident

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    United States
    I think Michael at the wedding wanted to be challenged by his woman. I do not think post Italy Michael wanted challenged at all. We see that very clearly. He tried to fit Kay into the role of his mother (the one Apollonia would have played perfectly), and it did not work. Maybe Kay is him trying to hang on to his good past, without him considering that it would not work with who he had become.
     
  7. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Kay's motivation is certainly an interesting question. Putting that aside for the moment, while I agree Michael eventually tried to get Kay to fit in as it were, he knew who she was from before. Part of his strength was in accepting changed realities. But why would he think Kay would be all that different going forward?

    In the limo, what did he tell her? That he would be out of the family business soon. He didn't say you have to come into this on my terms. So why would he expect that Kay would change?

    I think it is more complex than that. I think Michael projected his ambivalence about his life onto Kay and his marriage to her. The tension between them reflected a certain tension within himself. The tension of course in simple terms was between the pull of the family and the need to "be strong", with the pull of the generalized notion of the moral good on the other. Michael did not want to wholly put aside the later even when he chose to go with the pull of the family.

    To be sure at times Michael wanted Kay to be accepting of the balancing act he was trying to pull off. But if he truly wanted a woman who would not challenge him, he would not have gone back to Kay. Rather he chose a course that reflected his own ambivalence. This really only stopped working for him with her "miscarriage" and later description of not only what she had done but why.
     
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  8. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

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    Michigan
    This?
     
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  9. What’s the tip that Vito picks up on that it was Barzini all along?
     
  10. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

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    Michigan
    At the meeting of the Dons when Vito makes the peace, Barzini seems to be the one who questions Vito the loudest.
     
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  11. Yes, but is there something more?
     
  12. Chris from Chicago

    Chris from Chicago Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes

    This isn't from the original film, right? Is this the Godfather saga?
     
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  13. Yes
     
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  14. stereoguy

    stereoguy The King Of Stereo Mixing

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    Correct, from a Legal position. They certainly *had* contact with Michael through trusted intermediaries.
     
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  15. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

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    Daddyland, CA
    Just as an aside, I think the 2nd film is largely a study of the decline of the family in the US. This was being filmed at a time when the institution of marriage was eroding. Now more than half of marriages end in divorce.

    The way GF2 juxtaposes the strength of the family started by Vito with the weakness and unraveling of Michael's family is one of the most interesting themes running through the narrative, set up by the way GF1 ends.
     
  16. Chris from Chicago

    Chris from Chicago Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes

    Interesting take. If you're going to look at it that way... also note that in Vito's strong family was a wife that cooked and took care of her family but didn't speak. She was seen and not heard. If I recall... she literally had no lines in the first movie. Whereas in GF2 Kate was a strong independent woman who was not going to take any sh!t from her husband.
     
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  17. GregM

    GregM Forum Resident

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    Daddyland, CA
    The first movie was about the passing of the business torch to a new generation. The mother didn't really factor into it but you got to hear her sing at the wedding and participate in all the family activities. In the second movie, you got to see her attitude: she respected whatever Vito brought home to provide for her. Even if it was just a pear for dinner, she didn't judge or worry. She didn't need to know what was going on with his employment because she trusted him to figure it out and fix the situation. Justified or not, Kay never had any faith in the family. This is cultural now, in America.
     
  18. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

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    detroit, mi
    Great thread.
     
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  19. mikeyt

    mikeyt Forum Resident

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    Los Angeles, CA
    I used to think so until I revisited the trilogy a while back. I even said to my girlfriend that it was underrated. Afterwards I felt that it's a narrative mess; it's pretty much three different movies and several strong themes that all get equal attention but never quite gel together. IMO the story of Michael struggling with his life of regrets should have been front and center with the plot of passing the torch to Vincent Corleone being the sideplot and adding thematic layers. The love story may have worked as a smaller storyline that accentuated the little bit of light Michael had in his dark tunnel and give some depth to the Vincent story. Had Coppola been allowed the time to do proper rewrites and focus the story and themes I really think it wouldn't been just as good as the first two.
     
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  20. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot not pepsi cola, more like holy water

    Location:
    Charlotte Area
    There are some great points about the symbolism of the decline of Michael and Kay's marriage affecting society and attitudes being what they are today. The big break of the Corleones from the five families was because of drugs, specifically narcotics. That issue has played out about the same way in today's society.

    I wonder if FFC really understood how the symbolic these movies would become or was it just dumb luck?
     
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  21. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    There was a scene in the script for I where Michael walks into Fabrizio's pizza shop and shoots him personally. Apparently this scene wasn't filmed, but then why are there still photos out there like this?

    [​IMG]

    I think the scene scene for II (linked to above) is better anyway.
     
  22. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

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    Michigan
    I still can't get over the fact that Pacino didn't win the Oscar for GF2. He's a paranoid monster by the end of Part II. He was able to shift back and forth between complete calmness and unbridled fury in the blink of an eye.

     
  23. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    So much of his performance is looks and small gestures and stillness. This makes his explosive moments all the more powerful.

    Interesting that over his career, Pacino’s acting became much more exaggerated and grandiose, although there is the rare occasion where he dials it back and shows how subtle of an actor he can be.
     
  24. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

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    St. Charles, MO
    Yeah. Because Tattaglia was a pimp.
     
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  25. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

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    Marple, PA, USA
    I liked the book's version of Fabrizio's death where he's running a food truck and the guy wounds him, goes into the truck and checks to make sure he has the porn tattoo, then gives him Michael's regards and one to the head.
     
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