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. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Speaking of The Godfather, why isn’t Fredo at his fathers funeral? I know he’s out in Vegas, but...
     
  2. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

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    Portland, OR
    I don't know about being brain damaged, but the scene was absolutely designed to show that Fredo was frail and weak from day one.
     
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  3. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

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    New York legalized abortion in 1970. Several other states allowed abortions under various circumstances, none of which required consent from the husband. If Kay was concerned about being recognized in New York, she could have quietly gone to Massachusetts or Virginia and gotten an abortion there.
     
  4. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    I think he was out of favour with his father. In Vegas he was fooling around with the ladies and went "Vegas" slick while his father was a straight laced type of guy. They were estranged.

    And they probably told him to stay away.

    I think I picked this up from the book (which is excellent)
     
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  5. buzzzx

    buzzzx Forum Resident

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    Cal.
    I think part of the reason Michael treated Kay the way he did (distant, controlling) was due to his guilt over Appolonia's death. Marrying her was a foolish move on his part, he was a hunted man with members of the Mafia trying to kill him and he knew it, he had no right to put her in such a dangerous situation, and although he didn't kill her she wouldn't have been murdered if it weren't for Michael. When he gets back to America he feels he needs to totally control everyone in his sphere of influence in order to protect them.
     
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  6. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

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    York UK
    Do you know all the times I've watched this film and never once did I think 'where is Fredo?' seems so obvious now you mention it. Maybe like Gary says in his reply he was out of favor with the Godfather or maybe he himself decided to stay away feeling he was out of favor.
    Whatever happened it's just another sad piece of poor old Fredo's life, didn't even attend his Father's funeral... If it was on Michael's orders that he should stay away it would have given Fredo further reason to dislike him.
    Having said that though Fredo was invited to Anthony's first communion party at Lake Tahoe, so would be odd if Michael hadn't wanted him at Vito's funeral but would then invite to him to the party.
     
  7. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

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    York UK
    Just another point on Fredo, do you think he knew he was going to be killed when he got in the boat with Al Neri? When Anthony gets called away is he thinking this could be it? Or was he blissfully unaware, thinking even Michael, as ruthless as he is, would not kill his own brother...
     
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  8. Vinny123

    Vinny123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Good point about Fredo at the Communion party while not at the funeral. Don’t think Fredo had a clue that he would be killed.
     
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  9. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

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    New York
    I am mindful of where the discussion goes on this thread after your post, and so do not want to use a response to your post to get into the way their marriage broke down. Instead I think you are in effect arguing that his love for and marriage to Apollonia, I suppose coupled with the way he behaved when he first saw Kay again (with the car), indicated he didn't love her. I disagree.

    First of all I do agree that Michael was profoundly affected by what happened with Apollonia. In that sense he was not the same, and that had an effect on how he felt about Kay in particular and probably women in general. There was a certain innocence to his relationship with Apollonia, that was damaged, even greatly damaged.

    But I certainly don't think it follows from that that he was incapable of love as a categorical matter. In other words what we saw of his involvement with Apollonia coupled with the way she died, and that she died, did not lead to a conclusive deduction that he was now incapable of love. That in turn leads to the question was there any indication in the film that he did not love Kay after he returned?

    To be clear I think it is very possible, certainly at different points in one's life, to love more than one person. Love can also take different forms, and one can love this person for who they are while also, particularly later, love another for who they are. In that sense the love is different, but it is still what we call and know to be love.

    I do think Michael loved Kay before he killed Solozzo and McCluskey and went to Sicily. So, acknowledging what he felt about Apollonia, why do I think it was more than getting Kay to fill a role? On this point I agree he likely did see her as filling a role he wanted to have filled. The question then is whether that was all he saw her as.

    Again, loving her before, I don't think what happened with Apollonia required that he no longer love Kay. She was still attractive on many levels, perhaps most importantly because he still saw her as morally compelling. He still felt at that point that he wanted (eventually) to go legit. He felt Kay and he had shared values in that regard, even if he was simultaneously mindful of what that meant, and how difficult it would be.

    Michael also knew that Kay was a formidable person who meant that she wanted him to go legit. Knowing that, why would he seek her out unless he cared for her and also agreed with her? If he didn't care for her, it would have made much more sense to find some woman who would fit the image but who would not be formidable and morally the challenge that Kay would be.

    I suppose if one viewed where Michael was at that time as motivated by cynicism, no longer interested in going legit, having given up on that, then he can more easily be seen as manipulating Kay without remorse. But even then he'd still be facing the fact that down the road he would have a problem with her that he might not have with some other woman. The reason he could accept the way Kay might challenge him is because he loved her.
     
  10. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

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    San Antonio, TX
    It's intentionally vague and endlessly debatable. I think the scene allows viewers to pick the option they want (he knew, he didn't' know) but I don't think its 100% clear either way.

    What's more curious to me is Connie not knowing. The conversation she has with Michael in Godfather III where she talks about Fredo drowning always confuses me. How can she believe that? Is she toying with Michael? It doesn't seem she would have reason to at that point. Back to the event - ANYTIME there is a last minute change to the meeting (even a fishing trip), anyone in the mob world should be suspicious. But if Connie (who is probably smarter than Fredo) didn't know when she pulled the kid out of the boat that it was because Fredo was about to be killed, then I'm not sure Fredo would have known.
     
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  11. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

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    Agreed. And also that Vito recognized this about him.
     
  12. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Fredo and the boat. He shows no reluctance to go out with Al, so no, I think it's clear enough even if he SHOULD have been concerned that he wasn't.
     
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  13. I think he knew he was a going to be whacked. He knew how ruthless Michael was and he tried to hide-out after the Cuba debacle, presumably to save his own life.
     
  14. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

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    Washington, DC

    I only saw III once and hated it. But I recall Connie had morphed into a full fledged apologist and cheerleader for the Family.

    I doubt Fredo knew. He would have been panicking instead of reluctantly heading out.
     
  15. Paulette

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

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    US
    Thinking of this makes me sick because he had Connie get Anthony. If he did it himself or had Tom do it, Fredo may have thought something was up.
     
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  16. Paulette

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

    Location:
    US
    Or maybe Fredo didn't care.
     
  17. buzzzx

    buzzzx Forum Resident

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    Cal.
    I think that's likely. He knew if they were gonna whack him there was nothing he could do about it. Nowhere to hide.
     
  18. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    You see that is our difference. You believe he means it as him being hurt. I believe that he only is saying it as a threat. "Breaking his heart" was secondary to his annoyance at being betrayed.

    Now one thing that does get to me is his sledgehammer like look when he hears Fredo talking about go out with the men before. I do see something there. I always questioned what that "something" was.

    The IT, is not italians, the IT is the organized crime element. You really think that she is speaking about all Italian heritage? She is speaking about Michael putting more criminals in play via more children. If Michael wasn't a criminal, she would have no problem at all having more kids with him. This is not an attack on his heritage, it is an attack on the criminal activity? You really disagree with this, or are you trying to imply that Kay is some kind of racist or something.

    When she says this "Sicilian" thing, it is clearly a stab at his distorted view of it. Though I without a doubt feels that she has some judgment on the generations of looking the other way on the criminal activity. I don't blame her for having some prejudice thoughts.

    I think you are assuming that there is some agreed upon visitation, when in reality it is likely Michael using his abuse of power to make sure she can be around them at all. Look at how her kids practically act like they hate her? You miss this? His son has been turned against her...why? What did she do that any NORMAL person would do in that situation? You really blame her?

    A soldier is legal, and it is fighting for country. Now we are getting to philosophical right vs wrong, and I refuse to argue for the greatness of organized crime. We can agree to disagree on that one.

    Again, her going off on a criminal is NORMAL (well except for the fact he could have her killed...I would fear him a little more actually). You act as if she should be all polite after all the crap he put her though. I don't see anything valiant in what he did other then be a liar and a murderer and everything else in between. He got what he got because of how he acted. The worst part of what he did is that he failed to see his hypocrisy even though he says it to the senator. Michael was flat out hopeless.

    Oh yes, in his distorted wacked out ways he believed in lots of fairy tales. Hey, I am not saying that I beyond feeling some empathy for his place, but to side against Kay who was completely innocent? I again ask myself, what did she do wrong? Rude to a lying criminal killer? Nothing wrong with that. Aborted the child of a criminal killer, I can understand that one too. Yup not seeing an issue.

    Wait a second, when did I ever "praise" what Vito did? I am stated the characteristics that were better than Michael. I think Vito was a murdering criminal as well. Though at least Vito was honest about it. Can I not prefer one over another? I don't think the movie was set up at all to identify with Michael. I think the movie was set up to feel sorry for him like you would anyone that has ruined their life. Big difference.

    You have your opinion, and I have mine, but I think when you are a criminal and you have a wedding based on false pretenses the "contract" is broken. It is kind of like thinking you are marrying a human and then later you found out they were a giraffe in disguise. While you should have known they were a giraffe, it doesn't change the fact that if you honestly were deceived you shouldn't be made to hold to that place the rest of your life.

    In this case, she has her safety to think about as well as the safety of her children. That duty should go above all, and that includes a marriage. And yes, her body, her choice, I don't give a rats ass what the law says.

    I don't see that. Agree to disagree. She had a normal reaction, and while he may not have found it "polite", he is one to talk. In the confines of the movie, she was nice than she should have been. Michael should have been behind bars for the criminal that he was. Sad...but true.

    xxxxxxxxxxx

    Wow, I have watched it so many times and it never hit me till now. This one blows my mind. Fredo was on the outs in so many ways. This is a real thinker for me. Thanks for pointing this out!
     
  19. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

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    San Antonio, TX
    I lean towards him not knowing. Fredo would not be the type to go gracefully to his death like Tessio.
     
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  20. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Fredo's death is one of the few missteps in the first two movies, IMO. The whole reason that Fredo was going fishing was to have some quality time with his nephew. Once the nephew was removed from the equation, there was no longer any reason or motivation for Fredo to get into that boat. (Fredo would have never gone fishing with Al Neri, just the two of them. It just wasn't something that his character would do, even before his brother disowned him.)

    But Fredo needed to die for plot purposes, so the book/film makes him get into the boat anyway.

    It became a rare instance where the characters were driven by the plot, and not the other way around.
     
  21. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    You know, this is one I sorta agree with. While the second movie works for what it is, in the most distilled way, this is why it is not as good as the first movie. I think the back and forth with Michael vs Vito makes it completely painful as to how much less of a story his son actually is.

    I like the first movie and how it ends, and I would be perfectly fine with nothing after. I love Pacino, I love his work in all the films, but like most sequels, it keeps pointing back to how great the original was. Nothing was as bad ass as how the original ended. In so many ways, I think giving Kay the power to destroy Michael emotionally misses everything that was in the first movie that shows that he is a lying manipulating criminal who would have never let anyone get to him in that way.

    In so many ways, just like I argued on the Star Wars thread with Han Solo becoming the Han Solo smooth love sick do no wrong dude in Empire...is that Michael really the same one that comes to be in the second movie? It is a tough one to face, but my answer is NO.

    I love John Cazale, and his story is great. His acting is great, and it is hard to imagine Part II never being made, but then again let us go back. Think of him crying, think of him yelling Papa while his father for all he knows is dying. Yeah, I can live with that acting being the only thing too.

    Fredo staying in the boat has one explanation, it is suicide. He knows it, knows what is coming, and gives his nephew one little re-assurance so as not to give it all away. When he does the Hail Mary it is his last will and testament. ...but then there is the other side of me that screams bull crap. No way Fredo that we know isn't cutting and running. Dignity is not what I think of when it comes to Fredo.
     
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  22. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Disagree. We all tend to forget that Fredo just wasn't that bright.

    He dropped the ball defending Moe Greene and then was easily duped by Roth and Johnny Ola. He then verifies Michael's suspicion by loudly admitting he knows Johnny after denying ever meeting him.

    Michael seemingly forgave Fredo in front of Mama Corleone's casket and all the mourners. Fredo believes he is back in good graces. If he thought he was still going to be killed, he would never have hung around Tahoe after the funeral. Even Fredo has an emergency stash of cash lying around. He could have started a new life in Sicily. Better than sleeping with the fishes.

    But he thinks he is fine. So he decides to fish anyway as he is already in the boat and has his gear. Al is all smiles. Indeed it is the only time I can recall him smiling at all. Fredo thinks nothing of it. It is final mistake: Underestimating how much of a monster his little brother has become.
     
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  23. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    And that is the problem. The Fredo we know isn't looking to be just in good graces (remember he wants RESPECT), nor do I believe, even in his less than ideal mind set that he would be duped into the boat ride. It makes no sense.

    That fact that he thinks he is just fine comes off kinda fake. It is a convenient plot point that wants to make you believe that he believe's all is forgiven.

    Even the dumbest of dumb has to know the stories of being left alone. I mean for crying out loud, he has no knowledge of Roth eating it? No idea about everything that was going on around him?
     
  24. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Yes, that's the way I saw it. Connie was back, too, and she had disappointed Michael as well. Sure, not that badly or in a way that put Michael himself in jeopardy. But her role in making Fredo feel safe is important, I think. Kay was still out of the picture except for visits, but there was a warm and happy feeling on the surface, but only on the surface. I think Fredo wanted to believe it was true, too. It all added up.
     
  25. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC

    No, he doesn't. Fredo is out of the loop, out of the family business. They are not telling him about nailing Roth.

    My guess is Michael did his public forgiveness act and promises him some kind of pension/stipend. Obviously he was already out of the business.

    Fredo believes he got off lucky and goes fishing.

    Very believable- even Fredo believed it. Why wouldn't he? He ain't so bright and nobody believes Mike would do that.
     

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