Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Abe Vigoda, Talia Shire, Gianni Russo, Rudy Bond
OUR RATING: ★★★★★
Crime drama directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name. The story focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family, which is headed by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.
Our Favorite Quotes:‘A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.’ - Don Corleone (The Godfather) Click To Tweet ‘I know English. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday.’ – Apollonia (The Godfather) Click To Tweet ‘You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you or my boy to me?’ - Don Corleone (The Godfather) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 50)
Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a “boyfriend,” not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn’t protest. Two months ago he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her, like an animal. When I went to the hospital her nose was broken. Her jaw was shattered, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. A beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again.
[He breaks down at this point, and the Don gestures to his son to get him a drink]
Don Corleone: Why did you go to the police? Why didn’t you come to me first?
Bonasera: What do you want of me? Tell me anything. But do what I beg you to do.
Don Corleone: What is that?
[Bonasera gets up from his seat and whispers into the Don’s ear; for a long moment the Don is silent]
Don Corleone: That I cannot do.
Bonasera: I will give you anything you ask!
Bonasera: Be my friend, Godfather.
[the Don upon hearing the title lifts his hand and a humbled Bonasera kisses the ring on it]
Don Corleone: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.
[a gratified Bonasera offers his thanks and leaves]
Don Corleone: [to Hagen] Give this to Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away. I mean, we’re not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks.
[The Corleone Family poses for the wedding photo]
Don Corleone: [to Sonny] Where’s Michael?
Sonny: Don’t worry. He’ll be here.
Don Corleone: We’re not taking the picture without Michael.
Tom Hagen: I have to get back to work. It’s part of the wedding. No Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter’s wedding day.
Luca Brasi: Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter’s wedding, on the day of your daughter’s wedding. And I hope that their first child be a masculine child. I pledge my ever-ending loyalty.
Michael Corleone: When Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this personal services contract with a big band leader. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. Now, Johnny is my father’s godson and my father went to see this band leader and offered him ten thousand dollars to let Johnny go, but the band leader said no. So the next day, my father went to see him, only this time with Luca Brasi and within an hour he signed the release for a certified check of one thousand dollars.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael Corleone: My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Kay Adams: What was that?
Michael Corleone: Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. That’s a true story.
[cut to Johnny singing again before going back to Michael]
Michael Corleone: That’s my family Kay, that’s not me.
Johnny Fontane: A month ago he bought the rights to this book, a best seller. The main character is a guy just like me. I wouldn’t even have to act, just be myself. Oh, Godfather, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do…
[all of a sudden, Don Corleone rises from his chair and gives Fontane a savage shake]
Don Corleone: You can act like a man!
[gives a quick slap to Fontane]
Don Corleone: What’s the matter with you? Is this how you turn out, a Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman? “Oh, what can I do? What can I do?” What is that nonsense? Ridiculous!
[the Don’s unexpected mimicry makes Hagen and even Fontane laugh; around this time Sonny comes in]
Don Corleone: Do you spend time with your family?
Johnny Fontane: Sure I do.
Don Corleone: Good. Because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.
[gives a quick look at Sonny and affectionately embraces Fontane]
Don Corleone: You look terrible. I want you to eat, I want you to rest well and a month from now this Hollywood big shot’s going to give you what you want.
Johnny Fontane: Too late. They start shooting in a week.
Don Corleone: I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse. Now just go outside and enjoy yourself. Forget all this nonsense. Listen, I want you to leave it all to me.
Tom Hagen: Mr. Corleone is Johnny Fontane’s godfather to the Italian people that’s a very sacred religious relationship.
Jack Woltz: I respect that. Tell him he can ask me anything else, but this is one favor I can’t give him.
Tom Hagen: He never asks a second favor once he’s refused the first, understood?
Jack Woltz: You don’t understand. Johnny Fontane never gets that movie. That part is perfect for him. It’ll make him a big star. Now I’m going to run him out of the business, and let me tell you why. Johnny Fontane ruined one of Woltz Internationals most valuable protégé’s. For five years we had her under training, singing lessons, acting lessons, dancing lessons. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her. I was going to make her a big star. And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I’m not a hard-hearted man, that it’s not all dollars and cents. She was beautiful, she was young, she was innocent, she was the greatest piece of ass I’ve ever had, and I’ve had them all over the world. And then Johnny Fontane comes along with his olive oil voice and guinea charm and she runs off. She threw it all away just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. Now you get the hell out of here. And if that gumba tries any rough stuff you tell him I ain’t no band leader. Yeah, I heard that story.
[Hagen has been calmly eating his meal throughout Woltz’s tirade]
Tom Hagen: Thank you for the dinner and a very pleasant evening. If your car could take me to the airport. Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.
[next morning Jack Woltz wakes up to find his horses head in his bed]
Don Corleone: I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man, to be treated with respect. But I must say no to you and I’ll give you my reasons. It’s true I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldn’t be friendly very long if they knew that my business was drugs instead of gambling which they regard as a harmless vice. But drugs is a dirty business.
Sollozzo: If you’re worried about security for your million, the Tattaglias will guarantee it.
Sonny Corleone: Whoa, now, you’re telling me that the Tattaglias guarantee our investment…?
Don Corleone: Wait a minute.
[the Don gives his son a cold stare, freezing Sonny into silence]
Don Corleone: I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen. Anyway, Signor Sollozzo, my no is final and I wish to congratulate you on your new business and I’m sure you’ll do very well and good luck with that. Especially since your interests don’t conflict with mine. Thank you.
Don Corleone: Santino, come here. What’s the matter with you? I think your brain is going soft with all that comedy you are playing with that young girl. Never tell anyone outside the Family what you’re thinking again. Go on.
Don Corleone: [to Luca Brasi] I’m a little worried about this Sollozzo fellow. I want you to find out what he’s got under his fingernails, you know. Go to the Tattaglias, and make them think that you’re not too happy with our Family, and find out what you can.
Sollozzo: I don’t like violence, Tom. I’m a businessman; blood is a big expense.
Sollozzo: He’s still alive. They hit him with five shots and he’s still alive!
Tom Hagen: Maybe we shouldn’t get Mike mixed up in this too directly.
[Tessio brings in Luca Brasi’s bulletproof vest, delivered with a fish inside]
Sonny Corleone: What the hell is this?
Clemenza: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.
Clemenza: Sonny’s running wild. He’s thinking of going to the mattresses already. We got to find this spot on the west side.
[to Rocco who has killed Paulie in the car]
Clemenza: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
Sonny Corleone: How’s Paulie?
Clemenza: Oh, Paulie, you won’t see him no more.
Michael Corleone: You and I are going to move my father to another room, now can you disconnect those tubes so we can move the bed out?
Nurse: That’s out of the question.
Michael Corleone: You know my father? Men are coming here to kill him. You understand? Now help me, please.
[to the Don, quietly]
Michael Corleone: I’m here pop. I’ll take care of you now. I’m with you now. I’m with you.
[he takes the Don’s hand and kisses it, the Don begins to cry]
[to Michael, whose face is bruised]
Sonny Corleone: Hey Michael, come here. Let me look at you. You’re beautiful, beautiful, you’re gorgeous. Hey, listen to this. The Turk wants to talk. You believe the nerve on this son of a bitch hey? He craps out last night and now he wants to have a meeting today.
Tom Hagen: What did he say?
Sonny Corleone: What did he say, badda-beep, badda-boop, badda-boop, badda-beep, he wants us to send Michael to hear the proposition and the promise is the deal is so good we can’t refuse, hey.
Sonny Corleone: [laughing] What are you going to do? Nice college boy, didn’t want to get mixed up in the family business. Now you want to gun down a police captain cause he slapped you in the face a little bit? Ha? What do you think this the Army where you can shoot them a mile away? You got to get close like this, and badda-bing and blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. Come here.
[Kisses Michael on the head]
Sonny Corleone: You’re taking this very personal. Tom, this is business and this man is taking it very, very personal.
Michael Corleone: Where does it say that you can’t kill a cop?
Tom Hagen: Come on, Mikey.
Michael Corleone: Tom, wait a minute. I’m talking about a cop that’s mixed up in drugs. I’m talking about a dishonest cop, a crooked cop who got mixed up in the rackets and got what was coming. That’s a terrific story. And we have newspaper people who are on the payroll, don’t we Tom?
Michael Corleone: And they might like a story like that.
Tom Hagen: They might, they just might.
Michael Corleone: [to Sonny] It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.
Sonny Corleone: Hey, listen, I want somebody good, and I mean very good, to plant that gun. I don’t want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands, alright?
Clemenza: The gun’ll be there.
Michael Corleone: What I want, what’s most important to me is that I have a guarantee. No more attempts on my father’s life.
Sollozzo: What guarantees could I give you, Mike? I’m the hunted one. I’ve missed my chance. You think too much of me, kid. I am not that clever. All I want is a truce.
Michael: I have to go to the bathroom. Is that all right?
Capt. McCluskey: You got to go, you got to go.
[Michael gets up, but a suspicious Sollozzo probes Michael’s crotch, to Michael’s offense]
Capt. McCluskey: I frisked him. He’s clean.
Sollozzo: Don’t take too long.
[Michael heads to the bathroom]
Capt. McCluskey: [to Sollozzo] I frisked a thousand young punks.
[Michael goes to bathroom gets the gun comes back to the table, Sollozo starts talking to him in Sicilian, Michael listens and tries to avoid eye contact, then suddenly he gets up and shoots both Sollozzo and McCluskey]
Sonny Corleone: Did he, did Clemenza tell you to drop the gun?
Michael Corleone: Yeah, a million times.
[after Michael notices Apollonia Vitelli for the first time]
Calo: [in Sicilian] In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.
[speaking with the father of Apollonia, who he plans to marry]
Michael Corleone: I apologize if I offended you. I’m a stranger in this country and I meant no disrespect to you or your daughter. I’m an American hiding in Sicily. My name is Michael Corleone. There are people who would pay a lot of money for that information, but then your daughter would lose a father, instead of gaining a husband.
[Sonny pays a visit to his sister Connie. He is surprised to find her subdued and evasive]
Sonny Corleone: What’s the matter? Huh? What’s the matter?
[he looks at her swollen face and understands what has happened. He pulls away to go after Carl but Connie tries to stop him]
Connie: It was my fault!
Sonny Corleone: Where is he?
[Connie’s weeping with terror]
Connie: Sonny, please. Sonny, it was my fault. Sonny it was my fault. I hit him. I started a fight with him. Please, Sonny.
[Sonny, now under control, hushes her and kisses her forehead]
Sonny Corleone: Okay. I’m just going to get a doctor to come down and take a look at you.
Connie: Sonny, please don’t do anything. Please don’t do anything. Please.
Sonny Corleone: What’s the matter with you? What am I going to do? Am I going to make that baby an orphan before he’s born? Huh?
Sonny Corleone: All right?
[cut to Sonny beating up Carlo in the street]
[after Sonny beats up Carlo Rizzi for hitting Connie]
Sonny Corleone: You touch my sister again, I’ll kill you.
Connie: Dinner’s on the table.
Carlo Rizzi: I’m not hungry yet.
Connie: Your food is on the table. It’s getting cold.
Carlo Rizzi: I’ll eat out later.
Connie: You just told me to make you dinner!
Carlo Rizzi: Hey, vaffunculo, eh?
Connie: Aw, vaffunculo you!
[after which they have a huge fight]
[after told Sonny about her fight with her husband]
Sonny Corleone: Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch!
[on the drive to get to Connie’s, Sonny gets assassinated at the causeway toll booth]
[at midnight, Don Corleone walks into his office and finds Tom Hagen taking a drink]
Don Corleone: Give me a drop.
[Hagen hands the Don his glass]
Don Corleone: My wife is crying upstairs. I hear cars coming to the house. Consigliere of mine, I think you should tell your Don what everyone seems to know.
Tom Hagen: I didn’t tell Mama anything. I was just about to come up and wake you just now and tell you.
Don Corleone: But you needed a drink first.
Don Corleone: And now you’ve had your drink.
Tom Hagen: They shot Sonny on the causeway. He’s dead.
[the Don starts to cry]
Don Corleone: I want no inquiries made. I want no acts of vengeance. I want you to arrange a meeting with the heads of the Five Families. This war stops now.
[the Don gets up from his chair]
Don Corleone: Call Bonasera. We need him now.
[at the funeral parlor embalming room]
Don Corleone: Well, my friend, are you ready to do me this service?
Bonasera: Yes. What do you want me to do?
[the two walk to towards the corpse on a table]
Don Corleone: I want you to use all your powers, and all the skills. I don’t want his mother to see him this way.
[the Don draws back the sheet to reveal, to a horrified Bonasera, the bullet-smashed face of Sonny]
Don Corleone: Look how they massacred my boy.
[teaching Apollonia to drive, then speaking in Sicilian]
Michael Corleone: It’s safer to teach you English!
[Apollonia replies in Sicilian]
Apollonia: I know English. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Saturday.
[during the meeting with the Five Families]
Emilio Barzini: Times have changed. It’s not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all, we are not Communists.
[during the meeting with the Five Families]
Don Corleone: You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you or my boy to me? I forgo the vengeance of my son. But I have selfish reasons, my youngest son was forced to leave this country because of this Sollozzo business. All right, now I have to make arrangements to bring him back here safely cleared of all these false charges. But I’m a superstitious man and if some unlucky accident should befall him, if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning, then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room, and that I do not forgive. But, that aside, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here today.
Michael Corleone: I’m working for my father now Kay. He’s been sick, very sick.
Kay Adams: But you’re not like him Michael. I thought you weren’t going to become a man like your father. That’s what you told me.
Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any other powerful man, any man who is responsible for other people, like a senator or a president.
Kay Adams: You know how naive you sound?
Michael Corleone: Why?
Kay Adams: Senators and presidents don’t have men killed.
Michael Corleone: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?
Don Corleone: Well, Michael is now head of the family and if gives his permission then you have my blessing.
Michael Corleone: After we make the move to Nevada you can break off from the Corleone Family and go on your own. After we make the move to Nevada.
Clemenza: How long will that be?
Michael Corleone: Six months.
Tessio: Forgive me, Godfather, but with you gone me and Pete will come under Barzini’s thumb sooner or later.
Clemenza: And I hate that Goddamn Barzini. In six months time there won’t be nothing left to build on.
Don Corleone: Do you have faith in my judgment?
Don Corleone: Do I have your loyalty?
Clemenza: Yes, always Godfather.
Don Corleone: Then be a friend to Michael. Do as he says.
Tom Hagen: Mike, why am I out?
Michael Corleone: You’re not a wartime Consiglieri, Tom. Things may get rough with the moves we’re trying.
[motion for Tom to sit next to him]
Don Corleone: Tom, I advised Michael. I never thought you were a bad Consiglieri. I thought Santino was a bad Don, rest in peace. Michael has all my confidence, as do you. But there are reasons why you must have no part nothing in what’s going to happen.
Tom Hagen: Maybe I could help.
Michael Corleone: You’re out, Tom.
Michael Corleone: The Corleone family is thinking of giving up all its interest in the olive oil business, settling out here. Now Moe Greene will sell us his share of the casino and the hotel so that it can be completely owned by the family. Tom.
Fredo: Hey Mike, are you sure about that? Moe, loves the business. Never said nothing to me about selling.
[Tom hands Michael some papers]
Michael Corleone: I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse. You see, Johnny, see we figure that entertainment will be a big factor in drawing gamblers into the casinos. Now we hope that you’ll sign a contract to appear 5 times a year. Perhaps convince some of your friends in the movies to do the same. We’re counting on you.
Johnny Fontane: Sure Mike, I’ll do anything for my Godfather. You know that.
Michael Corleone: Good.
Moe Greene: I got a business to run. I got to kick asses sometimes to make it run right. We had a little argument, Freddy and I, so I had to straighten him out.
Michael Corleone: You straightened my brother out?
Moe Greene: He was banging cocktail waitresses two at a time! Players couldn’t get a drink at the table! What’s wrong with you?
Michael Corleone: I leave for New York tomorrow, think about a price.
Moe Greene: Do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!
Fredo: Wait a minute Moe, Moe, I got an idea. Tom, now you’re the Consiglieri and you can talk to the Don, you can explain.
Tom Hagen: Now just a minute. Don is semi-retired and Mike is in charge of the Family business now. If you have anything to say, say it to Michael.
[Moe Greene leaves]
Fredo: Mike! You don’t come to Las Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!
Michael Corleone: Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.
Don Corleone: So, Barzini will move against you first. He’ll set up a meeting with someone that you absolutely trust, guaranteeing your safety. And at that meeting, you’ll be assassinated.
Don Corleone: I like to drink wine more than I used to.
Don Corleone: Anyway, I’m drinking more.
Michael: It’s good for you, Pop.
Don Corleone: I don’t know.
Don Corleone: I hope you don’t mind the way I keep going over this Barzini business.
Michael Corleone: No, not at all.
Don Corleone: It’s an old habit. I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless, but not men.
Don Corleone: How’s your boy?
Michael Corleone: He’s good.
Don Corleone: You know, he looks more like you every day.
Michael Corleone: He’s smarter than I am. Three years old and he can read the funny papers.
Don Corleone: [laughs] Read the funny papers.
Michael Corleone: [to his father] What’s the matter? What’s bothering you? I’ll handle it. I told you I could handle it, I’ll handle it.
[the Don rises as if to leave, but changes his mind midway and seats himself closer to Michael]
Don Corleone: I knew that Santino was going to have to go through all this, and Fredo, Fredo was… But I never, I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don’t apologize to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all those big shots. I don’t apologize, that’s my life. But I thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.
Michael Corleone: Another pezzonovante.
Don Corleone: I don’t know. There wasn’t enough time, Michael. There wasn’t enough time.
Michael Corleone: We’ll get there, Pop. We’ll get there.
[the Don kisses Michael on the forehead]
Don Corleone: Now Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.
Tom Hagen: You know how they’re going to come at you?
Michael Corleone: They’re arranging a meeting in Brooklyn. Tessio’s ground. Where I’ll be safe.
[Tom is silent for a long moment]
Tom Hagen: I always thought it would have been Clemenza not Tessio.
Michael Corleone: It’s the smart move. Tessio was always smarter. But I’m going to wait, after the Baptism. I’ve decided to be Godfather to Connie’s baby. And then I meet the Don Barzini and Tattaglias, all the heads of the Five Families.
[during the baptism]
The Priest: Michael, Francis Rizzi, do you renounce Satan?
Michael Corleone: I do renounce him.
The Priest: And all his works?
Michael Corleone: I do renounce them.
[in between the baptism the assassinations of the five families are taking place]
[speaking to Carlo]
Michael Corleone: Only don’t tell me you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence. Makes me very angry.
[shrieking at Michael]
Connie: Michael you lousy bastard. You killed my husband! You waited until Papa died so nobody could stop you and then you killed him! You blamed him for Sonny, you always did, everybody did. But you never thought about me. You never gave a dam about me. Now what am I going to do?
[Kay takes Connie in her arms]
Kay Adams: Connie.
Connie: Why do you think he kept Carlo at the mall? All the time he knew he was going to kill him. And you stood Godfather to our baby. You lousy cold hearted bastard. I don’t know how many men he had killed! Connie read the papers. Read the papers! That’s your husband! That’s your husband!
[Michael takes Connie into her arms, but she goes wild again and tries to attack him]
Michael Corleone: Take her upstairs. Get her a doctor.
[Michael’s bodyguards grab Connie and pull her out of the office]
Michael Corleone: She’s hysterical. Hysterical.
Michael Corleone: Michael is it true?
Kay Adams: Don’t ask me about my business, Kay.
Michael Corleone: Is it true?
Michael Corleone: Don’t ask me about my business.
Kay Adams: No.
[slamming his desk]
Michael Corleone: Enough!
Michael Corleone: All right. This one time. This one time I’ll let you ask me about my affairs.
Kay Adams: Is it true? Is it?
Michael Corleone: No.
[Kay smiles and walks into his arms]
Kay Adams: I guess we both need a drink, huh?
[Kay goes to the next room to fix a drink, then looks up and sees Clemenza, Rocco Lampone and Al Neri enter Michael’s office]
Clemenza: Don Corleone.
[Clemenza kisses Michael’s hand, and Neri shuts the door in her face]
Total Quotes: 50