My Favorite Scene: The Godfather

The Godfather is one of my favorite movies.   I still remember the first time that I saw it.   I was in fifth grade and my mom bought the video and we watched it.  I was an advanced child.  The movie definitely left a lasting impression on me.  Not in the “aren’t gangsters cool?” kind of way; these characters are psychologically interesting.  TV Tropes have identified characters Michael & Vito Corleone (the titular godfathers of the movies) and Tom Hagan (their brother & son, respectively) as INTJs.   I knew it!!!  All three characters are quiet, logical, even-minded, and utterly ruthless.  While Vito and Tom can present a more friendlier manner than Michael’s usual iciness, the viewer can never forgot through their actions that all three have committed horrific crimes in the name of family and business.

So that leads us to one of my favorite scenes from The Godfather.  A lot of movie buffs speak of the famous Baptismal Massacre scene, but the scene actually does nothing for me despite being very well executed.   It’s one of the following scenes that falls into my favorite bucket.

In this scene, Michael and Tom go to confront their little sister Connie’s husband, Carlo.  Carlo is cheating, wife-beating, raggedy ass, golddigging son of bitch.  And it is also heavily implied throughout the movie that he was involved in the death of their brother (and former godfather) Sonny.  In the past, Sonny kept Carlo out of the family business for being an outsider and once beat the stuffing out of him upon finding out that Carlo assaulted a pregnant Connie.

For the audience, there was only maybe a split second where we actually believe that Michael wouldn’t make his sister a widow.  After all, he just stood in church as godfather to Carlo and Connie’s second child. Of course, he also just stood in church while all of the opposition Mafia leaders were being shot to pieces at his behest. So there’s that hiccup for Carlo.

The timeline in The Godfather is never explicitly spelled out.  We know that the movie starts off in 1945 and then after that it gets a little hazy.  Based on what I remember from the book and from the age of the children in The Godfather, Part 2, at least, 8 to 10 years have passed in Part 1.  Michael was gone for several years in Sicily to avoid jail for a killing a corrupt police captain.  Sonny was the godfather for a least few years.  So let’s say that from the point that Michael takes over until the end of Part 1 spans 4 to 5 years.  In that timespan, he brings Carlo in as his lefthand man.   Carlo is in almost all of the family business.  That is what makes this scene so sinister.  For years, Michael has lulled this man into a false sense of security and then comes down on him suddenly like a ton of bricks.

That is some cold-blooded shit.  See, Carlo could see a man like Sonny coming a mile away.  He was like a bull in a china shop.  If Sonny was displeased with you, you most definitely knew it; but Michael, Vito, and Tom wait with the patience of a spider and then strike.  Those magnificent bastards.



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