Question about Godfather II (Spoilers)

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Well, two questions actually...

a) What was the significance of bringing Frank Pentangeli's brother to the governmental hearing? Was Michael Corleone sending Pentangeli a message that he would kill his brother if he talked, or was the point more that they brought the brother in to shame Pentangeli out of talking?

b) Did Fredo know that he was going to be executed fishing on the boat? He seems to expect Anthony (Michael's son) to ride along with him and Al Neri, and when Anthony is called away to go to Reno, his reaction to Anthony is more like "Oh damn!" rather than something with a more of a sense of meaningful finality (even if kept hidden from Anthony) to it.

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 14:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

These are good questions.

a) My recollection is that the brother shamed him out of talking (maybe Robert Duvall's character explains this?)

b) I thought that Fredo, being Fredo, originally thought he was just going on a fishing trip, but then Fredo, being Fredo, immediately figured out what was going on and resigned himself to it.

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 14:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Joe: Why did you go to k/l? Why didn't you come to me first? Had you
come to me in friendship, then these questions that ruined your
daughter's wedding would be suffering this very day. Or something like that...I wish I could quit my job and field Godfather-related questions for a living:
a) I'm pretty sure Pentangeli's brother is there as a reminder to cooperate or else--i.e., unless Pentangeli rescinds his sworn statement, the brother will be killed. The brother doesn't know that, and all Michael will say (to Kay) is "It was between the brothers," but I've always assumed that the brother was very close to never making it back to Sicily.
b) To me, Fredo doesn't give any indication that he knows what's in store for him. Killing one's own brother is supposed to be beyond the pale even for Michael--the ultimate transgression, which is why it still haunts him 30 years later in Godfather III. If Fredo suspected he were about to be killed, I think he would have reacted much as he did in Cuba after Michael tells him he knows of Fredo's betrayal--he would have fled, or at least tried to.

Phil Dellio (j.j. hunsecker), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 02:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(Waiting for the tiebreaker vote)

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 13:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Loosely related, when I was in Havana last year, we wandered into the lobby of Meyer Lansky's old hotel/casino -- still with the '50s decor -- and I expected Pacino and Lee Strasberg to appear.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 15:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it's been awhile since i've watched it, and i'm inclined to go back and look carefully again, but i seem to recall feeling that at some point after boarding the boat, fredo recognized what was about to happen to him. i think there's tension there between fredo thinking that michael can't do what he's about to - that it's, as phil says, beyond the pale of their (and really any other) code - and the knowledge in his gut that it's about to happen. both factors kind of freeze him in place. this is how i remember it in my head... but like i said, i should go back and watch again.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 17:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Frodo, you're no longer my brother anymore. When you come to the Shire for the Harvest Festival, I want you to tell Gandalf in advance, because I don't want to see you."

k/l (Ken L), Friday, 24 June 2005 00:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Golum said there was something in it for me! FOR ME!!!!!"

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 25 June 2005 00:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I wish I could join in on this, but I don't know a thing about any of the Lord of the Rings films. The funniest thing I've ever read along these lines was "The Bobfather: A Family Saga," something Rob Sheffield wrote for Rolling Stone about seven or eight years ago. From memory: Dylan = Vito, Jakob = Michael, and Beck (or maybe it was the Dust Brothers) = Sollozzo, very good with the sampler and growing the hip-hop hits back in Turkey.

Phil Dellio (j.j. hunsecker), Saturday, 25 June 2005 11:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

there is no way that frankie 5 angels' bro was going to get killed.
categorically not. why would he have gone out there if they were going to kill him? i'd say that in the film they explain it pretty much without having to say so out loud that his bro's mere appearance (a man let's not forget who 'coulda had his own family') was enough to get frankie to realise the error of his ways. frankly i was on frankie's side. i think michael was just losing it and i always put myself in mr. 5 angels' shoes' every time.

for more detailed answers (and some quite scarily into-the-godfather freax) chec this:

and no i dunno about fredo either. it's a tough one. hmmm

piscesboy, Friday, 1 July 2005 14:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I dig SCTV's version of the first movie, with Candy as Pavarotti as Johnny Fontane and John Marley returning as Woltz ("Johnny Pavarotti does not sing that part"). Also, Dave Thomas did a kickass Duvall.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 1 July 2005 14:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"She was young, she was beautiful, she was the best piece of stuff I've ever had, and then Johnny Pavarotti started fattening her up with all those big Italian meals"

k/l (Ken L), Friday, 1 July 2005 15:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I forgot, Marley was Leonard Bernstein!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 1 July 2005 15:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't know that! Did you like him in Faces?

k/l (Ken L), Friday, 1 July 2005 16:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I've still got to disagree concerning Pentangeli's brother: if Pentangeli had testified as planned, I think the brother would have been killed. When Pentangeli says that his brother could have had his own family, I've always taken that to mean that he chose not to because he wanted to stay as far away from the crime business as possible. Therefore, the idea that his presence in the courtroom would shame Pentangeli into not talking--i.e., his presence reinforces for Pentangeli the code of silence all gangsters are supposed to honour--hinges on a first-hand involvement with the crime world that the brother, by choice, just doesn't have. There's no (im)moral suasion at work, because that's the kind of thing that could only come from another gangster, and the brother's largely oblivious to that world. Which would also explain how they got him over there in the first place: he has nothing to fear, because it would never to occur to him why he's really been brought over.

Phil Dellio (j.j. hunsecker), Monday, 4 July 2005 02:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I haven't seen "Faces" in forever, but I recall it's one of the less annoying Cassavetes films.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 12:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
My personal impression of Pentangeli's brother being in court room was message. "It was between the Brother's, Kay. I had nothing to do with it." Michael tells Kay this, and I believe it to be true.

Pentangeli's brother was there to remind Frank that he is a Corleone. That they are all family, as his brother is also family. Signifying, of course, that family does not betray family. (Being very ironic to the fact that Fredo did, and they both knew it -- and Fredo would pay). The whole point of Frankie backing down was not from a threat -- he was doing it because he felt betrayed -- once Michael is able to send him the message (not being able to tal kto him obviously as he was in custody of the FBI) Frank realises that Michael didn't betray him.

In relation to Fredo... he had no idea. Simple. Fredo never had a clue, even from birth.

Karl Pennington, Thursday, 2 February 2006 00:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That's how I've always read both scenes too.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 2 February 2006 00:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
what exactly did fredo do against michael if he said he didn't know it was going to be a hit?

devin bingham, Thursday, 11 May 2006 20:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He told the rival family what part of the house Michael sleeps in, so they could just have a meeting there and talk things out.

Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Thursday, 11 May 2006 22:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ten years pass...

michael corleone did this, michael corleone did that

marcos, Wednesday, 8 March 2017 19:54 (two years ago) Permalink

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