The Godfather Quotes

Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

Johnny Fontane: [discussing his problems] I don't know what to do, Godfather. My voice is weak, it's weak. Anyway, if I had this part in the picture, it puts me right back on top, you know. But this... this man out there. He won't give it to me, the head of the studio.
Don Corleone: What's his name?
Don Corleone: Woltz. He said there's no chance, no chance...
[Meanwhile, Hagen finds Sonny and summons him]
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 what you've become, a Hollywood finocchio who cries like a woman? "Oh, what do I do? What do 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: Tell me, 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 gonna give you what you want.
Johnny Fontane: Too late. They start shooting in a week.
Don Corleone: I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse. Okay? I want you to leave it all to me. Go on, go back to the party.
[a gratified Fontane leaves]

Michael: [speaking to Carlo] Only don't tell me you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.

Don Corleone: We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you've come to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.
Bonasera: I didn't want to get into trouble.
Don Corleone: I understand. You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn't need a friend like me. Now you come and say "Don Corleone, give me justice." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me "Godfather." You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money.
Bonasera: I ask you for justice.
Don Corleone: That is not justice. Your daughter is alive.
Bonasera: Let them suffer then as she suffers.
[the Don is silent]
Bonasera: How much shall I pay you?
[the Don turns away dismissively, but Bonasera stays on]
Don Corleone: Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.
Bonasera: Be my friend... Godfather.
[the Don at first shrugs, but upon hearing the title he lifts his hand, and a humbled Bonasera kisses the ring on it]
Don Corleone: Good.
[He places his hand around Bonasera in a paternal gesture]
Don Corleone: Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter's wedding day.
[a gratified Bonasera offers his thanks and leaves]
Don Corleone: [to Hagen] Give this job 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...

Kay Adams: Michael, you never told me you knew Johnny Fontane!
Michael: Sure, you want to meet him?
Kay Adams: Well, yeah! Sure.
Michael: My father helped him with his career.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael: ...Let's listen to the song.
Kay Adams: [after listening to Johnny for a while] Tell me, Michael. Please.
Michael: Well, when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to a personal services contract with this big-band leader. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. But the band leader wouldn't let him. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. So my father went to see this bandleader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.
Kay Adams: How did he do that?
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay Adams: What was that?
Michael: 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.
Kay Adams: ...
Michael: ...That's a true story.
[cut to Johnny singing again for about 10 more seconds before going back to Michael]
Michael: That's my family Kay, that's not me.

[to Rocco who has killed Paulie in the car]
Peter Clemenza: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Calo: In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.

Don Corleone: I hope you don't mind the way I keep going over this Barzini business.
Michael: No, not at all.
Don Corleone: It's an old habit. I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.

[first lines]
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 "boy friend," 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 boy friend. 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]
Bonasera: Sorry...
[He regains his composure and carries on]
Bonasera: I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison, and suspended the sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool, and those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, "For justice, we must go to Don Corleone."
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!

Michael: My credit good enough to buy you out?
Moe Greene: Buy me out?
[Fredo laughs nervously]
Michael: The hotel, the casino. The Corleone Family wants to buy you out.
Moe Greene: The Corleone Family wants to buy me out? No, I buy you out, you don't buy me out.
Michael: Your casino loses money, maybe we can do better.
Moe Greene: You think I'm skimmin off the top, Mike?
Michael: [Michael shakes his head] You're unlucky.
Moe Greene: You goddamn guineas you really make me laugh. I do you a favor and take Freddie in when you're having a bad time, and now you're gonna try and push me out!
Michael: You took Freddie in because the Corleone Family bankrolled your casino, and the Molinari Family on the Coast guaranteed his safety. Now we're talking business, let's talk business.
Moe Greene: Yeah, let's talk business, Mike. First of all, you're all done. The Corleone Family don't even have that kind of muscle anymore. The Godfather's sick, right? You're getting chased out of New York by Barzini and the other Families. What do you think is going on here? You think you can come to my hotel and take over? I talked to Barzini - I can make a deal with him, and still keep my hotel!
Michael: Is that why you slapped my brother around in public?
Fredo: Aw, now that, that was nothin', Mike. Moe didn't mean nothin' by that. Yeah, sure he flies off the handle every once in a while, but me and him, we're good friends, right Moe?
Moe Greene: I got a business to run. I gotta kick asses sometimes to make it run right. We had a little argument, Freddy and me, so I had to straighten him out.
Michael: 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 the matter with you?
Michael: I leave for New York tomorrow, think about a price.
Moe Greene: Sonofabitch! 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, you're the Consiglieri and you can talk to the Don, you can explain...
Tom Hagen: Now hold it right there. The Don is semi-retired and Mike is in charge of the Family business now. If you have anything to say, say it to Michael.
Fredo: [Moe Greene leaves] Mike! You do not come to Las Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!
Michael: Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.

The Godfather

The Godfather

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

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