The Godfather

The Godfather quotes

88 total quotes (ID: 241)

Clemenza
Don Vito Corleone
Michael Corleone
Multiple Characters
Santino "Sonny" Corleone
Tom Hagen


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 whispers his request in the Don's ear] That I cannot do.
Bonasera: I will give you anything you ask.
Don Corleone: We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you ever came to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time that 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 uh, you were afraid 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. And you didn't need a friend like me. But uh, now you come to me and you 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. Instead, 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 for justice.
Don Corleone: That is not justice. Your daughter is still alive.
Bonasera: Let them suffer then, as she suffers. How much shall I pay you?
Don Corleone: Bonasera, Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
Bonasera: Be my friend - - Godfather. [The Don shrugs. Bonasera bows toward the Don and kisses the Don's hand]
Don Corleone: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I'll 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.
Bonasera: Grazie, Godfather.
Don Corleone: Prego.


Don Corleone: [to the Heads of the Five Families] How did things ever get so far? I don't know. It was so unfortunate, so unnecessary. Tattaglia lost a son and I lost a son. We're quits. And if Tattaglia agrees, then I'm willing to let things go on the way they were before.
Don Barzini: We're all grateful to Don Corleone for calling this meeting. We all know him as a man of his word. A modest man who will always listen to reason.
Tattaglia: Yes, Barzini, he is too modest. He had all the judges and politicians in his pocket and refused to share them.
Don Corleone: When, when did I ever refuse an accommodation? All of you know me here. When did I ever refuse, except one time? And why? Because I believe this drug business is gonna destroy us in the years to come. I mean, it's not like gambling or liquor, even women, which is something that most people want nowadays and it's forbidden to them...by the church. Even the police departments have helped us in the past with gambling and other things. They're gonna refuse to help us when it comes to narcotics. And I believe that then - and I believe that now.
Don Barzini: Times have changed. It's not like the old days when we could do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. Don Corleone had all the judges and the politicians in New York and he must share 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...
Don Corleone: I hoped that we would come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man, I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems.
Don Barzini: Then we are agreed. The traffic in drugs will be permitted, but controlled, and Don Corleone will give up protection in the East - and there will be the peace.
Tattaglia: But I must have strict assurance from Corleone. As time goes by and his position becomes stronger, will he attempt any individual vendetta?
Don Barzini: Look, we are all reasonable men here. We don't have to give assurances as if we were lawyers.
Don Corleone: You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance gonna bring your son back to you and my boy to me? I forgot all the vengeance in my son. But I have selfish reasons. [after saying that Michael is returning to the U.S.] 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 he 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 that we have made here today.

Sonny: I want you to find out where that ol' pimp Tattaglia is hiding - I want his ass now, right now.
Tom Hagen: Things are starting to loosen up a bit. If you go after Tattaglia, all hell's gonna break...
Sonny: Oh, Tom.
Tom Hagen: ...loose. Let, let the smoke clear. Pop can negotiate.
Sonny: No, Pop can't do nothin' till he's better. I'm going to decide what's going to be done.
Tom Hagen: All right, but your war is costing us a lot of money, nothing's coming in...We can't do business...
Sonny: Well, neither can they! Don't worry about it.
Tom Hagen: They don't have our overhead...We can't afford a stalemate.
Sonny: Well, then, there ain't no more stalemate - I'm gonna end it by killin' that ol' bastard! I'm gonna...kill...
Tom Hagen: Yeah, well, you're getting a great reputation. I hope you're enjoying it.
Sonny: Well, you just do what I tell you to do. Goddamn it. If I had a wartime consigliere, a Sicilian, I wouldn't be in this shape! Pop had Genco, look what I got. I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. Ma made me a little dinner. It's Sunday.
Tom Hagen: It's alright.

Tom Hagen: I was sent by a friend of Johnny Fontane's - his friend is my client, who'd give his undying friendship to Mr. Woltz, if Mr. Woltz would grant us a small favor.
Jack Woltz: Woltz is listening.
Tom Hagen: Give Johnny the part in that new war film you're starting next week.
Jack Woltz: [after laughing] And, uh, what favor would your friend grant Mr. Woltz?
Tom Hagen: You're gonna have some union problems; my client could make them disappear. Also, one of your top stars has just moved from marijuana to heroin...
Jack Woltz: Are you trying to muscle me?
Tom Hagen: Absolutely not.
Jack Woltz: Now listen here, you smooth-talking sonofabitch! Let me lay it on the line for you and your boss, whoever he is. Johnny Fontane will never get that movie. I don't care how many dago, wop, guinea, greaseball goombas come out of the woodwork.
Tom Hagen: I'm German-Irish.
Jack Woltz: Well, let me tell you something, my kraut-mick friend. I'm gonna make so much trouble for you you won't know what hit you!
Tom Hagen: Mr. Woltz, I'm a lawyer. I am not threatened.
Jack Woltz: I know almost every big lawyer in New York. Who the hell are you?
Tom Hagen: I have a special practice. I handle one client. Now, you have my number. I'll await your call. By the way, I admire your pictures very much.

Michael: My credit good enough to buy you out?
Moe Greene: Buy me out?
[Fredo laughs nervously]
Michael: The casino, the hotel. 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: You're unlucky.
Moe Greene: You goddamn guineas really make me laugh. I do you a favor and take Freddie in when you're having a bad time, and then you try to push me out!
Michael: Wait a minute, you took Freddie in because the Corleone Family bankrolled your casino, because 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. Now, Now uh Moe didn't mean nothin' by that. Sure he flies off the handle once in a while, but Moe and me, we're good friends, right Moe? Huh?
Moe Greene: I gotta business to run. I gotta kick asses sometimes to make it run right. We had a little argument, Freddy and I, so I had to straighten him out.
Michael: You straightened my brother out?
Moe Greene: He was banging ****tail waitresses two at a time! Players couldn't get a drink at the table! What's wrong 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: Just a minute now, 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.
[Moe Greene leaves]
Fredo: Mike! You don't 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.

Don Corleone: [to Sollozzo] 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 my business was drugs instead of gambling, which they rule that as a - a harmless vice. But drugs is a dirty business...It makes, it doesn't make any difference to me what a man does for a living, understand. But your business, is uh, a little dangerous.
Sonny: Aw, you're telling me that the Tattaglias guarantee our investment?
Don Corleone: I have a sentimental weakness for my children, and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen.
[Sollozzo leaves after the Don wishes him luck]
Don Corleone: [to Sonny] Whatsa matter with you? I think your brain's goin' soft ...Never tell anybody outside the family what you're thinking again.

Don Zaluchi: I, too, don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra to stay away from that sort of stuff, but someone comes along saying, I've got powders where if you put up a three to four thousand dollar investment, you can make fifty thousand distributing, then there is no way to resist it. I want to keep it respectable. I don't want it near schools. I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city, we'd keep the traffic to the Dark People, the Coloreds - they're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.

Kay: [asking about Carlo's murder] Michael, is it true?
Michael: Don't ask me about my business, Kay.
Kay: Is it true?
Michael: Don't ask me about my business...
Kay: No.
Michael: [slamming his hand on the desk] Enough! All right. This one time, this one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs.
Kay: Is it true? Is it?
Michael: No.
Kay: [sighing relief] I guess we both need a drink, huh?

[to Michael] 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...It's an old habit. I spend my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men...It could be anyone...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 string held by all those bigshots. I don't apologize; that's my life, but I thought that, that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings: Senator Corleone; Governor Corleone. Well, it wasn't enough time, Michael. It wasn't enough time...Now listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he's the traitor. Don't forget that.

Clemenza: He wants us to send Michael to hear the proposition. And the promise is that the deal is so good that we can't refuse.
Sonny: No more meetin's, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks.
Michael: We can't wait. I don't care what Sollozzo says about a deal, he's gonna kill Pop, that's it. That's the key for him. Gotta get Sollozzo. They wanna have a meeting with me, right? It will be me, McCluskey, and Sollozzo. Let's set the meeting. Get our informers to find out where it's gonna be held. Now, we insist it's a public place, a bar, a restaurant, some place where there's people so I feel safe. They're gonna search me when I first meet them, right? So I can't have a weapon on me then. But if Clemenza can figure a way to have a weapon planted there for me, then I'll kill 'em both.
Sonny: [Smiles] Hey, whatcha gonna do, nice college boy, eh? Didn't want to get mixed up in the Family business, huh? Now you wanna gun down a police captain cuz he slapped ya in the face? Hah? What do you think this is the Army, where you shoot 'em a mile away? You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing,you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit! Come here!
[kisses Michael's head]
Michael: Sonny...
Sonny: You're taking this very personal. Tom, this is business and this man is taking it very personal.
Michael: Where does it say that you can't kill a cop?...I'm talking about a cop that's mixed up in drugs. I'm talking about a dishonest cop and a crooked cop who got mixed up in the rackets and got what was coming to him. That'd make a helluva story. Now we got people in the newspapers, right Tom? They might like a story like that.
Tom Hagen: They might; they just might.
Michael: It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.

Sollozzo: Your boss is dead. I know you're not in the muscle-end of the family, Tom, so I don't want you to be scared. I want you to help the Corleones, and I want you to help me. Yeah, we got him outside his office just about an hour after we picked you up. Drink it. So now it's up to you to make the peace between me and Sonny. Sonny was hot for my deal, wasn't he? And you knew it was the right thing to do.
Tom Hagen: Sonny'll come after you with everything's he got.
Sollozzo: That'll be his first reaction, sure. That's why you gotta talk some sense into him. The Tattaglia family is behind me with all their people. The other New York Families will go along with anything that will prevent a full-scale war. Let's face it, Tom, and all due respect, the Don, rest in peace, was -- slippin'. Ten years ago, could I have gotten to him? Well now, he's dead. He's dead, Tom, and nothing can bring him back. So you gotta talk to Sonny, you gotta talk to the caporegimes, that Tessio and that Fat Clemenza. It's good business, Tom.
Tom Hagen: I'll try, but even Sonny won't be able to call Luca Brasi off.
Sollozzo: Yeah, well, let me worry about Luca. You just talk to Sonny and the other two kids.
Tom Hagen: I'll try my best.
Sollozzo: Good. Now, you can go. I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a business man. Blood is a big expense.

Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people.

Jack Woltz: Just tell him he should ask me anything else. But this is one favor I can't give him.
Tom Hagen: He never asks a second favor when he's been 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. And I'm gonna run him out of the business, and let me tell you why...And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, and it's not all dollars and cents. She was beautiful, she was young, she was innocent. She was the greatest piece of ass I ever had, and I had 'em 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 outta here! And if that gumbah tries any rough stuff, you tell him I ain't no band leader! Yeah, I heard that story.
Tom Hagen: Thank you for the dinner, and a very pleasant evening. Now, if your car could take me to the airport... Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.

Tessio: Can you get me off the hook, Tom? You know, for old times' sake?
Tom Hagen: Can't do it, Sally.
Tessio: Tell Michael it was strictly business. I always liked him.
Tom Hagen: He understands that.

Kay: Michael, you never told me your family knew Johnny Fontane!
Michael: Oh sure, you want to meet him?
Kay: Yeah!
Michael: You know, my father helped Johnny in his career.
Kay: Really? How?
Michael: ...Let's listen to this song.
Kay: [after listening to Johnny for a while] Please, Michael. Tell me.
Michael: Well when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this 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. My father went to see the bandleader, and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went to see the bandleader again, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, the bandleader signed the release, with a certified check of $1,000.
Kay: How did he do that?
Michael: My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Kay: 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 stares at Michael in disbelief]
Michael: That's a true story. ...That's my family Kay, it's not me.