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Can anyone answer these unexplained questions about Godfather II? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


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01-04-11, 10:49 AM
The Godfather films are great in the way you can watch them multiple times and keep picking up new things. Just saw Part II again last night, and there's two things I don't quite get, that hopefully someone else can better explain. (Spoilers, obviously!)

First, how much did Fredo really know? The movie depicts Michael as a monster for killing his brother Fredo. I realize Michael has been corrupted by power and is cold and ruthless, but it seems like Fredo gets a pass even though he tried to kill Michael first!

I suppose it's debatable that Fredo didn't know he was participating in an assassination plot, but I've got real problems with that logic. Now I understand Fredo is stupid, but seriously - what did he think was going to happen when he was told to open the drapes to Michael's bedroom??? Sorry, I'm just not buying that he was innocent and being manipulated.

There is that scene where he receives a call in the middle of the night after the assassination fails. He's obviously upset and says, "You guys lied to me." But you can take that two ways. He could be angry because Michael is still alive and they botched the job they promised would end with his brother's death!

Second, when Hyman Roth returns to the U.S. he is arrested and is promptly killed at the airport. I feel like some detail has been left out of the movie. When did Hyman Roth become a fugitive from the FBI? Earlier in the movie he was just relaxing in his Miami home with apparently no legal problems.


01-04-11, 11:10 AM
As Part II opens, Roth is based in Miami with his right hand man, the Sicilian Johnny Ola, and is about to enter into an extraordinarily profitable business partnership with Batista's Cuba, but is thwarted by Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution. At about this time, Roth manipulates Michael's brother Fredo into giving him information he uses to make an attempt on Michael's life.

During the last night of Batista's leadership, Michael, who has known that Roth has betrayed him, decides that "Roth would not see the New Year". After ordering the murder of Johnny Ola in the same night, Michael has his bodyguard try to kill Roth. Roth, whose health is failing, is lying in bed when Michael's bodyguard sneaks in and tries to suffocate him with a pillow. Fortunately for Roth, members of the military storm the hospital and kill the bodyguard.

By the end of the film, Roth publicly states that he wishes to retire and live in Israel. The Israeli High Court refuses his request to live there "as a Jew in the twilight of [his] life", however, and he arrives at the airport and prepares to be taken into federal custody in the U.S. However, he is assassinated by Corleone caporegime Rocco Lampone, posing as a reporter, who is in turn shot by police as he attempts to flee the scene.

01-04-11, 12:07 PM
Thanks, covenant.

I already followed all of that, but I'm unclear on what were the charges for Roth's arrest in Miami? Since Roth was fearful for his life, was he making a deal with the feds to testify against Michael now that Pentangeli was no longer a reliable witness? (After that whole business of Michael showing up to the hearings with the man's brother.)

01-04-11, 12:56 PM
Hyman Roth's character is based on Meyer Lansky so here you go :


With media and law enforcement attention increasing, Meyer Lansky sought to take refuge in Israel but his application for Israeli citizenship was denied on grounds that because of his criminal past he would be likely to endanger the public welfare.
Once again returning to the U.S., Lansky faced a series of indictments, one for tax evasion based on testimony provided by Mafia informer Vincent "Fat Vinnie" Teresa who claimed to have delivered profits from gambling directly to Lansky in Florida at times when Lansky was obviously at other places. Consequently, the jury found him not guilty. The last case brought against Lansky, which pertained to the skimming of Las Vegas casino profits, was dismissed by the judge because of Lansky's poor health and age in 1976. Lansky died from cancer some six years later, on January 15, 1983, in a Miami hospital.

01-04-11, 02:04 PM
Here's a bit of trivia that most people probably know, but that I didn't realize until a few months ago. Johnny Ola in II is played by a younger Dominic Chianese...Junior Soprano himself.


01-04-11, 02:18 PM
Too bad he wasn't played by an older Dominic Chianese. You might've noticed sooner.

01-04-11, 08:04 PM
Here's a bit of trivia that most people probably know, but that I didn't realize until a few months ago. Johnny Ola in II is played by a younger Dominic Chianese...Junior Soprano himself.

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