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The death of Santino Corleone

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The death of Santino Corleone

Old 11-30-10, 07:12 PM
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The death of Santino Corleone

We all see that he was gunned down at the Jones Beach Causeway, we all find out that Carlo Rizzi, his brother-in-law married to his sister Connie, tipped the Tataggia family off after Carlo gave another beating to Connie - Santino flew into a rage when he heard, and raced to beat the shit out of - and possibly murder - Carlo. (Truth is, according to the book, Santino didn't really know how he was gonna handle it - it depended on how bad Connie's condition was. But he wanted this straightened out once and for all, and who can blame him? Some of us have sisters, and we don't want to see them hurt by their husbands.)

What we don't know is that this all started not so much with Carlo beating up Connie, although that was the catalyst that put it into motion. An informer for the Tatagglia Family saw Santino (Sonny) beat up Carlo at Carlo's betting business in Manhattan after Sonny found out about Connie getting beat up by Carlo. It wasn't Carlo who betrayed the Corleone Family (at the time) - it was the informer who saw it, and ran to a telephone to report it. But by the time the informer got to the Top Level of the Tatagglia organization, it was too late - Sonny was already back at the mall on Long Beach, safe.

This was war-time between the Corleones and the Tatagglias, and if they had spotted or caught Sonny in the city, Sonny would have been popped. After the Tatagglias found out from the informer that Sonny threatened to kill Carlo if Carlo beat up Connie again, they knew they had to talk to Carlo, to play against Carlo's emotions, his humiliation not only against getting dehumanized by Sonny in the street (Carlo did not fight back), but the humiliation he felt at his position within the Corleone Family. He wasn't getting the respect he felt he deserved now that he was married to the Corleone daughter - so the Tatagglia's played it up, offered Carlo a "better life" away from the Corleone's. Carlo was dumb enough to think they were telling the truth, so Carlo set it all up. He beat up Connie, he went to his betting business in Manhattan, and made a phone call. He knew that Connie would call Sonny, and he also knew Sonny would come for him.

...but if it hadn't been for the informer, Carlo would not have been a catalyst to the death of Santino Corleone. Does that mean that he didn't deserve to die by the hand of Michael Corleone, years later? I say - he deserved to die. Hell yeah.

But your heart really goes out to Santino, if you read the passage from the book - the moment before he gets shot to smithereens:

And then in the fraction of a second before anything actually happened, Santino Corleone knew he was a dead man. And in that moment his mind was lucid, drained of all violence, as if the hidden fear finally real and present had purified him.

Truth is, when Connie made the call to the Corleone mall, she meant to speak with Tom Hagen, not Sonny. She knew Sonny would kill Carlo, and she didn't want that. She only wanted to be picked up and brought home. But, she got Sonny on the phone instead.

And the rest is history.
Old 11-30-10, 07:50 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

I read the book. I saw the movie. The movie was better. Part III was supposed to be subtitled "The Death Of Michael Corleone."

Incidentally, what is the significance of Tom Hagen's reference to a parked wrecked automobile in the scene where he talks to Kay? ("Oh, that was an accident but nobody was hurt!")
Old 11-30-10, 07:58 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by DieselsDen View Post
Incidentally, what is the significance of Tom Hagen's reference to a parked wrecked automobile in the scene where he talks to Kay? ("Oh, that was an accident but nobody was hurt!")
That was an instance where they rolled a car towards the mall with a bomb in it, and it made it through the gates, but nobody was hurt (Tom wasn't lying about that). It was a part of the great mafia war of 1946.
Old 11-30-10, 08:00 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by DieselsDen View Post
I read the book. I saw the movie. The movie was better.
I will admit that they couldn't have made a better movie than the one they made in 1972 (and 1974). The book was better, but they couldn't have made a better movie. I'll say that.
Old 11-30-10, 08:14 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

The death of Santino was an add-on that was insisted on by the studio. It was filmed after the film production had wrapped IIRC.

The studio insisted they have a violent gangland-style killing in the movie so Coppola set that scene up. It was not in his original plan for the film, only the vague reference of 'look what they did to my boy' by his dad.
Old 11-30-10, 09:16 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
The death of Santino was an add-on that was insisted on by the studio. It was filmed after the film production had wrapped IIRC.

The studio insisted they have a violent gangland-style killing in the movie so Coppola set that scene up. It was not in his original plan for the film, only the vague reference of 'look what they did to my boy' by his dad.
If that's true, then it proves that sometimes the studios know better than the director/screenwriter. Sometimes.
Old 11-30-10, 09:36 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Old 11-30-10, 09:43 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
That was an instance where they rolled a car towards the mall with a bomb in it, and it made it through the gates, but nobody was hurt (Tom wasn't lying about that). It was a part of the great mafia war of 1946.
I thought that was obvious. That that wreck was in someway created by the war. Even I assumed that as a kid.
Old 11-30-10, 09:47 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

It's the only conclusion one can come to. But once you read the book, it actually spells it out.
Old 11-30-10, 09:50 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
If that's true, then it proves that sometimes the studios know better than the director/screenwriter. Sometimes.
Agreed. That's one of the iconic scenes in the film.
Old 11-30-10, 09:53 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
Agreed. That's one of the iconic scenes in the film.
True! And Sonny was a powerful character. How can you have him "alive" one scene, and then have him just "dead" in the next, without an explanation?! That would have been stupid.
Old 11-30-10, 10:28 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
The death of Santino was an add-on that was insisted on by the studio. It was filmed after the film production had wrapped IIRC.

The studio insisted they have a violent gangland-style killing in the movie so Coppola set that scene up. It was not in his original plan for the film, only the vague reference of 'look what they did to my boy' by his dad.
This seems very unlikely to be true, and ought to be referenced to some credible source before people start commenting on it and accepting the assertion.
Old 11-30-10, 11:06 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Tattaglia is a pimp.
He never could have outfought Santino.
But I didn't know until this day that it was Barzini all along.
Old 12-01-10, 09:09 AM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
Tattaglia is a pimp.
He never could have outfought Santino.
But I didn't know until this day that it was Barzini all along.
The Godfather (Vito) would have had a helluva time picking his heir if Santino had not been gunned down. Michael had returned, and with Santino around (the natural heir to becoming Don, although it is not an inherited position by any means) - Vito Corleone would have had to break his and Sonny's heart when he picked Michael to become Don of the Corleone Empire.

With Santino's big heart, I doubt he would have conspired to have Michael killed after Vito's death. The other way around? Look out, Santino.
Old 12-01-10, 12:40 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
This seems very unlikely to be true, and ought to be referenced to some credible source before people start commenting on it and accepting the assertion.
I've never heard of this story regarding Sonny's death, either. It certainly isn't mentioned in a few of the Coppola bios and "making of...." books that I've read.

However, I do recall that there were additional scenes filmed after principal photography had wrapped for THE GODFATHER PART III, including Joey Zasa's death by Vincent Mancini. That would make more sense.
Old 12-01-10, 01:01 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

I swear that half the book is dedicated to some chick with an oversized hooha. Puzo goes on and on and on about it.
Old 12-01-10, 01:17 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

What, you're telling me that when you read a book about a mob family you didn't want a love story between a disgraced doctor and a bridesmaid with a broken vagina who barely figure into the main plot?
Old 12-01-10, 01:34 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by sb5 View Post
What, you're telling me that when you read a book about a mob family you didn't want a love story between a disgraced doctor and a bridesmaid with a broken vagina who barely figure into the main plot?
there are many "books" within the novel of The Godfather. Book II can be skipped, as it deals with Johnny Fontaine and his "buddy" Nino. There's another "book" that deals with the doctor and the wide snapper of Lucy Mancini. The rest of the "books" deal with Michael's plighted exile in Sicily, Don Vito's rise to power (as protrayed in "II"), and all the other rich stories protrayed in I and II.
Old 12-01-10, 01:56 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
The Godfather (Vito) would have had a helluva time picking his heir if Santino had not been gunned down. Michael had returned, and with Santino around (the natural heir to becoming Don, although it is not an inherited position by any means) - Vito Corleone would have had to break his and Sonny's heart when he picked Michael to become Don of the Corleone Empire.

With Santino's big heart, I doubt he would have conspired to have Michael killed after Vito's death. The other way around? Look out, Santino.
It would have been interesting to see that power struggle play out. Would Michael have been content to be the brains of the operation with Sonny as the figurehead? Conversely, would Sonny have come to resent Michael knowing he would have made a better Don?

Like you said, Santino better watch his back in that scenario.
Old 12-01-10, 06:11 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

Carlo still had to account for what he did to Santino. He agreed to the deal, so he gets the garotte.

Oh and here's a behind the scenes pic with fishing wire.

Old 12-01-10, 06:21 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

^Damn, that looks like a scene from Hellraiser.
Old 12-01-10, 07:09 PM
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Re: The death of Santino Corleone

I don't think Vito would have made Michael Don if Sonny had lived. Throughout Michael's life Vito sheltered him from the family business, wanting him to become a senator or something. Vito would have had some degree of solace that Tom would have had an influence on Sonny, keeping him from flying off the handle with bad decisions.

Sonny becoming Don, or Michael becoming Don with Sonny alive is predicated on the gang war not having happened. The events of the war created the Don version of Michael. He was a different person when we first meet him. The flashback scene of the family around the dinner table, everybody still alive, good times, was how he grew up. A lot of his cold bloodedness is rooted in this was taken away from him. He wants to get this back and anything or anybody that threatens this perfect image of the "family" has to be eliminated. Even Kay he ostrisizes(sp?) as an outsider to the family because she doesn't fit his mold as the perfect Don's wife of his memory like him Mom was. All Michael really wants is for everything to be like it was.
He comes to realize at the end of Part II, with the killing of Fredo, that he is the one who has actually destroyed any chance he had for his ideal family.

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