A few thoughts on the ‘Negotiator’ in THE GODFATHER

By on July 20, 2022

Like pretty much anybody else, the Postercowboy ranks THE GODFATHER among his eternal Top 10 movies. The movie is very close to the novel, which is not really a surprise, as Mario Puzo also wrote the screenplay (together with Francis Ford Coppola). There is one little sub-story in Mario Puzo’s book that did not really make it into the movie that has always amazed me. Here it is:

Before Michael has his meeting with Sollozzo, the ‘Turk’ and Captain McCluskey, the Corleones are having dinner at their home and the question about a ‘negotiator’ comes up briefly. Clemenza states something like ‘he’s at my place, my men are playing peanuts with him for pennies, he’s happy.’

In the book this subject is more elaborated: Puzo describes a bottom-level Sicilian clan in New York who made it their business to rent themselves as hostages, and their services are frequently used by the other families. The entire family is described as utterly stupid, total morons that are no good for anything else. BUT if anything happens to one of their own, the other family members will go after the offender like mad dogs, no holds barred, even at the risk of possible total self-instinction. So at the moment the ‘negotiator’ is on the plan, the Corleones know that Sollozzo truly means business and that Michael is indeed 100% safe, as nobody in his right mind would dare to mess with these guys.

It is clear to see why it did not make it into the movie, but I always liked this little tidbit of background info very much.

The Godfather German Pressbook

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