MICHAEL CORLEONE is the main protagonist of
Mario Puzo 's novel _The
Godfather _ and the three _Godfather_ films directed by Francis Ford
Coppola . Michael was portrayed by
Al Pacino , for which he was
Born in 1920, Michael is the youngest son of the mafia don Vito Corleone and his wife, Carmela . He has two older brothers, Santino "Sonny" Corleone and Frederico "Fredo" Corleone and a younger sister, Constanzia "Connie" Corleone . The family _consigliere _, Tom Hagen , is their informal adoptive brother.
The story begins in the summer of 1945. Michael has been discharged from the Marine Corps having been wounded; his father, the Godfather , had arranged his release. He returns home to attend his sister Connie's wedding, accompanied by Kay Adams , his college sweetheart. Michael stays for a few weeks before re-entering college without consulting his family.
Unlike his two older brothers, Michael does not want to join the
Corleone business. Vito does not want Michael to join the Corleone
criminal empire either, preferring that Michael takes a legitimate
occupation. When the United States entered
World War II
Just before Christmas 1945, Vito is severely wounded in an
assassination attempt by drug kingpin
Virgil Sollozzo , throwing
Michael into the middle of the
Michael meets with Sollozzo and McCluskey at an Italian restaurant in
the Bronx, Michael retrieves a handgun that
Corleone _caporegime _
Peter Clemenza had planted in the bathroom and kills Sollozzo and
McCluskey. This ignites the New York underworld's first
Michael flees to
Michael returns to the United States in early 1951 and assumes Sonny's role as Vito's heir apparent. He and his father continue Sonny's plot to wipe out the other New York Dons, deliberately allowing them to whittle away at the Corleone interests in order to lull them into inaction. Meanwhile, Michael convinces his father the time is right to remove the family from the Mafia. More than a year after his return, Michael reunites with Kay and they marry. He promises her the Corleone family will be completely legitimate in five years. Within two years, they have two children, Anthony and Mary . In the novel, Kay gives birth to two sons.
Vito semi-retires in 1954, and Michael becomes operating head of the
family. He attempts to buy out casino owner
Moe Greene 's stake in the
Las Vegas casino that the Corleones bankrolled, intending to move the
Connie accuses Michael of murdering Carlo. Michael dismisses her accusations as hysteria, and, when questioned by Kay, denies any involvement. In the novel, Connie recants her accusations a few weeks later, assuring Kay she was mistaken. Kay, initially believing Michael, later observes him receiving his _capos_. Clemenza addresses Michael as "Don Corleone" and kisses his hand in the same manner that he did with Michael's father. Kay realizes Connie's accusations were true, and that Michael has become his father's successor in every way. In the novel, Kay leaves Michael, but Hagen persuades her to return.
_THE GODFATHER PART II_
The Godfather Part II _ is set in 1958 and 1959. The
has relocated to
Hours after Anthony's First Communion party, unseen gunmen shoot at the Corleone house, nearly killing Michael and Kay. Michael suspects Roth ordered the hit, and believes a mole within the Corleone family aided him. To uncover Roth's involvement, Michael maintains their business relationship, and orders Pentangeli to settle a dispute with Roth's business partners, the Rosato Brothers. When Pentangeli meets with them, they try to kill him, but he survives.
Michael, Roth, and Fredo travel to
Meanwhile, Pentangeli, believing Michael had ordered a hit on him, prepares to testify against him in the Senate 's investigation of organized crime . However, Michael has Pentangeli's brother Vincenzo brought from Sicily. Just prior to the hearing, Vincenzo and Frank exchange glances. Understanding the threat, Pentangeli recants his earlier sworn statements, throwing the hearings into chaos and effectively destroying the government's case against Michael.
Fredo confesses to Michael that Roth's right-hand man,
Meanwhile, Kay decides to leave Michael and take their children with her, believing Michael will always live in a world of crime and violence. Michael asks her to reconsider, but Kay reveals she aborted their unborn son because she refused to bring another child into the Corleones' crime world. Enraged, Michael strikes Kay and banishes her, preventing her from seeing their children.
Following their mother's death, and at sister Connie's behest, Michael seemingly forgives Fredo; soon after, however, Neri murders Fredo on Michael's orders. At the same time, Michael sends Hagen to persuade Pentangeli to commit suicide to spare his family, and has _caporegime_ Rocco Lampone kill a heavily guarded Roth at Idlewild Airport upon his return to the U.S.
The film ends as Michael recalls a surprise birthday party for his father on December 7, 1941 . In a flashback scene, Michael informs the family that he has dropped out of college to enlist in the Marines. Only Fredo supports Michael's decision. When Vito arrives off-screen, everyone goes to greet him except Michael, who sits alone. The film closes with Michael sitting alone in the Corleones' Lake Tahoe compound.
_THE GODFATHER PART III_
The Godfather Part III _ is set in 1979 and 1980. Michael has moved
back to New York and taken great strides to remove the family from
crime. He turns over his New York criminal interests to longtime
Joey Zasa . Ridden with guilt over his ruthless rise to
power, he uses his wealth in an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation
through numerous philanthropic acts, administered by a foundation
named after his father. A decade earlier, he gave custody of his two
children to Kay, who has since remarried. He sells his gambling
interests to the other
Michael's new connection to the Church provides an opportunity to
take over the large property company,
Immobiliare . He is already its
largest shareholder, and offers to buy the Vatican's 25 percent share,
which will give him controlling interest . He also takes in Sonny's
Vincent Mancini , a soldier in Zasa's crew, as his
protegé. Michael recognizes that Vincent has inherited Sonny's fiery
temper and fears Vincent will suffer his father's fate. Michael also
disapproves of the romance developing between him and Michael's
daughter, Mary . Michael fears that Vincent's growing involvement in
On the night Michael announces he is dissolving his gambling empire,
Zasa wipes out most of The Commission in a helicopter attack in
Michael returns to
Meanwhile, the Immobiliare deal has stalled, supposedly because Pope Paul VI must personally approve it. Michael learns that the Immobiliare deal is an elaborate swindle concocted by Immobiliare chairman Licio Lucchesi, who schemed with Vatican Bank head Archbishop Gilday and accountant Frederick Keinszig to embezzle a fortune from the Vatican Bank, using Michael's "investment" to cover their tracks. Hoping to salvage the deal, Michael seeks Don Tommasino's assistance. He directs Michael to Cardinal Lamberto (the future Pope John Paul I ). With Lamberto's prodding, Michael makes his first confession in 30 years, tearfully breaking down as he admits to ordering Fredo's murder. Lamberto tells Michael he deserves to suffer for his terrible sins, but that there is hope for redemption.
John Paul I dies soon after being elected pope, poisoned by Gilday. Michael learns that Altobello (in league with the conspirators) has hired an assassin named Mosca to kill him. Mosca murders Tommasino, and Michael vows before his old friend's casket to sin no more. Vincent reports that Lucchesi, working with Altobello, is behind the assassination attempts on Michael.
Weary of the bloody, lonely life of a Don, Michael retires, making Vincent his successor but not before giving him permission to retaliate. In return, Vincent agrees to end his romance with Mary. That night, Michael, reconciled with Kay and Anthony, watches his son's performance in the opera _ Cavalleria Rusticana _. Meanwhile, Vincent orchestrates the murders of Lucchesi, Gilday and Keinszig, and Connie murders Altobello with a poisoned cannoli .
After the performance, Mosca shoots Michael, and the bullet passes through his body and hits Mary, killing her. Her death breaks Michael's spirit, and he screams in agony over her body. He returns to Bagheria , Sicily, where he dies alone in 1997.
Michael is a secondary character in Puzo's novel _
Michael appears in Mark Winegardner 's sequel novels _The Godfather Returns _ and _The Godfather\'s Revenge _. In _Godfather Returns_, set roughly during the time of _Godfather Part II_, Michael battles with a new rival, Nick Geraci , while attempting to legitimize the family. In _Godfather's Revenge_, set a few years after the second film, he moves to protect his criminal empire against Geraci and the machinations of a powerful political dynasty, while dealing with his guilt over having Fredo murdered. In the latter novel, he has a relationship with actress Marguerite "Rita" Duvall in the early 1960s, but he ends it upon realizing that he is still in love with Kay.
Vito Corleone – Michael's father and The Godfather, played by
* ^ AFI\'s 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ " The Godfather Movie Review by Anthony Leong". Mediacircus.net. Retrieved 2013-04-19. * ^ Puzo, Mario and Coppola, Francis Ford. (1971, 29 March). _THE GODFATHER_, The Internet Movie Script Database * ^ _A_ _B_ _ The Godfather Part III_ DVD commentary featuring Francis Ford Coppola, * ^ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/godfather-returns-mark-winegardner/1100393913?ean=9780345478986 Accessed on June 27, 2014 * ^ http://www.amazon.com/The-Godfathers-Revenge-Mark-Winegardner/dp/0399153845 Amazon.com Accessed on June 27, 2014
* Coccimiglio, Carmela (2006). _"I\'m with You Now. I\'m with You...": Michael Corleone as Gangster Figure in Mario Puzo\'s and Francis Ford Coppola\'s The Godfather Texts_. Lakehead University (Canada). ISBN 978-0-494-31189-9 . * Messenger, Chris (1 February 2012). _ The Godfather and American Culture: How the Corleones Became "Our Gang"_. SUNY Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7914-8870-6 . * Coppola, Francis Ford (2004). _Francis Ford Coppola: Interviews_. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-57806-666-7 . * Bondanella, Peter E. (2004). _Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos_. A&C Black. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-8264-1544-8 . * Tamburri, Anthony Julian ; Giordano, Paolo ; Gardaphe, Fred L. (2000). _From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana_. Purdue University Press. p. 406. ISBN 978-1-55753-152-0 . * Michael Corleone on IMDb
* v * t * e
* Michael Corleone
* Genco Abbandando * Luca Brasi * Willi Cicci * Peter Clemenza * Johnny Fontane * Paulie Gatto * Carmine Marino * Rocco Lampone * Sal Narducci * Al Neri * Tommy Neri * Ritchie Nobilio * Frank Pentangeli * Salvatore Tessio * Don Tommasino * Carlo Tramonti
* _The Godfather_ (soundtrack) * _ The Godfather Part II_ (soundtrack) * _