question about a plot hole in the movie Godfather II
August 2, 2009 6:42 PM Subscribe
Please explain to me, a plot hole in the movie 'Godfather II'
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey to media & arts (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's something about the movie Godfather II that bugs me, and maybe someone can explain it (spoilers ahead, and pardon me if I get a detail or two mixed up, I last watched it a few months ago...):
Near the start of the movie, there is an assassination attempt on Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). It begins with him being in the bedroom with his wife, noting that the curtains are inexplicably open, after which machine gun fire erupts. Once the shooting dies down, Michael demands his trusted bodyguard Rocco that the assassins be captured alive. Rocco protests that this would be difficult, but Michael insists they be captured alive.
Michael then confides in Tom Haigen, his half-brother, that 'unless I'm very wrong, those men [the assassins] are already dead', because, he concludes, the assassins had help from the inside. Sure enough, a short time later, the bodies of the assassins are produced.
This issue - who is the traitor? drives Michael through the rest of the film.
So - who was the traitor? That is, who helped set up the assassination, even to the point of making sure the curtains of the bedroom were open?
1. Was it Fredo, Michael's brother? Fredo is later exposed as having helped Hyman Roth's group behind Michael's back and is eventually killed for it. But Fredo, if he helped the actual assassination, did so apparently unwittingly. That is, he did not recognize any help he gave Roth, would lead to an actual attempt on Michael's life (during the phone call in the middle of the night with Roth's representative, Fredo points out 'you lied to me before'). He is also characterized as being "weak" and "stupid", too clued-out for the guile, duplicity and underhandedness needed to betray his own brother.
2. Was it Rocco and the other bodyguards? Michael tells Tom this, saying that 'they're all businessmen' in response to Tom pointing out his troops are all trusted and loyal - Michael meaning they'd be willing to sell him out if the price was right.
So then how does this fit into things? Was Rocco and his subordinates in on it? Is this why, at the end of the film, when Michael orders the assassination on Roth, he gently but firmly insists Rocco not tell him it's impossible - an allusion perhaps to the start of the film, when Rocco demurred that it would be "difficult" to take the assassins alive? Is this a coded message to Rocco, telling him 'I know you had to be in on the attempt on my life, so you assassinate Roth or die trying as penance - or else...'
But if that's the case - his men are all purely mercenary - then why the witch hunt for the traitor? He answered his own question, someone else paid them off and the 'inside help' came from them.
(Or for that matter, why keep his bodyguards around at all, if they're that fickle and disloyal that they'd sell him out at the first chance?)
3. Or for that matter were they all in on it? Fredo, alienated by losing out on being Moe Greene's sidekick, and stepped on by Michael; Tom, shut out and ignored [Tom indeed was secretly planning on leaving the Family behind Michael's back], Rocco and his men, always looking for the best deal.