The Godfather (Il Padrino) – Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola (estratto)

The PARAMOUNT Logo is presented austerely over a black  background. There is a moment’s hesitation, and then the  simple words in white lettering:
While this remains, we hear: "I believe in America." Suddenly  we are watching in CLOSE VIEW, AMERIGO BONASERA, a man of  sixty, dressed in a black suit, on the verge of great emotion.
BONASERA  America has made my fortune.
As he speaks, THE VIEW imperceptibly begins to loosen.
BONASERA  I raised my daughter in the American  fashion; I gave her freedom, but  taught her never to dishonor her  family. She found a boy friend, not  an Italian. She went to the movies  with him, stayed out late. Two months  ago he took her for a drive, with  another boy friend. They made her  drink whiskey and then they tried to  take advantage of her. She resisted;  she kept her honor. So they beat her  like an animal. When I went to the  hospital her nose was broken, her  jaw was shattered and held together  by wire, and she could not even weep  because of the pain.
He can barely speak; he is weeping now.
BONASERA  I went to the Police like a good  American. These two boys were arrested  and brought to trial. The judge  sentenced them to three years in  prison, and suspended the sentence.  Suspended sentence! They went free  that very day. I stood in the  courtroom like a fool, and those  bastards, they smiled at me. Then I  said to my wife, for Justice, we  must go to The Godfather.
By now, THE VIEW is full, and we see Don Corleone’s office  in his home.
The blinds are closed, and so the room is dark, and with  patterned shadows. We are watching BONASERA over the shoulder  of DON CORLEONE. TOM HAGEN sits near a small table, examining  some paperwork, and SONNY CORLEONE stands impatiently by the  window nearest his father, sipping from a glass of wine. We  can HEAR music, and the laughter and voices of many people  outside.
DON CORLEONE  Bonasera, we know each other for  years, but this is the first time  you come to me for help. I don’t  remember the last time you invited  me to your house for coffee… even  though our wives are friends.
BONASERA  What do you want of me? I’ll give  you anything you want, but do what I  ask!
DON CORLEONE  And what is that Bonasera?
BONASERA whispers into the DON’s ear.
DON CORLEONE  No. You ask for too much.
BONASERA  I ask for Justice.
DON CORLEONE  The Court gave you justice.
BONASERA  An eye for an eye!
DON CORLEONE  But your daughter is still alive.
BONASERA  Then make them suffer as she suffers.  How much shall I pay you.
Both HAGEN and SONNY react.
DON CORLEONE  You never think to protect yourself  with real friends. You think it’s  enough to be an American. All right,  the Police protects you, there are  Courts of Law, so you don’t need a  friend like me. But now you come to  me and say Don Corleone, you must  give me justice. And you don’t ask  in respect or friendship. And you  don’t think to call me Godfather;  instead you come to my house on the  day my daughter is to be married and  you ask me to do murder… for money.
BONASERA  America has been good to me…
DON CORLEONE  Then take the justice from the judge,  the bitter with the sweet, Bonasera.  But if you come to me with your  friendship, your loyalty, then your  enemies become my enemies, and then,  believe me, they would fear you…
Slowly, Bonasera bows his head and murmurs

BONASERA  Be my friend.
DON CORLEONE  Good. From me you’ll get Justice.
BONASERA  Godfather.
DON CORLEONE  Some day, and that day may never  come, I would like to call upon you  to do me a service in return.
A HIGH ANGLE of the CORLEONE MALL in bright daylight. There  are at least five hundred guests filling the main courtyard  and gardens. There is music and laughing and dancing and  countless tables covered with food and wine.
DON CORLEONE stands at the Gate, flanked on either side by a  son: FREDO and SONNY, all dressed in the formal attire of  the wedding party. He warmly shakes the hands, squeezes the  hands of the friends and guests, pinches the cheeks of the  children, and makes them all welcome. They in turn carry  with them gallons of homemade wine, cartons of freshly baked  bread and pastries, and enormous trays of Italian delicacies.
The entire family poses for a family portrait: DON CORLEONE,  MAMA, SONNY, his wife, SANDRA, and their children, TOM HAGEN  and his wife, THERESA, and their BABY; CONSTANZIA, the bride,  and her bridegroom, CARLO RIZZI. As they move into the pose,  THE DON seems preoccupied.
DON CORLEONE  Where’s Michael?
SONNY  He’ll be here Pop, it’s still early.
DON CORLEONE  Then the picture will wait for him.
Everyone in the group feels the uneasiness as the DON moves  back to the house. SONNY gives a delicious smile in the  direction of the Maid-of-Honor, LUCY MANCINI. She returns  it. Then he moves to his wife.
SONNY  Sandra, watch the kids. They’re  running wild.
SANDRA  You watch yourself.
HAGEN kisses his WIFE, and follows THE DON, passing the wine  barrels, where a group of FOUR MEN nervously wait. TOM crooks  a finger at NAZORINE, who double checks that he is next,  straightens, and follows HAGEN.
Outside the main gate of the Mall, SEVERAL MEN in suits,  working together with a MAN in a dark sedan, walk in and out  of the rows of parked cars, writing license plate numbers  down in their notebooks. We HEAR the music and laughter coming  from the party in the distance.
A MAN stops at a limousine and copies down the number.
BARZINI, dignified in a black homburg, is always under the  watchful eyes of TWO BODYGUARDS as he makes his way to embrace  DON CORLEONE in the courtyard.
The MEN walk down another row of parked cars. Put another  number in the notebook. A shiny new Cadillac with wooden  bumpers.
PETER CLEMENZA, dancing the Tarantella joyously, bumping  bellies with the ladies.
CLEMENZA  Paulie… wine… WINE.
He mops his sweating forehead with a big handkerchief. PAULIE  hustles, gets a glass of icy black wine, and brings it to  him.
PAULIE  You look terrif on the floor!
CLEMENZA  What are you, a dance judge? Go do  your job; take a walk around the  neighborhood… see everything is  okay.
PAULIE nods and leaves; CLEMENZA takes a breath, and leaps  back into the dance.
The MEN walk down another row of parked cars. Put another  number in the notebook.
TESSIO, a tall, gentle-looking man, dances with a NINE-YEAR-  OLD GIRL, her little black party shoes planted on his enormous  brown shoes.
The MEN move on to other parked cars, when SONNY storms out  of the gate, his face flushed with anger, followed by CLEMENZA  and PAULIE.
SONNY  Buddy, this is a private party.
The MAN doesn’t answer, but points to the DRIVER of the sedan.  SONNY menacingly thrusts his reddened face at him.
The DRIVER merely flips open his wallet to a greed card,  without saying a word. SONNY steps back, spits on the ground,  turns, and walks away, followed by CLEMENZA, PAULIE, and  another TWO MEN. He doesn’t say a thing for most of the walk  back into the courtyard, and then, muttered to PAULIE.
SONNY  Goddamn FBI… don’t respect nothing.
DON CORLEONE sits quietly behind his massive desk in the  dark study.
NAZORINE  …a fine boy from Sicily, captured  by the American Army, and sent to  New Jersey as a prisoner of war…
DON CORLEONE  Nazorine, my friend, tell me what I  can do.
NAZORINE  Now that the war is over, Enzo, this  boy is being repatriated to Italy.  And you see, Godfather…  (he wrings his hands,  unable to express  himself)  He… my daughter… they…
DON CORLEONE  You want him to stay in this country.
NAZORINE  Godfather, you understand everything.
DON CORLEONE  Tom, what we need is an Act of  Congress to allow Enzo to become a  citizen.
NAZORINE  (impressed)  An Act of Congress!
HAGEN  (nodding)  It will cost.
The DON shrugs; such are the way with those things; NAZORINE  nods.
NAZORINE  Is that all? Godfather, thank you…  (backing out,  enthusiastically)  Oh, wait till you see the cake I  made for your beautiful daughter!
NAZORINE backs out, all smiles, and nods to the GODFATHER.  DON CORLEONE rises and moves to the Venetian blinds.
HAGEN  Who do I give this job to?
The DON moves to the windows, peeking out through the blinds.
DON CORLEONE  Not to one of our paisans… give it  to a Jew Congressman in another  district. Who else is on the list  for today?
The DON is peeking out to the MEN around the barrel, waiting  to see him.
HAGEN  Francesco Nippi. His nephew has been  refused parole. A bad case.
NIPPI waits nervously by the barrel.
HAGEN (O.S.)  His father worked with you in the  freight yards when you were young.
LUCA BRASI sitting alone, grotesque and quiet.
HAGEN (O.S.)  He’s not on the list, but Luca Brasi  wants to see you.
The DON turns to HAGEN.
DON CORLEONE  Is it necessary?
HAGEN  You understand him better than anyone.
The DON nods to this. Turns back to the blinds and peeks  out.
MICHAEL CORLEONE, dressed in the uniform of a Marine Captain,  leads KAY ADAMS through the wedding crowd, occasionally  stopped and greeted by FRIENDS of the family.
The DON, inside the office, peering through the blinds,  following them.



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