Daily Dialogue — December 10, 2012

December 10th, 2012 by

[as Tessio and Hagen walk to Michael’s house, they are met by a bodyguard, Willi Cicci]

Willi Cicci: Sal… Tom… the boss says he’ll come in a separate car. He says for you two to go on ahead.
Tessio: Hell, he can’t do that; that screws up all my arrangements.
Willi Cicci: Well, that’s what he said.
Tom Hagen: I can’t go with you either, Tessio.

[just then, Michael’s bodyguards materialize around them, Tessio understands everything]

Tessio: [to Hagen] Tell Mike it was only business. I always liked him.
Tom Hagen: He understands that.
Willi Cicci: [removing Tessio’s gun] Excuse me, Sally.
Tessio: Can you get me off the hook, Tom? For old times’ sake?
Tom Hagen: [shakes his head] Can’t do it, Sally.

[Hagen watches sadly as Tessio is led by Cicci and the others to a waiting car]

The Godfather (1972), screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, novel by Mario Puzo

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is delivering bad news. Today’s suggestion by plinytheelder.

Trivia: Screenwriter Robert Towne wrote the scene on the patio between Don Corleone and his son Michael.

Dialogue On Dialogue: What a great way to deliver bad news, all done within the very real context of this specific subculture and these specific people. Tessio gets it. And then in time, we get it, too.

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3 thoughts on “Daily Dialogue — December 10, 2012

  1. Ben Jacoby says:

    I’ve always loved this scene. Sal accepts his death so gently. It’s a testament to how well they created the moral universe of the movie, that we don’t balk at Sal quietly walking off to his execution. The same thing was achieved with Pacino’s last scene in Donnie Brasco, I think.

    1. I agree. When Pacino takes off his watch and jewelry and puts it in the drawer for his wife to find after his death is brilliant. No need to say anything. He knows, and we know.

      1. Scott says:

        That ending with Pacino is incredible. It’s visual, it uses physical objects to convey something symbolic, even emotional, and it uses no dialogue. Fantastic.

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