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“I’m going to give him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Vito Corleone
The best movie ever made, in my opinion, is The Godfather. This movie tells the struggle and business of the Corleone family. The Corleone family is the strongest New York family and they basically rule New York. Essentially the city is their empire and they are just trying to avoid war in their empire by pleasing or negotiating with the other head families of New York.
Don Corleone, also known as the Don, is the emperor and he has the final say in what occurs in the family. Just like empires, there are other leaders that advise and control the empire, which is his council of chosen leaders. Sunny, Don Corleone’s eldest son, is expected to take the throne as the Don, but when he is murdered by another New York family Micheal takes the title as the new Don. What always bothered me was the fact that Don Corleone’s youngest child, Connie Corleone, never got a job in the family’s business because of her gender as a female, which is seen as weak in the ’60s. What would have happened if Connie was chosen as the new Don instead of Micheal? The possibility of being able to see a woman in charge of the crime would have been interesting.
The Godfather’s empire was a corrupt empire that revolved around murder and hustling the law. Although, Micheal towards the end of the movie wants to get rid of the old ways of killing and move into the gambling business. Unfortunately, Micheal murdered Mo Green, a casino owner, in order to have his own casino. Every form of empire has its own corruption from my personal experience with law enforcement in third world countries it is really easy to pay off a cop and not get in trouble. Don Corleone has his own corrupt ways because he has politicians and law enforcement on his payroll to keep them quite or to make them do his dirty work. His empire runs on trust and loyalty, while other empires run on laws. The Coreleon motto was a favor for another favor. The favors were never asked after the deed was done, but the people knew they were in debt with the Don. When Don Corleone sent Tom to Los Angeles to get Johnny the lead role in the movie, Tom killed the director’s favorite horse and got Johnny the lead role in the movie. Johnny knew he owes the Don in some way but is not asked until years later when Micheal asks him to perform in the casino yearly and to sign a contract.
My humanities core class has taught me a lot about empires specifically Roman Empires and now I know how to apply their structures to other modern systems, such as situations in The Godfather. From watching the movie I know that when any leader has to make a difficult decision its always business and never personal. I obviously would never kill anyone over a business decision like the Don, but I will sacrifice a friendship for a better outcome in a situation.