MOTW: Five Famous Quotes from "The Godfather"

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
April 3rd, 2013

MOTW: Five Famous Quotes from "The Godfather"

-- The classic 1972 movie "The Godfather" is one of the most well-known and often quoted films in the history of American movies. The award-winning film series follows the life of the Corleone family and includes three movies. Following the original in 1972, "The Godfather Part II" was released in 1974, while part III came out in 1990. Marlon Brando gave a memorable and often parodied performance as Vito Corleone, the don of the crime family, but the movie also starred a then-unknown Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. The original film launched Pacino to superstardom. Oddly enough, director Francis Ford Coppola had to fight to get both Brando and Pacino in the film. Diane Keaton, James Caan and Robert Duvall also starred in the movie. Following are the top five quotes from the film.

1. "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, said this famous line that defined the overall philosophy of the crime family. Many variations of this quote are found everywhere, including in the 1998 film, "You've Got Mail" starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, a movie many have called "Sleepless in Seattle" with email. Tom Hanks' character gives Meg Ryan's character some business advice, telling her to "go to the mattresses" and giving her his mantra, "it's not personal, it's business," both of which are "Godfather" references.

2. "May their first child be a masculine child."

Another often repeated phrase is the blessing delivered by Luca Brasi, played by Lenny Montana, at the famous wedding of the Don's daughter in the beginning of the film. Many movies have referenced this line, including the 1995 remake of "Sabrina," starring Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and, as the title character, Julia Ormond. The line is said by Patrick Tyson, the father of the fiancee of Greg Kinnear's character, David Larrabee.

3. "No Sicilian can refuse any request on his daughter's wedding day."

Robert Duvall's character, Tom Hagen, let the world know about this custom when he said this to his wife Theresa at the very beginning of "The Godfather." Connie Corleone is about to tie the knot with Carlo Rizzi, but despite the general understanding that a wedding is the bride's day, this wedding was all about the father of the bride, who was the target of Tom's request. Vito Corleone was under obligation to grant requests from people seeking his help at his daughter's wedding and his adopted son Tom wasn't going to let an opportunity like that go by.

4. "You sonofa*****, do you know who I am? I'm Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders."

Moe Greene, played by Alex Rocco, uttered this memorable line to Michael Corleone. Moe's character was based on Bugsy Siegel and was known in the movie as the king of Las Vegas. Vito Corleone had bankrolled Moe's first casino. Moe fostered Vito's son Fredo, and Michael, the Godfather's heir, did not like Moe's link to his brother or how he treated him. This led to conflict between Moe and Michael, and ultimately this hilarious line.

5. "In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns."

One of the movie's most colorful quotes came from one of its most forgettable characters. When Michael went to Italy, his bodyguard, Calo, protected him. Calo warned his charge that the women in Sicily were more dangerous than shotguns, and he would know. Not only was this a memorable line, it is also a great travel tip.

These quotes are some of the favorites from the epic crime film series, but are by no means the only legacies the movies have left for fans. Still ranked as the second greatest film in American cinema by the American Film Institute, the original "The Godfather" won three Oscars and has since inspired many mobster movies. Although reciting any of these quotes will no doubt create laughs and spark a conversation about everyone's favorite moments from the film, perhaps the most memorable element requires no words at all. When Vito Corleone wants to assist his godson in obtaining a movie role and realizes that the studio head needs some convincing, he dispatches Tom Hagen to take care of it. Hagen arranges for the studio head to wake up next to the severed head of his prized stallion. This scene has been referenced and parodied in many films and TV shows, including "The Simpsons." The influences of "The Godfather" will continue to be seen for many years to come.