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Don Corleone : We have known each other many years, but this is the first time you’ve come to me for counsel or for help. I can’t remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you feared to be in my debt.
Bonasera : I didn’t want to get into trouble.
Don Corleone : I understand. You found paradise in America. You had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn’t need a friend like me. Now you come and say “Don Corleone, give me justice.” But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me “Godfather.” You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder – for money.
Bonasera : I ask you for justice.
Don Corleone : That is not justice. Your daughter is alive.
Bonasera : Let them suffer then as she suffers.
[the Don is silent]
Bonasera : How much shall I pay you?
[the Don turns away dismissively, but Bonasera stays on]
Don Corleone : Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.
Bonasera : Be my friend… Godfather.
[the Don at first shrugs, but upon hearing the title he lifts his hand, and a humbled Bonasera kisses the ring on it]
Don Corleone : Good.
[He places his hand around Bonasera in a paternal gesture]
Don Corleone : Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.
[a gratified Bonasera offers his thanks and leaves]
Don Corleone : [to Hagen] Give this job to Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away. I mean, we’re not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker thinks…
Bonasera : I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a “boy friend,” not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn’t protest. 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, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. A beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again.
[He breaks down at this point, and the Don gestures to his son to get him a drink]
Bonasera : Sorry…
[He regains his composure and carries on]
Bonasera : I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were 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 two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, “For justice, we must go to Don Corleone.”
Don Corleone : Why did you go to the police? Why didn’t you come to me first?
Bonasera : What do you want of me? Tell me anything. But do what I beg you to do.
Don Corleone : What is that?
[Bonasera gets up from his seat and whispers into the Don’s ear; for a long moment the Don is silent]
Don Corleone : That I cannot do.
Bonasera : I will give you anything you ask!
Don Corleone : Call Bonasera. We need him now.
[Tom Hagen calls Amerigo Bonasera]
Tom Hagen : [on the phone] This is Tom Hagen, calling for Vito Corleone at his request. Now, you owe your Don a service. He has no doubt that you will repay him. In one hour he will be at your funeral parlor to ask for your help. Be there to greet him.
[as ordered, a nervous Bonasera meets the Don at his parlor]
Don Corleone : Well, my friend, are you ready to do me this service?
Bonasera : Yes. What do you want me to do?
[the two walk into the embalming room, where a corpse lies on a table… ]
Don Corleone : [staring at the table] I want you to use all your powers, and all your skills. I don’t want his mother to see him this way.
[he draws back the sheet to reveal, to a horrified Bonasera, the bullet-smashed face of Sonny Corleone]
Don Corleone : [breaking down for a moment] Look how they massacred my boy…