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What We Can Learn from the Godfather – Top 86 Godfather Quotes

What We Can Learn from the Godfather – Top 86 Godfather Quotes


The Godfather may be one of the best movies of all time, the movie was released in 1972, a book by Mario Puzo. Then followed The Godfather 2 in 1974. The old godfather Don Vito Corleone and the new godfather Michael Corleone are two completely different personalities.

Here I collected the top 86 Godfather quotes that resonated with me.

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Old Godfather and New Godfather

Their difference lies in identity and responsibility. Michael has lived a worry-free life since he was a child, enjoying people’s respect, and receiving modern education. There are very few troubles in his life, and even if they appear, someone will solve them for him. 

The godfather Vito has always loved life and his family. With this enthusiasm, he worked hard to do everything well to create a better life as he knew that as long as he died, the family would be in trouble.

Michael thinks that his vision is higher than his father, and he should live a more decent life than his father. It wasn’t until his father was assassinated and all the troubles came that Michael finally understood what his father had been bearing and what his father had been doing for the family. 

At this moment, he understood his father, and the gap between father and son disappeared. He completely accepted his family and integrated into the family.

Don Vito Corleone

Vito’s personality is formed in order to adapt to the “cruel life change”. Vito has been in danger many times in his life, and survives with his own ability.

Vito loves family more than anything. He is a thoughtful man who considers everything comprehensively, especially cares about the subsequent impact of the situation.

Also, he is not influenced by emotions. He is the master of emotions, not the slave of emotions. He hates those enemies who hurt his family, but he can control the hatred, and will not be manipulated by hatred to make the situation out of control.

Godfather Vito seeks to find the optimal solution for everything. He is willing to benefit others (win-win) with the development of his own career. Other methods will not be employed unless the contradiction cannot be dealt with. Vito is a person who dares to take risks but never takes risks easily.

He repaid his mother in the best way.

Michael Corleone

Michael is forbearing, cold, focused on the problem at hand which he wants to solve cleanly at all costs. 

Compared with his father, what he lacks is “not to be careless”, which is important. 

Also, and the new godfather cannot learn the kindness from his father because of different life experiences that he cannot understand and sympathize with the misery of the people at the bottom of the society. Therefore, he will not let go of those who have hurt him, even if those people are no longer a threat.

Michael is not indifferent by nature. He is indifferent because he hates the “business”. He wants to get rid of everything about the “business”. But he is already a member of it. When he destroys the “business” and its rules, it also means that he destroys himself.  However, Vito does not have this problem at all, everything is made by him himself, he loves it all, and enjoys it all. 

Let’s take a look at some of the great quotes from Don Vito Corleone and his youngest son Michael Corleone.

Godfather Quotes about Family

The most important tradition of the Corleone family is not “doing business” but “loving the family”. Doing business is very important but it can only be ranked second.

In Don Vito Corleone’s mind, when you encounter difficulties, only the family will do everything to help you, so you can’t betray the family. There is no discussion about betraying the family. 

It comes from the tradition of the Sicilian people, and because his family was destroyed when he was young, so Vito’s view of the family is very important.

In the wedding part of the movie Godfather 1, Vito insisted not to take pictures as because Michael hadn’t come. As he thought everyone in the family must be together to take pictures, and no one can be left behind. 

He has an adopted son who became his adviser when he grew up, named Tom Hagen. Vito raised Hagen as his own child but he did not let Hegen change his surname to Corleone as he thought that doing so was equivalent to letting Hegen abandon his family. 

#1. “I work my whole life, I don’t apologize, to take care of my family. I don’t apologize, that’s my life.” – Don Vito Corleone

#2. “She’s very beautiful. To you, she’s beautiful. For me, there’s only my wife and son.” – Don Vito Corleone

#3. “Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man. ” – Don Vito Corleone

#4. “I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen. ” – Don Vito Corleone

#5. “I promise, that on the souls of my grandchildren, I will not be the one to break the peace we’ve made here today. ” – Don Vito Corleone

#6. “You cannot say “no” to the people you love, not often. That’s the secret. And then when you do, it has to sound like a “yes” or you have to make them say “no.” You have to take time and trouble.” – Don Vito Corleone

#7. “You can do anything, but never go against the family.” – Don Vito Corleone

#8. “A man who is not a father to his children can never be a real man.”  Don Vito Corleone

#9. “What I want, what’s most important to me is that I have a guarantee. no more attempts on my father’s life.” – Michael Corleone

#10. “That’s my family, kay. that’s not me.” – Michael Corleone

#11. “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.” – Michael Corleone

#12. “I’m working for my father now. He’s been sick, very sick.” – Michael Corleone

#13. “I swear on the lives of my children. Give me one last chance to redeem myself, and I will sin no more.” – Michael Corleone

#14. “The only wealth in this world is children. More than all the money, power on earth, you are my treasure.” – Michael Corleone

#15.“I know it was you, fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!!”

#16. “Taken care of me? You’re my kid brother and you take care of me? Did you ever think about that, huh? Did you ever once think about that? ‘Send Fredo off to do this; Send Fredo off to do that. I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!” – Fredo Corleone

#17. “None of us here want to see our children follow in our footsteps, it’s too hard a life.”

#18. “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, lies in its loyalty to each other.” 

#19. “Your love is also your weak point.”

Godfather Quotes about Friendship

#20. “Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It’s more than the government. It is almost equal to the family.” – Don Vito Corleone

#21. “A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.” – Don Vito Corleone

#22. “It’s true I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldn’t be so friendly if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling which they consider a harmless vice. But drugs, that’s a dirty business.” – Don Vito Corleone

#23. “Friendship and money. Oil and water.” – Michael corleone

#24. “There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” – Michael corleone 

#25. “The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends.” – Don altobello

#26. “Nothing is left but our friendship.” – Tom Hagen

#27. “Even the strongest man needs friends.”

#28. “Men understand friendship more than we women.”

#29. “I believe in friendship and I’m willing to show my friendship first.”

#30. “I never would impose no need of friendship friendship – think my insignificant person.”

Godfather Business Quotes

#31. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Vito Corleone

#32. “I spent my life trying not to be careless, women and children can be careless, but not men.“ – Don Vito Corleone

#33. “And as I am a reasonable man, I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems.” – Don Vito Corleone “

#34. “Like many businessmen of genius he learned that free competition was wasteful, monopoly efficient. And so he simply set about achieving that efficient monopoly.” – Don Vito Corleone 

#35. “That is not justice.” – Don Vito Corleone

#36. “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” – Don Vito Corleone

#37. “I have learned more from the streets than in any classroom.” – Don Vito Corleone

#38. “How did things ever get so far?” – Don Vito Corleone 

#39. “You can act like a man! What’s the matter with you? Is this how you turned out, a hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman? Ah what can i do? What can i do?” – Don Vito Corleone

#40. “I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.” – Don Vito Corleone

#41. “I have no such powers. If I did, I would be more merciful than god, believe me.” – Don Vito Corleone

#42. “See, all our people are businessmen. Their loyalty is based on that. One thing I learned from pop was trying to think as people around you think. On that basis, anything is possible.” – Michael Corleone

#43. “It’s not personal sonny. It’s strictly business.” – Michael Corleone

#44. “Just when I thought I was out…they pulled me back in!” – Michael Corleone

#45. “Never let anyone know what you are thinking.” – Michael Corleone

#46. “You make the choice, and this is your price.”

#47. “I don’t care what you did is right or wrong, I want you know only me have the right to make decision, because I am the godfather until my death.”

#48. “Learn to sit back and observe, not everything needs a reaction.” – Michael Corleone

#49. “Don’t ask me about my business, Kay.” – Michael corleone

#50. “Be afraid of the calmest person in the room.” – Michael Corleone

#51. “I’ll change. I’ll change. I’ve learned that I have the strength to change.” – Michael Corleone

#52. “We don’t discuss business at the table.” – Sonny Corleone

#53. “I don’t like violence, Tom. I’m a businessman. Blood is a big expense.” – Virgil Sollozzo

#54. “Tell Mike it’s just business. I’ve always loved him.” Salvatore Tessio

#55. “I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!” Hyman Roth

#56.“Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth… but he never trusted Hyman Roth!” – Frank Pentangeli

#57. “Among reasonable men problems of business could always be solved.”

#58. “Nothing was more calming, more conducive to pure reason, than the atmosphere of money.”

#59. “There are things that have to be done and you do them and you never talk about them. You don’t try to justify them. They can’t be justified. You just do them. Then you forget it.” 

Godfather Quotes about Life and Time

#60. “Just wasn’t enough time. Wasn’t enough time.” – Don Vito Corleone

#61. “If i can die saying, life is so beautiful, then nothing else is important.” – Don Vito Corleone

#62. “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” – Don Vito Corleone

#63. “I’m not interested in things that don’t concern me.” – Don Vito Corleone

#64. “I want reliable people, people who aren’t going to be carried away.” – Don Vito Corleone

#65. “Why didn’t you come to me first?” – Don Vito Corleone

#66. “Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power.” – Hyman Roth

#67. “Each man has his own destiny.” – Don Vito Corleone

#68. “Many young men started down a false path to their true destiny. Time and fortune usually set them aright.”

#69. “Time erodes gratitude more quickly than it does beauty!”

#70. “A matter of seconds to see the nature of people and spend half my life is also unclear one thing to see the nature of man, nature is not the same fate.”

Godfather Quotes about Wedding

#71. “But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder, for money.” – Don Vito Corleone

#72. “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. – Don Vito Corleone

#73. “He didn’t expect to be invited to the wedding, so he wanted to thank you.” – Tom Hagen

#74. “The meeting would be safe as a wedding.” 

#75. “No Sicilian can refuse any request on his daughter’s wedding day.”

Godfather Quotes about respect

#76. “What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?” – Don Vito Corleone

#77.  “I respect those who tell me the truth no matter how hard it is.” – Michael Corleone

#78. “It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says…like dumb…I’m smart and I want respect!” – Fredo Corleone

Godfather Favor Quotes 

#79. “I’ll give you this favor on the day of my daughters wedding.” – Don Vito Corleone

#80. “He never asks a second favor when he’s been refused the first. Understood?” -Tom Hagen” 

Godfather Quotes about Enemies

#81. “And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies then they would become my enemies. And then they will fear you. ” – Don Vito Corleone

#82. “Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” – Michael corleone

#83. “Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind.” – Michael corleone

Godfather Quotes in Revenge

#84. “Revenge is a dish best served cold. “ – Don Vito Corleone

#85. “You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you? Or my boy to me?” – Don Vito Corleone

#86. “In this world there comes a time when the most humble of men, if he keeps his eyes open, can take his revenge on the most powerful.” – Don Vito Corleone

Final Thought

There are a lot of lessons that we can learn from The Godfather. The above famous quotes may be applied at some point in our life. Put priority to your family, then friendship and business. 

Years ago, when I was young, I couldn’t understand why the inner world of the Godfather (Don Vito Corleone) is so peaceful, even a little silent. It was only after seeing some things later that I realized that only experienced people can achieve such a calm tone and understand why the more experience, the more humble.

Hope you enjoyed these Godfather quotes.

Image source: https://www.insider.com/trivia-about-filming-the-godfather-2020-8

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Harvey Yan


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