Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Was Sen. Geary set up?

This is a question that's plagued me for years. In Godfather II, Michael Corleone needs a gaming license from Nevada Senator Geary. Geary decides to squeeze the Corleones for the license. Michael refuses to play ball, saying he won't pay more than the license is worth and would rather pay nothing for it. So the two part ways. Some time later, Sen. Geary wakes up in a Corleone-run hotel next to a dead hooker, unable to remember the night before. The Corleones protect Geary and keep the press from finding out about the incident. In return, they get their gaming license, and Geary becomes a close friend of the family, going on Cuban junkets with Fredo and saying nice things about Italian Americans during Michael's trial.

I guess it's all a little too convenient and coincidental. But did the Corleones really set him up? Did they give him some sort of amnesia-inducing drug, slice up a prostitute, and put the body in his room? That's quite a bit to orchestrate.

19 comments:

Lidzville said...

I vote Corleone set up. I bet the amnesia drug was alcohol. The rest, if horrific, isn´t really so tough to do, is it? But why would he stay in a mob hotel owned by a mob he knows has a beef with him?

Seth said...

A few points: It's no small thing to drug a senator to the point that he loses his memory. What if you give him too much of the drug and he dies? The mob can only get away with so much. I doubt it was alcohol. I imagine most senators would know when they were drinking too much.

Also, Geary wasn't a dumb guy. Any senator with a penchant for the hookers would presumably check out the brothels they visit. You're right -- he would have known that Fredo ran the place. That doesn't make sense.

Do we think Coppola meant the Geary story to be a reference to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who, just a few years earlier, had shown up in Chappaquiddick with a dead girl and no memory of his recent past?

lidzville said...

Huh, hadn't thought about Kennedy, but it sure makes sense. When was the roofie invented? Because the amnesia part is hard to figure in the mid-seventies. Though it was the era of spy films where people were turned into truth telling robots with a shot of this or that.

Eric Rubin said...

"The mob can only get away with so much."

Come now Seth, who's being naive?

The Corleone family was blessed with good fortune. They came to America at the perfect time in the history of the mob. Infighting, no true leader. I argue that Geary was blinded by his drug and sex addiction, much like David Duchoveny. I don't think he knew the brothel was run by Fredo. He was a partier and he went overboard. The Corleone family was run on protection and favors. Geary fell in their lap and they did what they are good at. They helped a lowlife out and then had him in their pocket for life.

Think of all the other politicians they had in their pocket. There was no way they set all of them up. Those political leaders were corrupt and they went to the one agency that could not only protect them but also make a profit with: the mob.

I could go on...

Seth said...

Hey, also on the subject of Kennedy references, remember that scene from GFII when Michael says he wants Roth dead and Tom keeps telling him it can't be done because Roth is in federal custody? "It would be like killing the president," explains Tom. Then Michael says something like, "If history's taught us anything, it's that anyone can be killed." These events all occur around the time of the Cuban revolution, when the mob loses an enormous sum of money in their Havana casinos and ultimately comes to direct some of their anger toward the Kennedy administration for failing to topple Castro. Does Coppola want us to believe that the Corleones iced JFK?

Anonymous said...

The clear implication is that Geary was set up. The fact that this scenario might be SOMEWHAT improbable (and I think not excessively so) does not mean that Coppola wasn't implying it.

Robert said...

Seth, This is in reference to your comment to the effect that Geary would have been cautious about how he indulged his vices, e.g., "Also, Geary wasn't a dumb guy. Any senator with a penchant for the hookers would presumably check out the brothels they visit."

I have two words for you: Eliot Spitzer.

Seth said...

Point conceded.

Eric Rubin said...

ahem... larry craig

Seth said...

Bad analogy. Craig was an idiot. His first instinct was to plead guilty. And going to a discrete brothel just isn't the same as toe-tapping in an airport men's room.

Lidzville said...

If we go back to the famous Khartoum the horse, the Corleone's would seem to have made "waking up to a horrific new situation" a family calling card. Word considering in the Senator's case?

Eric Rubin said...

my craig analogy was used to prove that senators do shady things. craig was getting head in an airport bathroom. do you think he checked to make sure he wasnt going to get caught or the guy he was fuckin didnt have loose lips (figurtively speaking)? hell no. he wanted head. he got head. then he got caught because he was a horny mofo.

geary was looking for some rough sex with a lady of the night and the only place he could get it was at a brothel. he was into some fucked up shit and he got caught. he was not set up.

Eric Rubin said...

by the way, TNT was showing godfather 1 and 2 in a loop all weekend. i saw the supposed set up scene a few ties and i am more and more convinced that geary was a sick fuck who killed a girl and needed a mob bailout.

Seth said...

Eric, I got sucked into the marathon, too, but with different results. I'm convinced that he was set up. Yeah, he was a sick fuck. Most of us would wake up next to a slain hooker and say, "Man, who did that?" With Geary, it had to be believable. He probably had a taste for booze and violence, so he was willing to believe that this had happened.

But to accept that Geary, whom the Corleones dearly needed, just happened to kill a hooker in a Corleone-owned hotel really strains one's credulity. It's too much of a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Not only was he set up the hooker was not dead. If you watch the scene closely you will see that the camera pans to her holds for a second while she takes a breath. You think that in a movie as well made as GF1 that was a mistake? Come on. This is a silly question. Of course he was set up.

Anonymous said...

Should read GF2

Anonymous said...

Should read GF2

Anonymous said...

Ok. Did you guys notice Al, the ex-cop that ended up killing Fredo, l inside the bathroom drying his hands? This is Micheal planned. Brilliant. But the question remains did Geary know that hevwas setup when Willi Cicci told the trial committee that the family had a lot of buffers.

Robert M said...

It was a setup. Coppola has confirmed it.