In the summer of 2011, my ever-increasing age & salary were in stark contrast to The Hartford’s philosophy of cost-cutting & offshoring jobs to India. And middle management, like good lieutenants, was pressuring middle-aged men to quit through intimidation that would make the Mafia proud! On Monday 9/5/11, I’d come to a crossroads in my career at The Hartford after a particularly awful team meeting where my old witch of a manager, Linda, announced an immediate end to all telecommuting within the team. This came as a total surprise to all of us, especially me, since I was the only telecommuter on the team. So I went to my wife for advice. “‘I don’t know what to do, Cindy. I’m weak, emotionally weak. I used to be part of the picture. I just wish I could be right back on top, you know. But this… this man out there, he’s harassing me, and he’s the director of the department.’ ‘What’s his name?’ ‘Pomeroy! There’s no chance I’ll last the year. No chance! I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do…’ ‘YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN, PAULIE!’, she screamed! ‘What’s the matter with you? ‘Oh, what do I do? What do I do?’ Ridiculous! Your review is tomorrow, right? Well, you always said you wanted to retire at 53, right? 52’s a year better.’ The next day, Linda told me what she expected of me over the next year. ‘Linda, I’ve had it with you & Pomeroy! You have a better chance of seeing me grow wings & fly around the word in 80 days than of me working for you in a year. I’m retiring…on Martin Luther King Day!’ I’m a hippie so that whole conflict embracement thing sickens me, so this was NOT the easiest conversation I ever had, to say the least. But it worked. 2 days later she called me & said, “‘I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.’”, and they gave me The Golden Handshake.
Don Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”, the most famous line from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is the American Film Institute’s 2nd Greatest Movie Quote of All Time. It’s 1945 & The Don, the head of one of the 5 New York Mafia families, needs a successor. He’s resisting the Mafia’s philosophical change to get involved in underground drug trafficking. With the younger generation taking over, the negotiations that Corleone & the others embraced and which made them all rich during Prohibition & in the casino business are breaking down, violently at times. He has 3 sons: Recently back from the War, college boy, Michael (Al Pacino) is the youngest; Sonny (James Caan), the oldest, has a bad temper; and his middle son, Fredo (John Cazale) is a dimwit. Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) is The Don’s “adopted son” and Kay (Diane Keaton) is Michael’s girlfriend. This masterpiece won 3 of the original 11 Oscars for which it was nominated in 1973 at the 45th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Actor (Brando) & Adapted Screenplay (Coppola & Mario Puzo). Nino Rota’s Best Score nomination was reviewed after it was determined that some of the music in it appeared first in his score for 1958’s Fortunella. The other 4 nominees remained intact but the 5th nominee was left to the Music Branch to determine between The Godfather and the remaining 5 of the top ten preliminary contenders. The Branch re-balloted & selected John Addison’s score for Sleuth.
Early on, Michael tells Kay how his father got Johnny Fontane, the Frank Sinatra-like character (Al Martino), out of his contract with a bandleader. That’s based on a true story. Sinatra tried to buy out of his contract with Tommy Dorsey for $60000, but Dorsey refused. Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra was packing houses with Sinatra crooning in front of the band. So Frank used his Mafia connections, and mob boss Willie Moretti put a gun in Tommy’s mouth he voided the contract for $1. Now, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse”: Watch the trailer linked below then add The Godfather to your Netflix Queue! 4 Stars!!