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The Godfather Timeline Expanded Summary


Vito (Andolini) Corleone is born in Corleone, Sicily. (Godfather I, GII)
Hyman Suchowsky Roth is born. (GII)
Vito's wife Carmella is born. (GII)

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Vito's father, Antonio Andolini is murdered by Don Ciccio for being disrespectful. Vito's older brother Paolo swears revenge, and is killed by Don Ciccio at Antonio's funeral. Vito's mother visits Don Ciccio and begs him to spare her son's life because he is her only living family member. She claims that Vito is slow and rarely speaks, and will not be a threat to Don Ciccio. Don Ciccio explains that he is not concerned with Vito's words, but with his actions later in life. He believes that Vito will grow strong, and will take revenge on his family's murderers. Vito's mother attempts to kill Don Ciccio, but she is stopped and murdered by his followers. Vito flees and escapes Don Ciccio and his men. The Andolini's neighbors hide Vito until he can be sent away. Don Ciccio attempts to find Vito and threatens to kill anyone who is helping to hide him. Vito flees to the United States alone. He arrives in New York City via Ellis Island. At Ellis Island Vito's name is officially changed to Vito Corleone. He is quarantined for three months because he has small pox. (GII)

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Vito marries Carmella. They live in New York City together. (GII)
Vito and Carmella's first child, Santino (Sonny) Corleone is born. Vito's adopted son Thomas Hagen is also born. When Sonny was eleven he met a homeless child named Thomas Hagen and brought him to the Corleone's home. He stayed with them since that day, and became another son to Vito and brother to his children. (GI, GII)
Don Fanucci (aka "The Black Hand") begins harrassing Vito's neighborhood. He orders people to give him a percentage of the money that they earn. The police will not help or protect the neighborhood from Don Fanucci. No one will offer any protection to Vito or his neighbors. Vito's neighbor Clemenza asks Vito to hide guns for a few days in his apartment. Vito helps Clemenza and forms a loyal friendship with him. Clemenza offers Vito a rug for his help. Vito and Clemenza steal the rug, although Clemenza claims that it belongs to a friend of his. (GII)
Vito and Carmella's second child, Fredo Corleone is born. He is a weak baby and has pneumonia. (GII)

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Vito and Carmella's third child, Michael Corleone is born. (GI, II, III)
Don Fanucci first approaches Vito and orders that he give him some of his earnings. Vito states that he must first talk to his business partners. Clemenza and Tessio want to pay off Don Fanucci because they are intimidated by him. Vito offers to talk to Don Fanucci before they give him any money. Vito meets with Don Fanucci to negotiate over how much money he wants from Vito, Clemenza and Tessio. Don Fanucci is impressed by Vito's bravery, and offers Vito a job working for him. He promises to help Vito in the future. Vito follows Don Fanucci after the meeting. While Don Fanucci is enjoying a parade in the street, Vito follows him on top of some buildings. Vito murders Don Fanucci as he enters his apartment. Following Don Fanucci's murder, Vito's neighbors begin asking and doing favors for him. (GII)
Hyman Roth starts traveling to Havana, Cuba to run molasses. (GII)
Vito and Carmella's fourth child, Constanzia (Connie) Corleone is born. (GII)
Michael's second wife Kay is born. (GII)
Vito takes his family to visit Sicily. He is introduced to Don Ciccio as a business associate from the United States. Vito privately announces to Don Ciccio that his father was Antonio Andolini who Don Ciccio had murdered years earlier. Vito kills Don Ciccio in revenge for his family's deaths. (GII)


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Michaels first wife Appolonia is born.
The Corleone's move out of the city to Long Beach, Long Island. (GI)

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Tom Hagen marries Theresa.
Tom's son Frank is born.
Sonny's son Frank is born.
Michael joins the United States Marine Corps. He serves in World War Two. (GI, II, III)
Sonny introduces Connie to his friend Carlo Rizzi at Vito's surprise party. (GIII)
Tom's son Andrew is born. (GII)
Michael is described in Life magazine as a war hero. (GI)
Santino Jr. is born. (GII)
Michael is discharged from the marines and enrolls at Dartmouth College. (GI,II,III)
Connie and Carlo are married. At Connie's wedding many people visit Vito to ask him for favors. Vito cannot refuse any requests, because part of the Sicilian tradition is that no Sicilian can refuse anything at his daughter's wedding. Don Bonasera requests that Vito sends men to revenge his daughter's violent rape and assault. Vito emphasizes the importance of respect and friendship towards someone's godfather. Bonasera apologizes for disrespecting Vito, his own godfather, and offers his friendship in return for Vito's help. Vito accepts his apology and sends someone to help his godson. Johnny Fontane, another godson of Vito's approaches Vito for help with his career. Johnny is a famous singer and actor who Vito has helped in the past when Johnny's band leader did not want to let Johnny start a career on his own. Vito "made him and offer he couldn't refuse." He stated that, "either his brains or his signature would be on the contract." That allowed Fontane to leave his band leader. Presently Fontane wants a part in a movie that would help his career. The producer of the film refuses to give Johnny the part. Vito sends Tom to Hollywood to talk to the producer (Woltz) about Johnny Fontane's career and eventual role in the film. Tom visits Woltz at his home in California. He orders him to give the part in the film to Johnny Fontane. Tom threatens Woltz with information on one of his stars. He states that he knows that one of his stars has moved from marijuana to heroin. Tom also states that he can make Woltz's union problems disappear. After Woltz realizes that he is being threatened, he is disrespectful to Tom until he realizes that Tom is Vito Corleone's personal lawyer. Woltz explains to Tom that he will never give Fontaine the part in his film because of a personal vendetta that he has for him. Woltz states, "that role will make Johnny a star, he will never have that role." Woltz explains that Fontane ruined one of Woltz Internationals' most prominent protégés. Woltz spent money on starting her career and Johnny convinced her to leave the business. Woltz then throws Tom out of his house. Woltz wakes up the next morning with a message from Vito Corleone. Woltz's prized horse is killed and his head is found in Woltz's bed. Wolz gives Johnny Fontane the role in the movie. (GI)
Vito sends Fredo to Las Vegas to start working in the casino business. (GI)
Sollozzo (aka "The Turk") discusses a drug deal with Vito. Sollozzo needs one million dollars in cash from Vito in exchange for a part of the narcotics deal that Sollozzo and Tattaglia are running. Vito will get a thirty percent interest on his investment, which would be approximately three million dollars within the first year. Vito is needed as an investor and because of his political influence and legal protection. A meeting is held with Vito, Tom and Sonny about the offer that Sollozzo makes Vito. Tom and Sonny want to get involved in the narcotics deal. Tom states that if they do not get involved else will, and this will hurt them down the road. He states that they now have influence over unions and gambling, and that narcotics will be important in the future. He wants to buy more political power and influence with the money that will be made from narcotics.
A meeting is held between Vito, Sollozzo, Tom, Sonny, Fredo, Clemenza and Tessio. Vito declines Sollozzo's offer because he believes that he will lose his influence over politicians if they discover that he is involved with narcotics. He also is not comfortable in bringing narcotics into neighborhoods. He is concerned that the drugs will be pushed on children, and he does not want to be responsible for that either.
Vito sends Luca Brasi to learn more about Sollozzo because he does not trust him. Luca attempts to gain Sollozzo's confidence, by claiming that he is not happy working for Vito. Sollozzo offers Luca fifty thousand dollars as a base salary. When Luca hesitates before shaking Sollozzo's hand, Sollozzo grabs his hand, stabs it with a knife and pins him to the counter. Luca is garroted by a buttonman and murdered. (GI)
Vito and Fredo leave Vito's Genco office together without Paulie (Vito's bodyguard) because Paulie is sick. Fredo waits in the car while Vito buys some fruit on the street. Two men approach Vito and shoot him numerous times. Fredo attempts to help however, he weeps over his fathers body instead. Vito is rushed to the hospital and is critical condition. (GI)
Tom Hagen is approached by Sollozzo. Sollozzo tells Tom that Vito has been murdered and asks Tom to persuade Sonny to reconsider the drug deal. Tom explains that Sonny will seek to avenge his fathers death, and Sollozzo states that it is up to Tom to control Sonny's violent temper. Without Vito's veto, the drug deal can go through and they can all benefit. Tom states that he will try to talk to Sonny. (GI)
Sonny assumes temporary control as Don while his father is in the hospital. (GI)
Sonny believes that Tattaglia and Sollozzo are responsible, and he orders that they be killed. Michael returns home to visit his father in the hospital. Michael visits Vito late at night and discovers that he has been left alone at the hospital. The police ordered that all of his bodyguards leave the hospital because they are interfering with the work of the hospital staff. Michael realizes that people will soon be arriving to murder his father. The police were involved in the conspiracy to kill Vito Corleone. With the help of a nurse, Michael moves Vito to a different room. A friend of Vito's enters the hospital to visit, and Michael and him pretend to be guarding Vito when a car drives by with the would be assassins. The car drives away because it appears that Vito still has protection in the hospital. McCluskey, the police captain arrives at the hospital and orders that Michael leave. When Michael refuses and claims that McCluskey is involved in the conspiracy, the captain assaults Michael and unjustly orders his arrest. Tom Hagen arrives and forces McCluskey to leave the hospital and Michael because he has legally gotten permission to have body guards protect Vito. Michael is upset by the injustice that he has seen. For the first time Michael wants to be involved in the family business. He offers to murder Sollozzo and McCluskey. Sonny arranges for a meeting between Michael, Sollozzo and McCluskey at a private restaurant. Sollozzo attempts to convince Michael to persuade Sonny to be part of the drug deal. Michael excuses himself to go to the bathroom. He finds a gun that Sonny had hidden for him in the bathroom stall. Michael returns to his table and shoots and kills both Sollozzo and McCluskey. He is forced to flee the country, and he hides in Sicily. (GI,II,III)
Michael courts and marries his first wife Appolonia while hiding in Sicily. (GI)
Michael's body guard plants a bomb in his car. Appolonia drives the car before Michael and is unintentionally murdered.
Tom Hagen is named consigliere. (GI)
Connie is pregnant and is being physically abused by her husband Carlo. Connie calls Sonny to help her, and tells him about her husband's abuse. Sonny loses his temper, and finds Carlo and assaults him. Sonny tells Carlo that if he hurts Connie again, Sonny will kill him. Connie finds out that Carlo is having an affair and starts a fight with him. Carlo is enraged and assaults Connie again. Connie calls Sonny, who hurries to help her. He refuses to take a driver and a bodyguard with him, because he is in a rush. His bodyguards follow him in another car. At a tollbooth Sonny gets blocked in his car by a group of people. Sonny is viciously murdered when they shoot him numerous times with machine guns. Sonny's friends and body guards arrive a few minutes too late to help him. Vito calls a meeting between the five major families in the New York area. He states that he does not want any more violence between them. Vito and others have lost children, and he does not want it to continue any more. The five families agree with Vito, however they want Vito and them to join the narcotics deal together. Vito agrees in order to end anymore bloodshed, although he is apprehensive. (GI, II, III)

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Michael's last confession.
Michael returns to the United States and he and Kay are married.
Michael and Kay's first child, Anthony is born. (GI)
Michael assumes control over family business. (GI)
Michael visits Fredo in Las Vegas, and discusses arrangements to take over the casino business from Moe Green. Moe does not want to give up his interests in the business, and urges Michael to find another business to "steal." Fredo does not know who to be loyal to, either Michael or Moe. He has been working for Moe and tries to convince Michael to compromise with Moe. Michael refuses and orders Fredo to never question his loyalty to his family again. (GI)
Michael and Kay's second child, Mary is born. (GI)
Michael takes over as Don Corleone. Vito reluctantly allows him to assume the role as godfather. Vito states that he had higher hopes for Michael. He wanted him to perhaps be a senator or a congressman. Although he had different expectations for his son, he allows him to join the dangerous family business. (GI)
Vito dies peacefully while playing with his grandson Anthony. (GI)
The heads of the five families are murdered by Michael's order. (GI)
Connie and Carlo's son, (Michael's godson), Michael Francis Rizzi is born and baptized. Michael has Carlo murdered, because he believes that Carlos had Sonny murdered. (GI)
Michael's son Anthony has his first communion. (GII)
Michael's home is attacked, and his murder is attempted. Kay and Michael are in bed, and the children are in their rooms. The blinds in the bedroom are open, and as Michael tries to close them, numerous shots are fired at him from outside. Michael, Kay and the children are fine, however Michael is forced to leave home for a while. (GII)
Michael flees and Tom Hagen temporarily assumes the role as Don. (GII)
Michael goes to Cuba with the heads of a few big companies to discuss interests in Cuba. Hyman Roth states that most of his interests in Cuba will be given to Michael when he either retires or dies. (GII)
Kay loses her baby while Michael is away. (GII)
Hyman Roth's murder is attempted but fails. Michael discovers that Fredo betrayed him, and his murder was attempted as a result of Fredo's betrayal. Michael tells Fredo that he no longer considers him a brother and never wants to see him again. (GII)
Michael and his family are investigated for criminal charges. The court has one witness who can testify that Michael ordered the death of many people. Before he is to testify Michael intimidates him into not testifying against him. He finds the witnesses brother in Sicily and has him flown out to the trial. He sends the message that if Michael is convicted, the witness and his family will be in danger. The witness decides not to testify and embarrasses the government in front of the court. Michael is found innocent. (GII)
Carmella Corleone dies. After Carmella dies, Michael orders someone to murder Fredo for betraying him. (GII, GIII)
Michael also orders Hyman Roth's murder. Roth is dying and attempts to flee to Israel, however he is sent back to Miami. At the airport, under high security, Michael has someone shoot and kill Roth. (GII)
Michael and Kay are separated. Kay tells Michael that she intentionally aborted his child when he was away because she does not want to be responsible for giving birth to anymore of Michaels children. (GII)

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Michael receives highest papal award from the church for his charity. (GIII)
He donates millions of dollars to help the poor in Sicily. (GIII)
Michael forms the Vito Corleone Foundation which helps the impoverished of every country, gives grants to artists, funds medical research, and is particularly dedicated to the resurrection of Sicily. Mary, Michael's daughter and honorary chairman of the foundation, gives the Archbishop Gilday $100,000,000 for the poor of Sicily in the name of Vito Corleone. Michael hopes to improve his relationship with Mary by working together. After the ceremony Michael throws a celebration for his family and friends. Kay and Anthony arrive and discuss Anthony's future. Anthony is enrolled in law school, but he does not want to become a lawyer. Instead he wants to persue a music career. Michael does not oppose his son going into entertainment, however he wants him to finish his law degree as insurance in case he does not succeed. Michael explains to Anthony that if he has a law degree he can always work for him. Anthony states, "I will always be your son. But I will never have anything to do with your business." Anthony leaves and Kay convinces Michael to let his son persue what he wants. (GIII)

Vincent Mancini, Sonny's illegitimate son, comes to Michael's celebration. Because he was not invited, he was almost forced to leave, until someone recognizes him as part of the family. Michael meets with Vincent Mancini, and Joey Zaza to discuss problems that they have with eachother. Vinny wants to help Michael, and become part of the family. Zaza runs the old Corleone business, and Vinny works for him. Vinny worries that Zaza has bad intentions for the Corleone family and their business, and wants to help Michael protect himself from him. Michael tries to reconcile Zaza and Vinny's relationship, but when they embrace Zaza whispers a derogatory comment in Vinny's ear, and Vinny retaliates. Vinny bites Zaza's ear, causing him to bleed and flee the room. Michael sees Sonny's temper in Vinny and takes him under his guidance. (GIII)
At the celebration Mary approaches Vinny and they form a relationship. Although he is seven years older than her, it is obvious that they have feelings for eachother. (GIII)
Zaza sends two men to Vinny's apartment to murder him. Vinny catches and kills them after he pressures them into telling him that Zaza sent them. Michael is upset that Vinny killed the two men. Vinny claims that he did it to send Zaza a message, but Michael worries that Zaza will now send Vinny a message back. Michael orders Vinny to stay close to him, but not to do anything. Michael states, "You stay close to me. You don’t do anything. You keep your mouth shut, and your eyes open. And you do what I tell you. Understand?" (GIII)
Michael attempts to gain control over Immobilare. Immobiliare is an organization that is run in Europe. Michael can gain control over it, if he has some influence on the votes of the members of the Vatican. The Vatican bargains with Michael, and they make a deal to give Michael the majority votes and control over Immobilare if he will give them six hundred million dollars. The Archbishop Gilday was given control over the Vatican bank and he entrusted it to friends of his. The money in the bank is gone, and the archbishop is being held responsible. He needs the money from Michael to save the church and his reputation. The archbishop informs Michael that the Pope must approve of Michael as well. Michael claims that his business is finally legitimate and he has no interests left in gambling or casinos. The Archbishop tells Michael what gaining control over Immobiliare will do for him and his family. He states, "Don Corleone. This deal with Immobiliare can make you one of the richest men in the world. Your whole past history, and the history of your family, will be washed away." This seems to strike a chord with Michael who seems interested in repenting for his many sins. (GIII)
Michael is voted in as the new head of Immobiliare with the support of Archbishop Gilday. His position needs to be ratified by the Pope in Rome before it is official, however this is merely seen as a formality. (GIII)
Mary and Michael have a conversation about the legitimacy of The Vito Corleone foundation. Mary is concerned that she is chairman as a front. She questions Michaels motivation for creating this foundation and for working with her. She makes him repeatedly state that the foundation is legitimate and that he founded it to help people and to do something with his children. In one of the most powerful statements that Michael makes he tells Mary, "I would burn in hell, to keep you safe." The importance of keeping his family safe and happy runs throughout Michael's life and the godfather trilogy. (GIII)

The heads of the major families gather for a meeting to persuade Michael to let them in on his Immobilare deal. The assassination of all the members of the meeting is attempted. Vinny senses the oncoming attack before anyone and saves Michael's life. (GIII)
Michael has a diabetic stroke. (GIII)
Vinny assumes control while Michael is in the hospital. (GIII)
Vinny murders Joey Zaza in the middle of a parade. (GIII)
Michael attempts to legitimize his business, however he finds himself being pulled into criminal activity by others. (GIII)
Anthony debuts as an opera singer in Palermo, Sicily. (GIII)
Vinny and Mary start to become physically and emotionally close. (GIII)
Michael orders Vinny to end his relationship with Mary. (GIII)
Vinny discovers that someone wants to have Michael murdered. He attempts to discover, how and when the assassination will take place. He learns that people were hired to kill Michael at his son's debut in Palermo. (GIII)
Vinny secretly assumes the role of Don before the concert. (GIII)
After the concert Michael's murder is attempted. Instead of shooting Michael, Mary is unintentionally murdered. (GIII)
Michael dies peacefully. (GIII)

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