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Old 05-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
analyze_this
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Godfather question

Never understood why did Michael remove Tom Hagen as consigliere?
"You're out Tom"
but why?
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: Godfather question

They were going to war and Tom wasn't a war time consigliere.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Re: Godfather question

Tom Hagen: Mike, why am I out?
Michael Corleone: You're not a wartime Consiglieri, Tom. Things may get rough with the moves we're trying.
[motion for Tom to sit next to him]
Don Corleone: Tom, I advised Michael. I never thought you were a bad Consiglieri. I thought Santino was a bad Don, rest in peace. Michael has all my confidence as..as do you. But there are reasons why you must have no part nothing in what's going to happen.
Tom Hagen: Maybe I could help.
Michael Corleone: You're out, Tom.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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Re: Godfather question

Quote:
Originally Posted by analyze_this View Post
Never understood why did Michael remove Tom Hagen as consigliere?
"You're out Tom"
but why?
Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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Re: Godfather question

Tom is German-Irish and we all know how much of a peace-loving bunch they all are and not prone to quarrel.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:33 AM   #6
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Re: Godfather question

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Originally Posted by ||.||.|| View Post
Tom is German-Irish and we all know how much of a peace-loving bunch they all are and not prone to quarrel.


Mario Puzo frequently said that one of his favorite lines was "a lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns", which he wrote in as being frequently cited by Vito. Vito desperately wanted his family and his business to be completely legit. Hagen's immense prowess in this area was far more valuable, in hie eyes, than that of a traditional mafia counselor. He was to be a far more intrinsic and involved player in what Vito saw as a less barbarous future.

Plus, the other families had lost respect for the Corleones, partly for having a non-Sicilian consigliere, which is actually a more traditional figurehead position, less a counselor (in spite of the title) to the Don than a companion and sounding board, and a representative in certain adjudicating functions. To choose a non-Sicilian was deemed, by the other families, disrespectful to the tradition. In the book, a few days after that meeting, Vito asks Tom if he figured out why he and Michael wanted him removed from the action. He smiles and mentions that at first he questioned things, but says he then "put on (his) Sicilian hat, and figured it out".

In the book, both Vito and Michael had no doubt of Hagen's abilities as a "wartime" consigliere, but he was simply too valuable to the family to be left in a risky and visible position. Notice in GF2 how he has regained a position within Michael's inner circle, even more valuable to the families legitimate holdings. He is kept at arm's length from any criminal machinations, though, as indicated by his dismissal from the room at their meeting with Johnny Ola. It is similar to how Michael was treated by Sonny, before Michael killed Solozzo. It is more an indicator of desire to protect than a lack of confidence. It is only after the attempted assassination of Michael, in his home, that he feels it's necessary to bring Hagen back into the loop regarding "family" business. Again, not unlike Sonny reluctantly did with Michael in the first movie.

As an aside, the new book, The Family Corleone, is damn good, especially for Godfather junkies. It's a look at the events leading up to the first book/movie. Interesting revelations about Hagen, Luca Brasi, Barzinni, even Frank Pentangeli and the Rosato Brothers, who figure prominently in the GF2. Modeled loosely on the Castellammarese War in the early Thirties. Vito seems to be modeled, in this book, on Joseph Bonnano more than Carlo Gambino or Frank Costello, who are mentioned as the more likely inspirations for him in the original novel.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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Re: Godfather question

Thanks kudzu
That makes sense... I mean, we all watched the movie, we know that they told him that "he's not a wartime consigliere"
But my question was, why introduce that? why not just keep him and not have this scene
But I guess a lot of your answers are valid points
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Godfather question

I think there's some overthinking here. It just meant he wasn't Sicilian.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #9
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Re: Godfather question

Now I've got another book to put on my list.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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Re: Godfather question

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Originally Posted by kioshk View Post
I think there's some overthinking here. It just meant he wasn't Sicilian.
Except it's not that simple, which is one of the reasons analyze_this was pondering the concept.

The whole situation illuminates the dynamic between several of the main characters. Vito had for years used "protecting his family" as an excuse for his illicit activities, and for his "destiny". He didn't want any of his sons to enter the family business, and Michael was the one for whom he had the most hope of true legitimacy. One by one, they drifted into the business. When Michael became involved, Hagen became the son (even though he was never officially adopted) who symbolized Vito's hopes for acceptance in the "straight" world. He had to be "protected", as Michael had been previously.

The fact that Hagen is not Sicilian is only peripherally important. And, even then, it's more tactical than prejudicial. There were no qualms within the family about Hagen's ethnicity. He was raised in the Corleone household, and even Clemenza, the most tradition-bound and tribal of the main characters, pays Hagen the ultimate compliment by saying he (Hagen) "must have been wet-nursed by a Sicilian".

But his ouster was seen, by the other families, as coming from a position of weakness, as were most of the Corleone activities at this time. It was seen as an admission of a mistake (which, again, was a smokescreen, and is brought out more clearly in the book) by the other families, and in their world, this encouraged them to lose respect for the Corleones. It was very important for the family to feign such weakness, while hoarding their strength, and increasing their influence. For the other families to under-estimate Michael, and the true strength of the Corleones, was the fulcrum for the climax of the book/movie.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Godfather question

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Originally Posted by analyze_this View Post
Thanks kudzu
That makes sense... I mean, we all watched the movie, we know that they told him that "he's not a wartime consigliere"
But my question was, why introduce that? why not just keep him and not have this scene
But I guess a lot of your answers are valid points
I don't know if you read Puzo's book, but it goes into greater detail. Several subplots that didn't make it into the movie, too. It doesn't quite reach the artistic level the film does, but it's a well-crafted and entertaining read.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:15 AM   #12
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Re: Godfather question

Michael says exactly why in II. By removing Tom from all the inner workings he becomes the person Michael can trust the most when **** hits the fan. Basically, Mike respects his skills and intellect and uses him as insurance rather than for advice on day to day stuff, which michael is smart enough to handle largely on his own. A contrast here to Fredo who michael didn't bother to keep "pure" because he was too weak and stupid to be useful in a situation where he can't completely trust any of his own people.

Last edited by dessin d'enfant; 05-25-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:49 AM   #13
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Re: Godfather question

Kudz killing it. Well done.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #14
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Re: Godfather question

killing it indeed
post 10 absolutely nailed it!
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:33 AM   #15
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Re: Godfather question

Quote:
Originally Posted by kudzudemon View Post
I don't know if you read Puzo's book, but it goes into greater detail. Several subplots that didn't make it into the movie, too. It doesn't quite reach the artistic level the film does, but it's a well-crafted and entertaining read.
Didn't read it, but definitely will now
Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #16
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Re: Godfather question

quite a nuanced reading, I'll say that!
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:32 AM   #17
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Re: Godfather question

I think there's a theory missing here.

In the book there's a passage just before Michael wipes out the heads of the five families. Tom and Michael are talking and Tom says he understands now why he had to be cut out. The book doesn't explicitly explain why, but the importance of the conversation is that Hagan has Michael's full trust, that cutting him out was only a tactical move. The reader and the movie watcher are left guessing as to the why. Here's my best guess:

During the peace talks with the commission, the Godfather gives his word that he won't be the one to break the peace. Later, although the scene was deleted, Michael says, "You gave your word. I didn't." Tom Hagan accompanied the Godfather to that peace meeting, so by extension, Hagan gave his word as well. If Hagan were involved in the plotting of the murders, it would be the same as breaking his word and the Godfather's word. So to protect them, he had to cut Hagan out.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:34 PM   #18
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Re: Godfather question

GF has all kinds of plot holes...
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:49 PM   #19
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Re: Godfather question

I continue to be impressed by the self I was 5 years ago.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:53 PM   #20
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Re: Godfather question

godamnit I knew I shouldn't have opened this thread.
there goes the next 7hrs of my life.
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