The Godfather: Part III (1990) Movie Summary

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The Godfather: Part III takes place in the year 1979. Disco is king, and mafia boss, Michael Corleone, is queen. The Don has turned over a new leaf at the tender age of 60, sold off the casinos, and handed over the “family business” to a younger mobster, Joey Zasa. Corleone tries to go legit as a honest businessman—much like Donald Trump did in 2016, but with slightly less Oompa-Lompa make-up. However, instead of a run for role of Commander-In-Chief, the Roman Catholic Church has names Michael a Commander of the Order of Saint Sebastian.

Michael still carries tremendous guilt over ordering the death of his own brother, Fredo. Additionally, Michael’s second wife, Kay, who’s perfect shit shines gold, has divorced him. His adult children, Anthony and Mary rarely see him. Anthony wants to leave law school and become a singer of all things—not in a boy band or anything that makes money, mind you, but as a legitimate opera singer. Sofia Coppola, the Don of the Retards, plays Mary who simply wants to have sex with her first cousin, Vincent Mancini, and then piss off as many Godfather fanboys as humanly possible. You got us there, Sophia!

Vincent is the bastard son of Sonny Corleone and his side piece that he was banging up against a bedroom door during Connie’s wedding in the first Godfather movie. He’s a chip off the old block with a temper that matches Sonny’s. Vincent works for, and gets sideways with, Joey Zasa. They have a problem with each other that Michael has to involve himself in. Michael takes Vincent under his wing in order to protect his young illegitimate nephew from Zasa and himself.

Tom Hagen is not in the film, and fuck you if you think you know better than Francis Ford Coppola!

Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in!

Michael attempts to legitimize the Corleone family name with the control of an international real estate company Internazionale Immobiliare. Michael leans on Archbishop Gilday, the head of the Vatican Bank. He offers the desperate banker $600 million to cover up the massive deficit that the banker has secretly accumulated. Immobiliare’s board agrees to the offer, but the deal still has to be ratified by the Pope, who has suddenly turned ill.

While this is going on, Michael has to deal with his Mafia brothers’ drama. Their panties are in a bunch because Michael is leaving them without giving them some of the vast monies that Michael is about to see in his Vatican deal. Don Altobello, a Tuco-like Mafia boss and Connie’s godfather, visits Michael, and whines to him that his old partners on the Mafia Commission want in on the deal. Michael calls a meeting of the Commission, and tells them as politely as he can, to go pound sand.

During the meeting, a helicopter hovers overhead as soon as Zasa and Altobello are out of the room. It opens fire on the remaining Dons. Michael, his bodyguard, Al Neri, and Vincent narrowly escape. The remaining Dons who survive the massacre make a deal with Zasa, but Michael does not believe that Zasa has the brains or the balls to carry out such an elaborate hit. However, Michael suffers a diabetic stroke before he can uncover the identity of the big bad in this film.

While Michael takes a candy siesta, Vincent takes Mary to pound town. Mary’s voice then drives Vincent to kill, and he takes it out on Zasa during a Little Italy street parade. When Michael regains consciousness, he berates Vincent for taking out both his daughter and Zasa. Michael understands Altobello ordered the hit.

Welcome back to Palermo

The film then jumps ahead a few months, and the entire Corleone family travels to Sicily for Anthony’s operatic debut in Palermo. While there, Michael convinces Vincent to approach Altobello, and to pretend to betray Michael in order to find out how high the plot goes. Altobello introduces Vincent to Don Lucchesi, a powerful Italian political figure and Immobiliare’s chairman.

Michael learns the entire Immobiliare deal is an elaborate swindle, that Lucchesi concocted with Archbishop Gilday, and Vatican accountant Frederick Keinszig to pick up chicks…except for the Archbishop. He wants choir boys. Anyway, Michael visits Cardinal Lamberto, favored to become the next Pope, to discuss the deal. The naïve Lamberto gives Michael some candy which persuades him to make his first confession in 30 years. Michael tearfully confesses to ordering Fredo’s murder, and Lamberto says Michael deserves to suffer, but he can still redeem himself. He should confess that he fathered Mary; a much more heinous crime!

While Michael is confessing his sins, Altobello hires Mosca, a veteran hitman, to assassinate Michael. Mosca and his son, disguised as priests, kill Don Tommasino as he returns to his villa. Michael receives word of Tommasino’s death, and at the funeral vows never to sin again.

Vincent tells Michael that Altobello is plotting to have Mosca assassinate Michael. Michael sees that his nephew has changed–you can thank Mary for that–and he names Vincent the new Don of the Corleone family. He even gets to have the Corleone name. However, Vincent’s rise to power has one price, the new Don will need to give up his relationship with Mary. Without hesitation, Vincent dumps her. After the Pope dies, Cardinal Lamberto becomes Pope John Paul I. Unfortunately for Michael, the plotters against the ratification need to kill him to cover their tracks.

A Night at the Opera

While the family is watching Anthony’s performance in Palermo, the Corleone family sends out their hitmen to settle all family business. They smother Keinszig to death, and hang him from a bridge; making it seem like a suicide over bad banking skills. Altobello eats a poisoned cannoli given to him by Connie at the opera. Al Neri travels to the Vatican, and shoots the Archbishop Gilday in the ass. Finally, Calo, Tommasino’s former bodyguard, finds Lucchesi in his office. Calo stabs him in the neck with a pair of glasses right before Lucchesi’s bodyguard kills Calo. All of this is set to the tune of Anthony’s operatic voice.

After he approves the Immobiliare deal, mystery men serve the Pope poisoned tea on the orders of the recently deceased Archbishop Gilday. He dies soon afterward. Mosca attempts to kill Michael outside the opera house, but unintentionally kills Mary. Two hours and forty minutes into the film, and we finally have something to cheer about. Before you can even begin to celebrate that good news though, Vincent shoots the fly, dead. Michael silently screams in grief on the steps of the opera in the same voice I make throughout the film every time Mary speaks.

The film ends with a much older Michael sitting alone in the garden of Don Tommasino’s villa. The elderly Don suddenly slumps over in his chair, falling to the ground. So ends one of the most memorable characters to ever grace the silver screen.

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