I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.
All our people are businessmen. Their loyalty is based on that.
There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
Note: the bolded portion is ranked #58 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. That portion has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Niccolò Machiavelli, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use in this film. There is, however,an Italian proverb that follows closely: "Dai nemici mi guardo io dagli amici mi guardi dio!" – I can protect myself from my enemies, may God protect me from my friends. Voltaire said, "God protect me from my friends, I'll take care of my enemies”.
[kisses Fredo] I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!
If I could only live to see it, to be there with you. What I wouldn't give for twenty more years! Here we are, protected, free to make our profits without Kefauver, the goddamn Justice Department and the F.B.I. ninety miles away, in partnership with a friendly government. Ninety miles! It's nothing! Just one small step, looking for a man who wants to be President of the United States, and having the cash to make it possible. Michael, we're bigger than U.S. Steel.
I'm going to take a nap. When I wake up, if the money is on the table, I'll know I have a partner. If it isn't, I'll know I don't.
Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power.
There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada... made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI's on the way to the West Coast. That kid's name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn't even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn't angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen; I didn't ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!
Michael, I hated you for so many years. I think that I did things to myself, to hurt myself so that you'd know - that I could hurt you. You were just being strong for all of us the way Papa was. And I forgive you. Can't you forgive Fredo? He's so sweet and helpless without you. You need me, Michael. I want to take care of you now.
Vito Andolini's mother: [in Sicilian] All my respect, Don Ciccio. You killed my husband because he wouldn't give in to you. And his oldest son Paolo...because he swore revenge. But Vito is only nine. And dumb-witted. He never speaks.
Don Francesco Ciccio: [in Sicilian] It's not his words I'm afraid of.
Don Francesco Ciccio: [in Sicilian] But when he grows, he'll grow strong.
Vito Andolini's mother: [in Sicilian] Don't worry. This little boy can't do a thing to you. [Don Ciccio stands up.]
Don Francesco Ciccio: [in Sicilian] When he's a man, he'll come for revenge.
Vito Andolini's mother: [in Sicilian] I beg you, Don Ciccio, spare my only son. He's all I have left. I swear to God he'll never do you any harm. Spare him!
Don Francesco Ciccio: No. [Vito's mother reveals a concealed knife and holds it to Don Ciccio's neck.]
Vito Andolini's mother: [in Sicilian] Move and I'll kill him! Run, Vito! [Vito watches as Don Ciccio's guards shoot his mother down, and he runs away.]
Don Francesco Ciccio: [in Sicilian] Kill him!
Senator Pat Geary: I can get you a gaming license. The price is $250,000, plus a monthly payment of five percent of the gross of all four hotels. [sneers] Mr. Corl-ee-own-eh.
Michael Corleone: Now, the price of a gaming license is less than $20,000. Is that right?
Senator Pat Geary: That's right.
Michael Corleone: So why would I ever consider paying more than that?
Senator Pat Geary: Because I intend to squeeze you. I don't like your kind of people. I don't like to see you come out to this clean country with your oily hair, dressed up in those silk suits, passing yourselves off as decent Americans. I'll do business with you, but the fact is that I despise your masquerade, the dishonest way you pose yourself. Yourself and your whole fucking family.
Michael: Senator. We're both part of the same hypocrisy...but never think it applies to my family.
Senator Pat Geary: [exasperated] Okay. Some people need play little games. You play yours. Let's just say that you'll pay me because it's in your interest to pay me. But I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow. And one more thing. Don't you contact me again, ever. From now on, you deal with Turnbull.
Michael: Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.
Kay: It made me think of what you once told me: "In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate." That was seven years ago.
Michael: I know. I'm trying, darling.
Fredo: Sometimes I think I should have married a woman like you did. Like Kay. Have kids. Have a family. For once in my life, be more like Pop.
Michael: It's not easy to be a son, Fredo. It's not easy.
[Vito Corleone returns years later to Sicily and meets Don Ciccio, the man who murdered Vito's family]
Don Ciccio: Vito Corleone? You took the name of the town. And what was your father's name?
Vito Corleone: His name was ... Antonio Andolini.
Don Ciccio: Louder, I don't hear so good.
Vito Corleone: [leans in closer] My father's name was Antonio Andolini ... and this is for you! [stabs him]
Michael: [about the unrest in Cuba] I saw an interesting thing today. A rebel was being arrested, and rather than be taken alive, he pulled the pin on a grenade he had hidden in his jacket. He killed himself and the captain of the command.
Guest: Ah, the rebels are lunatics!
Michael: Maybe. But it occurred to me, the soldiers are paid to fight; the rebels aren't.
Hyman Roth: What does that tell you?
Michael: They can win.
Fredo Corleone: I haven't got a lot to say, Mike.
Michael Corleone: We have time.
Fredo Corleone: I was kept pretty much in the dark. I didn't know all that much.
Michael Corleone: What about now? Is there anything you can help me out with? Anything you can tell me now?
Fredo Corleone: They've got Pentangeli. That's all I can tell you. [Michael stands up.] I didn't know it was gonna be a hit, Mike. I swear to God, I didn't know it was gonna be a hit. Johnny Ola bumped into me in Beverly Hills, and he said that he wanted to talk. He said that you and - and Roth were in on a - a big deal together and that there was something in it for me if I could help 'em out. He said that - He said that you were bein' tough on the negotiations, but if they could get a little help and close the deal fast, it'd be good for the family.
Michael Corleone: You believed that story? You believed that?
Fredo Corleone: He said there was somethin' in it for me. On my own.
Michael Corleone: I've always taken care of you, Fredo.
Fredo Corleone: Taken care of me?! You're my kid brother, and you take of me?! Did you ever think about that? Huh? Did you ever once think about that?! Send Fredo off to do this, send Fredo off to do that! Let Fredo take care of some Mickey Mouse nightclub somewhere! Send Fredo to pick somebody up at the airport! I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
Michael Corleone: That's the way Pop wanted it.
Fredo Corleone: It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says! Like, dumb. I'm smart, and I want respect!
Michael Corleone: [unmoved] Is there anything you can tell me about this investigation? Anything more?
Fredo Corleone: The Senate lawyer, Questadt, he belongs to Roth.
Michael Corleone: Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother. You're not a friend. I don't wanna know you or what you do. I don't wanna see you at the hotels. I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand? [walks away.]
Fredo Corleone: [miserable] Mikey...
Michael Corleone: [to Al Neri] I don't want anything to happen to him while my mother's alive.
[Michael has just been told that Kay miscarried their child]
Michael: Was it a boy?
Tom Hagen: Mikey, after three and a half months...
Michael: CAN'T YOU GIVE ME A STRAIGHT ANSWER ANY MORE? WAS IT A BOY?
Michael: What do you want from me? Do you expect me to let you go? Do you expect me to let you take my children from me? Don't you know me? Don't you know that that's an impossibility? That that could never happen? That I'd use all my power to keep something like that from happening? Don't you know that? Kay, now in time, you'll feel differently. You'll be glad I stopped you now. I know that. I know you blame me for losing the baby. Yes. I know what that meant to you. I'll make it up to you, Kay. I swear I'll make it up to you. I'm gonna change. I'll change. I've learned that I have the strength to change. And you'll forget about this miscarriage. And we'll have another child. And we'll go on, you and I. We'll go on.
Kay: Oh, Michael. Michael, you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion. An abortion, Michael! Just like our marriage is an abortion. Something that's unholy and evil. I didn't want your son, Michael! I wouldn't bring another one of you sons into this world! It was an abortion, Michael! It was a son, Michael! A son! And I had it killed because this must all end! I know now that it's over. I knew it then. There would be no way, Michael... no way you could ever forgive me, not with this Sicilian thing that's been going on for 2,000 years!
[Enraged, Michael lunges at Kay, slapping her across the face. She falls onto the couch]
Michael: BITCH! You won't take my children!
Kay: [sobbing] I will.
Michael: YOU WON'T TAKE MY CHILDREN!
Kay: I will! They're my children too!
Tom Hagen: When a plot against the Emperor failed... the plotters were always given a chance to let their families keep their fortunes. Right?
Frank Pentangeli: Yeah, but only the rich guys, Tom. The little guys got knocked off and all their estates went to the Emperors. Unless they went home and killed themselves, then nothing happened. And the families... the families were taken care of.
Tom Hagen: That was a good break. A nice deal.
Frank Pentangeli: Yeah... They went home... and sat in a hot bath... opened up their veins... and bled to death... and sometimes they had a little party before they did it.
[discussing how to kill Hyman Roth]
Tom Hagen: It would be like trying to kill the President; there's no way we can get to him.
Michael: Tom, you know you surprise me. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anyone.