Five Life Lessons from The Godfather

John and I are spending the weekend in Dallas with my sister and brother-in-law.  They have an in-home theatre, and last night we ate Italian food and watched The Godfather.
I have only watched it start-to-finish once, I believe, and that was twenty years ago. Now that I knew what was going to happen, I was able to appreciate the nuances of the film, particularly the ground-breaking portrayal of gangsters as complex characters who love their families and look upon what they do as “just business.”
In that spirit I offer you five life lessons from The Godfather.
1.  “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”

Vito Corleone backs this statement up.  He works part of the time from his home office so that he can be with his family as much as possible. Children and grandchildren overrun the family compound, sometimes even darting into his workspace.  When he comes home from the hospital, family surrounds him as he lifts a hand in blessing.  He dies playing in the backyard with his grandson.
2.  “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family.”

The family bond is sacred.  Internal disagreement is one thing; Don Corleone encourages the input and listens to the counsel of his sons before making his decisions. But once that decision is made, a united front should be presented to outsiders at all times.
3.   “We don’t discuss business at the table.”

There’s work time, and there’s family time.  When you are with your family, you should be with them.
4.  “Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli.”

Priorities are important, and so are the promises we make to the people we love.  Don’t let work responsibilities stand in the way of family obligations.
5.  “I’ll take care of you now. I’m with you now. I’m with you.”
godfather 2
We owe something to the people who raised us.  Someday we may be called upon to care for them as they cared for us.
What lessons have you learned from the movies?


29 Responses

  1. Fran says:

    Great analogy

  2. Agatha says:

    Love this. Via the Creative Bloggers Networks

  3. Liz says:

    You should ALWAYS bring the cannoli! 🙂

  4. Rachel says:

    Love the analogy!

  5. SixPackMommy says:

    Perfect! I love The Godfather movies (the Italian in me can’t help it…), but some of your points made me sentimental. Especially #5. I forgot that moment, but so beautiful. And so true.

  6. This is great, and very insightful. “Leave the gun, take the cannoli” love that!

  7. I love The Godfather. I always wanted a family like that… minus the crime and all 🙂 This was a great comparison!

  8. Amy Nielson says:

    Family is so important, and food is up there too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I’m probably the only one left on Earth the hasn’t seen the Godfather, but I really admire the dedication to family that this otherwise really violent group seems to have.

  10. AshleyTriesIt, you’re not alone. I too haven’t watched the Godfather, but family is very important! Great job Leslie! Via the Creative Bloggers Networks

  11. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
    lol “…and children, that’s what happens when we ignore our part of the household chores!”

  12. “Leave the fun. Take the cannoli.” A classic (and smart) lesson indeed. Great post!

  13. jaxbeanstalks says:

    Great post!

  14. I love watching movies that I haven’t seen in a long time and seeing things so differently! I might just go and do that with The Godfather! Thanks Leslie for the great idea.

  15. Ali A says:

    Movies like this (and shows like Sopranos) always have great lessons like this even though the underlying theme is the mob, violence, etc. I’m Italian and there’s so much to be learned from these works about family, loyalty, trust, and yes…food 🙂

  1. March 1, 2015

    […] « Five Life Lessons from The Godfather […]

  2. January 2, 2017

    […] Five Life Lessons from the Godfather […]

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