|Affiliation||Corleone family |
|Title(s)||Former Police Officer, Soldato, Caporegime, Underboss, Former Chief of Security at family-owned Casino|
Career with the NYPDEdit
Al Neri began his career as a New York City policeman where he earned a reputation as a legitimately tough officer due to his fierce temper and quick reflexes. He frequently patrolled the streets with a large flashlight which he used to great effect, either cracking up the foreheads of Italian youths that ran with street gangs or shattering the windshields of diplomats who showed no regard for traffic laws. After his wife, Rita, left him because of her fear of his temper, Neri killed violent pimp Wax Baines who was in the process of slashing a little girl. Neri accomplished this by shattering Baines' with his flashlight; he was later convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
Tom Hagen and Peter Clemenza saw in Neri's record a parallel to Luca Brasi, Vito Corleone's previous enforcer, and arranged for his release before he served any prison time. Michael, appealing to Al's sense of loyalty and Sicilian roots, recruited him into Clemenza's regime. He "made his bones" soon afterward, and eventually became Michael's chief lieutenant and most loyal ally.
Career as a CorleoneEdit
- "I got Moe Greene mugged and numbered up here"
- ―Al Neri[src]
After Sal Tessio was killed for betraying Michael, Neri took control of the old Tessio regime.
The move to NevadaEdit
When Michael and his family moved to Nevada, Al became head of security for all hotels controlled by the Corleones. By this time, Al was seen to be an unofficial second-in-command to Michael. He functioned as one of Michael's caporegimes alongside Rocco Lampone and Frank Pentangeli. He was responsible for a prostitute's murder that guaranteed the loyalty of Senator Pat Geary. He also forced Meyer Klingman, a rival hotel owner, into selling out to the Corleones. Al was personally responsible for carrying out the assassination of Michael's brother Fredo Corleone - a murder that was ordered by Michael because of Fredo's betrayal of him as well as the Corleone family.
Al remained loyal to Michael, and when Michael's mother died, he was seen at the funeral paying his respects.
In the 1960s, Al began to work closely with his nephew Thomas, who had also been accepted into the family business. The two of them were instrumental in the search for the turncoat Nick Geraci, and interrogated Nick's father Fausto for information. Fausto died from his wounds without revealing anything.
When the traitor was found, Al was injured in a shootout, but managed to survive and witness Nick's execution at the hands of Eddie Paradise.
- "Look! I'd love to smack Joey Zasa and then whack the bag, Okay? But it's impossible. He's always mingling with people. In front of TV cameras, in his own neighborhood, it's impossible."
- ―Al Neri[src]
By 1979, the aging assassin was still working for the Corleones, his loyalty to Michael extending to the new Don, Michael's nephew Vincent, who he assisted in helping Michael escape a Commission meeting that was being attacked by Joey Zasa.
It was Al and Connie Corleone who gave the go-ahead for Vincent's assasination of Joey Zasa shortly after, despite his protests that it would never work. Vincent's associate Lou Pennino mocked Joey Zasa and scratched the Cadillac that Zasa had bought as a prize for a raffle winner. Neri was disguised as one of the bearers of the Virgin Mary, then when he was close enough, he exposed his shotgun and shot Zasa's right-hand-man, Anthony Squigliaro, and observing Joey's flight before he was shot down by Vincent, who was disguised as a cop riding horse-back.
Al's talents were called upon once again when Vincent ordered him to kill Archbishop Gilday in revenge for the priest's intrigue against the family. He hid his gun beneath a box of chocolates as to get past Vatican Security, and shot the Archbishop as he ascended a spiral staircase, he then threw the Archbishop's lifeless body down the centre of the staircase.
It is unknown what happened to Neri after this hit, he presumably retired following Vincent's takeover as Don.
Personality and traitsEdit
Al Neri seems to have a sociopathic, or possibly psychopathic personality, throughtout the series he kills a large number of people, though of course under orders. This includes a prostitute whom he killed in a very bloody way. He is well trusted by the Corleones and eventually becomes the family's underboss, this is a testament to his huge amount of loyalty. Whilst he was a Police officer he was famed for his explosive temper, quick reflexes and brute physical strength which led to him taking the place of the assasinated Luca Brasi as head enforcer and first choice hitman for the family.
While he is paralleled to Luca Brasi, there are several differences between the two. Brasi was a powerful, individual man who was already into crime before meeting the The Godfather. He was known for his savagery, strength, and implied "evil" in each of his actions. He was mostly viewed as a monstrous type of person, and while he worked loyally for the Corleones he often lived and moved by himself, only coming in to help Vito when he was asked for, or when he felt he needed to take initiative (such as when Vito got attacked).
Al is quite different from all this. While he does seem to have little problem hurting and killing others, as a police officer he seemed to be primarily doing this because of his belief in justice (he smashes windows of the cars of diplomats for not obeying the law; this is a rash action though clearly not motivated by any bloody desires). Neri was also brought into the family during a weak moment, when he was just arrested. He also does not appear evil at all, as he was happily married before his wife left him. He was never angry or rough to his wife at all, while Brasi killed his 'lover' shortly after she bore his child. It appears that the real reason Neri was chosen to be the replacement was because of his powerful physical abilities, his fierce loyalty, and knowledge of police procedure, and many old contacts in the Department.
Al Neri was described as watchful, taciturn, ruthless and unswerving in his loyalty to Michael. He was described as relating to Michael as one would an elder, though there was only an approximate five-year difference in age between them.
Murders commited by Al NeriEdit
- Drug dealer and pimp Wax Baines when he was still a New York Police Officer.
- In the novel, it is heavily implied that Neri shoots Moe Greene to death, however, according to the film, this would be physically impossible as Barzini and Greene were killed on the same day and Greene lived on the West Coast, while Barzini was killed in New York.
- Don Emilio Barzini.
- Barzini's unnamed bodyguard.
- Barzini's unnamed driver.
- Fabrizio, killed with a car-bomb off screen.
- An unnamed prostitute with the intention of blackmailing Pat Geary.
- Fredo Corleone, for his betrayal of Michael.
- Sal Narducci's henchman, killed and buried in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Fausto Geraci, Nick Geraci's father, in an attempt to find infomation about his son's where-abouts result in a heart attack.
- Anthony Squigliaro, gun shot in the chest in Little Italy.
- Archbishop Liam Gilday.
In the video gameEdit
In the video game, Al Neri becomes responsible for undermining the power structure of the Barzini family, and orders the hits of Jaggy Jovino, Big Bobby Toro, Pietro Testa, Domenico Mazza and Emilio Barzini, Jr directly under Michael's order. Again adds up to the new Michael's Consigliere, befalling Tom Hagen.
All of these hits are carried out by Aldo Trapani who met with Neri at a park in Midtown to receive the commissions.
Notes and referencesEdit
|Underboss of the Corleone family|