- "If Don Corleone had all the judges and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can -- present a bill for such services; after all -- we are not Communists."
- ―Emilio Barzini[src]
Emilio Barzini was the head of the Barzini crime family.
In the early 1930s, Barzini became one of the chief lieutenants in Giuseppe Mariposa's organization, along with his brother Ettore. He began to grow unhappy with Mariposa after Mariposa murdered his friend "Tits" merely on suspicion of treachery, and after Barzini's attempt to assasinate Vito Corleone turned into a massacre, he began to see the tide turning and betrayed his master to Corleone.
After Mariposa's death, Barzini took over the remnants of his organization and presided as head of one of New York's Five Families. He was generally reckoned as the second most powerful Mafia chieftain in both New York and the nation, behind only Vito Corleone. He rose to power shortly after Don Corleone and was a physical presence in the 1940s. He had interests in markets such as narcotics, gambling and prostitution, and was also clever enough to be interested in Las Vegas and Cuba. He was also linked to Wall Street politics and the Mafia in Sicily.
Role in the warEdit
He was respected enough by Don Corleone to be invited to the wedding of his daughter Connie. However, when his counterpart refused to participate in the heroin trade, Barzini secretly conspired with the other families to make war with the Corleones, forcing them to make peace and open up their territory to drug trafficking. His influence maintained the crippled Tattaglia family following the death of Virgil Sollozzo in 1946, sparking off the Five Families War.
To this end, he approached Carlo Rizzi with a plot to draw acting boss Sonny Corleone out to the Jones Beach Causeway tollbooth where he was ambushed and killed. Don Corleone forbade any inquiries into Sonny's death, instead asking Barzini to help him set up a peace summit. It was at this meeting that Don Corleone discovered that Phillip Tattaglia, as apparent instigator of the war against the Corleone family, was not calling the shots. Barzini was the puppet master inconspicuously orchestrating the anti-Corleone alliance. Tattaglia betrayed his true and diminished role by desperately seeking Don Corleone's promise of peace, and turning to Barzini for his approval and guarantee of protection.
- "Barzini will move against you first. He'll set up a meeting with someone that you absolutely trust -- guaranteeing your safety. And at that meeting, you'll be assassinated. "
- ―Vito Corleone to Michael Corleone[src]
Not satisfied with the submission of the Corleones, Barzini began chipping away at their territories in New York. At Don Corleone's funeral, Barzini approached Salvatore Tessio to organize another peace summit where Vito's heir Michael would be ambushed. However, Barzini didn't know that he had walked into a neatly arranged trap. Soon after Michael returned from hiding in Sicily, he and Don Corleone began making plans to wipe out Barzini and the other New York Dons. It turned out that Michael deliberately allowed Barzini to muscle in on the Corleone interests to lull him into inaction.
A few weeks after Don Corleone's death, Barzini was assassinated along with the other conspirators. After bribing a judge at the courthouse on Manhattan's Foley Square, Barzini came out to find Al Neri, disguised as a police officer, killing his bodyguards and driver. Before Barzini could react, Neri shot him twice in the back, killing him instantly.
He was succeeded by Paul Fortunato.
Personality and traitsEdit
Emilio Barzini was a man much like Don Corleone, but more modern, more sophisticated, more businesslike. He could never be called an old Moustache Pete and he had the confidence of the newer, younger, brasher leaders on their way up. He was a man of great personal force in a cold way, with none of Don Corleone's warmth.
In the video gameEdit
In the video game, Emilio Barzini oversees the murder of Johnny Trapani by two of his capos for interference in his business. The resulting scandal causes Barzini to withdraw his interests in Little Italy and he gaines something of a grudge against the Corleones. Barzini also replicates Woltz' mansion by building the Barzini Compound in Midtown, from which he rules with an iron fist. During the war, Barzini is initially confident of success, but begins to lose his grip following Sonny Corleone and Aldo Trapani's raid on the West Port Warehouse, which draws dangerously close to revealing the Barzinis role as the manipulators behind the violence. He was referred to by the Tattaglia Underboss as "The Wolf".
Death in the video gameEdit
- "I knew it - I knew it would be you. This isn't the end of the Barzinis, I swear it!"
- ―Emilio Barzini[src]
In the video game, after a long personal vendetta, Aldo is accompanied by Al Neri to the City Hall where instead of being gunned down on the steps, Barzini attempts to evade capture by Aldo. He is eventually cornered, and instead of putting up a fight, he admits defeat and taunts that the Barzinis are not yet terminated. The player then is left with the choice of how to kill him, finally avenging Aldo's father 19 years after his death.
Real life sourcesEdit
Emilio Barzini is believed to be modeled on Vito Genovese. Genovese wanted to become "Boss of Bosses" and ordered the deaths of rival mobsters in the 1950s. He was also a strong supporter of the narcotics trade.
In The Family Corleone Barzini betrays his boss, Giuseppe Mariposa, during a meeting in a Brooklyn restaurant between Mariposa and Salvatore Tessio. When Barzini leaves the meeting, Salvatore Tessio and Tomasino Cinquemani murder Mariposa. This is a reference to Joe Masseria's murder after he was betrayed by his top lieutenant, Lucky Luciano, who also left a meeting at a Brooklyn restaurant in order for his assassins to murder Masseria.
Notes and referencesEdit
|Don of the Barzini crime family|
|1931 - 1955||Succeeded by:|