New York City, New York, U.S.
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Richard Conte |
Michael Kopsa (voice)
- "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 Capos 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 assassinate Vito Corleone at a parade turned into a massacre, he began to see the tide turning and betrayed his boss Giuseppe Mariposa for Vito Corleone.
Rise to powerEdit
After Mariposa's death, Barzini took over the remnants of Mariposa's organization and presided as head of the renamed Barzini family. Under his leadership he rebuilt the family to be considered the second most powerful crime family in both New York and the nation, behind only Vito Corleone. Barzini 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
Barzini was respected enough by Don Corleone to be invited to the wedding of his daughter Connie even though Vito knew Barzini attempted to assassinate him. Barzini had an interest in expanding into drug trafficking introducing Sollozzo to Bruno Tattaglia. Barzini used the Tattaglia family as a pawn to approach Vito Corleone. When Vito refused to participate in the heroin trade, however Sonny showed disappointment in the decision. Barzini and Sollozzo secretly conspired with the other families to force the Corleones to open up their territory to drug trafficking. After two attempted assassination attempts by the Tattaglia family, the Corleone and Tattaglia family went to war. While Barzini was shielded from the war. Following the death of Virgil Sollozzo and Mark McCluskey, Barzini encouraged all the families to go to war with the Corleone's because of the additional police attention sparking the Five Families War. However Barzini was most likely was looking for revenge for the death of Sollozzo.
Barzini approached Carlo Rizzi after an altercation the two had in public, 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 Philip 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 had used his contacts in the Sicilian mafia to assassinate Michael Corleone with a car bomb. However, Apollonia, Michael's wife, was instead killed by the car bomb meant for Michael.
- "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. Unbeknown to Don Barzini, the Corleones were allowing Barzini to muscle in on the Corleone interests to lull him into inaction and soon after Michael returned from hiding in Sicily, he and Don Corleone began making plans on retaliating. At Vito Corleone's funeral, Barzini approached Salvatore Tessio to organise another peace summit where Michael was to be killed, this revealed Tessio as the traitor. However, Barzini didn't know that he had walked into a neatly arranged trap.
A few days after Don Corleone's death, Barzini was assassinated on the steps of 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, as he turned to run away.
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. He was a businessman in an a more American sense, eschewing the old Sicilian ideals, which would prove his undoing when he did not kill Johnny Trapani's son in 1936, causing him to become a thorn in the family's side later.
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 Godfather: The Game, Emilio Barzini orders the murder of Johnny Trapani, but spares his wife and son, who is promised by Don Corleone that one day, he will be able to take his revenge.
In the mid 1930s Barzini made co tribunal attempts to gain more ground in New York, notably in Little Italy, his rival's turf. But his attempts were thwarted by Johnny Trapani, a Capo. In revenge, Barzini blew up Trapani's Bakery and murdered Johnny, sparing his widow Serafina and young son Aldo. However, the resulting scandal meant he had to withdraw from Little Italy, selling the ruins of the bakery to the Stracci family.
Years later, during the Five Families 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 is referred to by the Tattaglia Underboss as "The Wolf".
During the Baptism, 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.
Behind the scenesEdit
- 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.
- Barzini is portrayed in the film by character actor Richard Conte, and in the video game by voice actor Michael Kopsa.
- In the screenplay, Barzini meets Cuneo's fate, being shot in the revolving door by Al Neri.
Notes and referencesEdit
|Don of the Barzini crime family|