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Emilio Barzini

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Emilio Barzini
Biographical Information
Aliases Don Barzini
Gender Male
Born ca. 1887[1]
Sicily
Died 1955[2]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Affiliation Mariposa family
Barzini family
Title(s) Don
Chairman of the Commission
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.

BiographyEdit

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 at a parade turned into a massacre, he began to see the tide turning and betrayed his master to Corleone.

Rise to powerEdit

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 1930s. 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.

The Trapani affairEdit

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 soldato under Peter Clemenza. 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.

Role in the warEdit

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Barzini presides over the Commission meeting.

Despite these troubles, Barzinis 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 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 begun to sniff out Michael Corleone at this time and had his wife Apollonia killed in a bomb meant for him.

DownfallEdit

"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]
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Emilio Barzini at Vito Corleone's funeral.

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 assassinated. 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 days 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.

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Barzini is gunned down on the courtroom steps.

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. 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]
Barzini game

Barzini oversees the death of Johnny Trapani.

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.

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".

Barzinideath

Barzini meets his end.

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.

InfluencesEdit

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.

Behind the scenesEdit

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

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