The Godfather series can not only be called the best work made in the gangster cinema genre, but it can also be one of the best films in the history of cinema. On the other hand, we can use exactly the same sentence for the Sopranos series in the medium of television series; A series that is not only the best gangster series in the history of television, but for many, it is considered one of the best series made in the history of this entertainment medium. It is not without reason that the similarities between The Sopranos series and The Godfather movies have made gangster genre fans consider it the best heir to the Godfather series in the new century.
Tony Soprano in the Sopranos series and Vito Corleone in The Godfather movies have almost followed the same path to make a good life for themselves as Italian mafia in Manhattan. Vito Corleone in New York and Tony Soprano a little further in New Jersey; Vito Corleone with a classic image and Tony Soprano with more modern elements; Vito Corleone in a very big house with his family and Tony Soprano in a very big house with his family. The similarities between these two works are not few, and for this reason, in this article, we decided to take a look at the similar elements, dialogues and sequences that are present in both of these great works.
“Note: reading this article may spoil important parts of the story of The Sopranos and The Godfather”
1- Genko olive oil
Well, we will start the first part of this article with a topic related to Vito Corleone’s business in The Godfather. A business that only runs on the surface, and behind the curtain, other things are done that everyone knows enough about. Vito Corleone’s legitimate business was run under the name Genko Olive Oil, and it is very clearly mentioned in the series The Sopranos, and the creators of the series also point out that they used it as a small tribute to Vito Corleone.
In the sixth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos, the episode Everybody Hurts, AJ’s character, in order to impress the girl he liked, decides to introduce her to his father’s business with his friends and gives them the calculator of his father’s work. Meanwhile, one night, AJ agrees to take them to Bing, but instead he takes them to Satriale’s shop, or the same shop where his father’s business runs.
AJ’s friend Patrick, played by a young Paul Dunnoy, tries to explain the purpose of this shop to his friends, why Tony Soprano needs this shop. Meanwhile, when he makes sure that this shop is only used for the appearance of Tony Soprano’s business, he compares it to Genko Olive Oil, the same business of Vito Corleone.
2- The man who does not cry!
First of all, let’s say that anyone who has said that a man does not cry and believes in this statement should really think about himself. We don’t have anyone bigger and more powerful than Tony Soprano and Michael Corleone, and these two people have finally cried somewhere. Tony Soprano’s daughter, Maddo’s character, in the third episode of the first season (Denial, Anger, Acceptance) performs a piece as her last performance in high school, as a result of which Tony and Carmela become completely emotional and you can see their tears.
In the third episode of The Godfather movies, we can see Michael Corleone watching his son Tony sing. The song that Tony sings to Michael and Michael becomes not only emotional, but also cries with Al Pacino’s wonderful acting. Both Tony Soprano and Michael Corleone are considered to be charismatic characters, and if other people see them cry, it will undoubtedly be seen as a weakness for them. Therefore, with all their efforts to appear strong, they still cannot control their emotions when watching their children.
3- The collapse of the family
At the beginning of the fifth season of The Sopranos, Tony and Carmella are completely separated from each other, and Tony lives in his mother’s house nearby. The first episode of this season, titled Two Tonys, opens with a montage where we can watch the backyard of the Sopranos’ house as it has never been so chaotic during the series. The yard of this family was always tidy and Tony attached great importance to his yard. After moving him in this montage, we can watch their yard full of tree leaves and with the presence of a lot of garbage and most importantly without any trace of order and cleanliness.
These images in that montage speak very well about the inside of the Sopranos family, which is not the same after Tony’s departure. This montage also directly refers to the opening images of the third episode of The Godfather, that after Michael and Kay’s separation, their family was no longer the same. Just like Michael Corleone, Tony Soprano is finally alone and has to face the results of his past actions. This harsh reality hits him like a slap in the face when he realizes how his actions have caused irreparable damage to his family.
4- It is not impossible
In the third part of the last season of The Sopranos, titled Mayham, we see the character of AJ, who intends to buy a gun from his uncle or the same character. Uncle Junior kill him and take revenge on him. If you have watched the entire series, you know the reason for his work and there is no need to reveal the details of the story in that sequence. That’s why the characters of Christopher and Bobby stand in front of him to bring this troubled teenager to his senses and show him that he is doing a stupid mistake. Bobby and Christopher tell AJ that there is no way he can achieve his goal because the person AJ is targeting is in federal prison.
AJ tells them in this sequence: “It’s hard but not impossible”. This dialogue was present in the second part of Godfather in exactly the same way and in the service of this path. When Michael Corleone along with Rocco and Tom (Robert Duval) are coming up with a plan to kill Hyman Roth’s character, Rocco tells the two of them that they have to get past Hyman Roth’s bodyguards. It is difficult but not impossible. You may say that many dialogues can be present in both works by chance, but this dialogue was suggested by Robert Eiler, who played the role of AJ, for this sequence because he was very fond of Rocco’s dialogue in the second part of The Godfather.
5- Tony’s secret place
In that part of the series where Tony was under a lot of mental pressure due to the actions of the character of Tony B played by Steve Buscemi and the murder he had committed, he had a very strange dream one night. In that dream, he witnesses that he is having dinner at the dinner table in a completely normal manner with some strange guests. This same dream disturbs his soul and mind, and after waking up, he comes to the conclusion that something bad is about to happen, and he looks for his gun behind the toilet, as he was in the bathroom.
Tony Soprano: “An old Italian proverb says: If you screw up once, you’ll lose two of your teeth!”
At that moment, he realizes that there is nothing there, and this makes him more stressed than before. He looks at the mirror while distracted, and this moment was considered a very familiar moment for many fans of The Godfather movies. In the first episode of The Godfather, when Michael grabs his gun from behind the toilet to kill Solazzo’s character, he gives a look similar to Tony’s look in the mirror. The look of Tony and Michael and the placement of the equipment in that scene are very similar to each other, which make this sequence another similarity between these two works.
6- Whatever is in my power
In this part, we again refer to a common dialogue, but with the difference that this dialogue is delivered in both works in the same story line and in the same place by the characters present in the sequence. In the second episode of the third season of The Sopranos, titled Proshai, Livushka, after Tony’s mother, Livia, dies, Tony and his sister Janice, along with Barbara, go to Mr. Coetzerly to coordinate their mother’s funeral. possible conditions to hold.
Mr. Coetzerly, who is well aware of the power of the Soprano family, assures Tony in this episode that he will do everything in his power to make Livia’s ceremony the best. He uses the phrase All My Power, All My Skills at this moment, which we faced in the first episode of The Godfather in exactly the same way. In the first film of this series, after the death of Sonny’s character, Vito Corleone’s character asks the organizer of the mourning ceremony to use all his power so that Sonny is buried in the best possible conditions in front of his mother.
Vito Corleone uses exactly the same phrase for this command at that moment; A phrase that could be used in many side stories and in many other parts of the series as well, but using it exactly for a mourning ceremony is not something to be considered a coincidence.
7- Orange, orange juice
In the twelfth episode of the first season of The Sopranos and in the episode called Isabella, we see that Tony’s depression has become very serious and has put him under a lot of pressure. For this reason, when the character of Uncle Jr., who has just become the boss, receives the rumors about Tony going to a psychologist, he decides to finish Tony’s job because Tony going to a psychologist is definitely a negative point and a weakness for them. In that episode, when Tony Soprano is in front of a stall, he is attacked by two people, but with his good luck, he manages to escape from the danger and does not experience serious injury.
In that episode, we see that Tony was getting into his car with a bottle of orange juice in his hand when he was attacked. This issue is seen in exactly the same way in the first episode of The Godfather, but with the difference that in that sequence, Vito Corleone buys some oranges from a vendor before they attack him, and after he gets into his car, he sees that many oranges have been shot. And they probably won’t be edible anymore.
Now, why was an orange juice bottle used in the Sopranos and not the orange itself for more similarity. With a simple search on the Internet, you will find that the orange fruit plays a prominent role in the Godfather movie, and we can see the orange fruit in about 10 different sequences. The orange fruit in this film is a metaphor for the fact that someone’s blood will probably be shed, and the creators of Soprano did not intend to use the orange fruit itself to create the belief that they intend to refer to an important death with this visual metaphor, like in the movie The Godfather.
8- Our main enemy
In the last case of the similarities between The Sopranos series and The Godfather movie series, we come to one of the most interesting and, of course, the most obvious similarities between these two great works. As we have seen many times during the series, the character of Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano’s right-hand man, could very well talk like the character of Michael Corleone played by Al Pacino in the movie The Godfather. He had many times amused other people by doing and talking like Michael. Silvio did this for the first time in the episode 46 Long does in the first season, but in the next season, this move plays a very prominent role in the main story of the series.
- Interesting facts about The Sopranos series
- A look at the modern elements of The Sopranos
In Season 2, in the Funhouse episode, Tony Soprano has strange dreams that hint that Bigpussy, Tony’s best friend, may be cheating on Tony and talking to the FBI about their business. In the same strange dreams, Tony confronts Silvio while walking on a sidewalk by the beach, and Silvio tells him: “Our main enemy has not revealed himself yet.” The sentence Our true enemy has yet to reveal himself is spoken by Al Pacino in the third part of The Godfather. The very interesting point of the story is that Silvio not only utters this sentence with the same accent as Michael Corleone, but he is wearing exactly the same clothes as Michael’s character in the movie; You can see his picture in the picture we posted earlier.
Finally, let’s mention dear Marlon Brando and James Gandolfini, who made the characters of Vito Corleone and Tony Soprano forever in history; Characters who will undoubtedly never be erased from the memory of us movie and series lovers.
What do you think about the similarities between The Sopranos series and The Godfather movies? Do you think we can consider these works as the best gangster works in their own medium? Share your opinion with us and other Zumji site audience.