Don Tommasino

Don Tommasino

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Don Lionele Tommasino is a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 from The Godfather
The Godfather
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

series of books and films.

Novel and first two films


Tommasino is an old friend of Vito Corleone
Vito Corleone
Vito Andolini Corleone is a fictional character and the main character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather trilogy, where he was portrayed by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and by Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II. Premiere Magazine listed Vito...

 from Vito's native village of Corleone, Sicily. By the 1920s, he has become a top-ranking soldier in the local Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 family, headed by Don Ciccio. As Vito's Genco Olive Oil Company--the front for his criminal activities--expanded its operations, Vito cut a deal in which he would distribute Tommasino's olive oil in the United States.

When Vito returned to Sicily to kill Don Ciccio and avenge the deaths of his parents and brother, Tommasino assists him in his scheme. They went to Ciccio's home, ostensibly to get his blessing for their venture. They succeeded in killing Ciccio, but in the midst of their escape, Tommasino is hit by a blast from a lupara
Lupara
Lupara is an Italian word used to refer to a sawn-off shotgun of the break-open type. It is traditionally associated with Cosa Nostra, the Italian organized crime group dominant in Sicily for their use of it in vendettas, defense—such as its use against Mussolini's army when he decided to break up...

shotgun, fired by one of Ciccio's bodyguards, and is shown sitting in a wheelchair as Vito and his family leave by train. Tommasino succeeds Ciccio as the local Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 chieftain of the town of Corleone, and would remain one of the Corleone family's strongest allies for almost half a century.

When Vito's son Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone
Michael Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. He is also the main character of the Godfather film trilogy that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, in which he was portrayed by Al Pacino, who was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his...

 murders drug lord Virgil Sollozzo
Virgil Sollozzo
Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists in Mario Puzo's The Godfather.In the novel, it is said that he got his nickname because he has a nose like a Turkish scimitar, has a Turkish wife and kids and also because he does much of his business in Turkey...

 and corrupt NYPD captain McCluskey in the mid 1940s, he is immediately dispatched to Sicily and placed under Tommasino's care; Tommasino ensures that Michael is kept safe from both the police and the Corleone family's enemies. By this time, Tommasino is able to pull himself upright while leaning on the door of his car. Shortly after the death of Michael's older brother, Sonny
Sonny Corleone
Santino "Sonny" Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and its 1972 film adaptation. He also appears as an infant, as a young boy, and an adult in The Godfather Part II....

, Tommasino gets word that the rival Barzini family
Emilio Barzini
Don Emilio Barzini is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and in its film adaptation, in which he is portrayed by Richard Conte-In the novel:...

 now knows Michael is hiding in Corleone and is now after him. Tommasino has Michael move to a villa in Syracuse
Syracuse, Italy
Syracuse is a historic city in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in...

, on the other side of the island. However, one of Michael's bodyguards, Fabrizio, is bought off by the Barzinis and attempts to assassinate Michael with a car bomb, killing Michael's new wife, Apollonia
Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone
Apollonia Corleone is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather. She is portrayed by Simonetta Stefanelli in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation.-In the novel:...

, instead. After this, Tommasino and Vito decide that Sicily has become too dangerous for Michael, and begin the process of moving him back to the United States. Despite this unfortunate incident, Tommasino maintains a close friendship with the Corleones.

The Godfather Part III


In 1980, Michael returns to Sicily to seek the elderly Tommasino's advice about making contacts in the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, in order to aid in his takeover of the Italian conglomerate Immobiliare. By this time, Tommasino is so frail he has to be lifted to and from chairs and car seats.

However, that same year, Tommasino is assassinated by the hitman Mosca, who had been hired by Don Altobello
Don Altobello
Osvaldo "Ozzie" Altobello is a fictional character and the primary antagonist of the film The Godfather Part III. He also appears in the novels The Godfather Returns and The Godfather's Revenge. In the film, he is portrayed by Eli Wallach....

 and Licio Lucchesi
Licio Lucchesi
Licio Lucchesi, often referred to simply as Don Lucchesi, is a fictional character in The Godfather Part III, in which he is, along with Don Altobello, one of the two chief antagonists...

 to kill Michael. Mosca had disguised himself as a Roman Catholic priest and was walking down the road with an associate of his who was dressed similarly. Tommasino pulled up in his car and offered Mosca a ride, but instantly recognized him for who he was. His cover blown, Mosca threatened Tommasino to help him to kill Michael Corleone. When Tommasino refused, Mosca shot Tommasino dead with a lupara
Lupara
Lupara is an Italian word used to refer to a sawn-off shotgun of the break-open type. It is traditionally associated with Cosa Nostra, the Italian organized crime group dominant in Sicily for their use of it in vendettas, defense—such as its use against Mussolini's army when he decided to break up...

hidden in his robe.

Tommasino's bodyguard, Calo, calls for revenge and sides with Michael. Soon afterward, Michael's successor, Vincent Corleone, orders Calo to visit Don Lucchesi at his home. He whispers a final message: "Power wears out those who don't have it", and kills him, seconds later, Calo is killed by Lucchesi's henchman.

Portrayals


Three different actors have played Tommasino in the three feature films. In The Godfather
The Godfather
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

, as a middle-aged man, he was portrayed by Corrado Gaipa
Corrado Gaipa
Corrado Gaipa was an Italian actor born in 1924 in Palermo, Sicily, Italy.Gaipa starred in many Italian films, and he also made an appearance in The Godfather as Don Tommasino. He was also known as the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, portrayed by Alec Guinness, in the Italian version of the Star Wars...

. In The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American gangster film directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script co-written with Mario Puzo. The film is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, chronicling the story of the Corleone family following the events of the first film while also depicting the...

, a much younger Tommasino was portrayed by Mario Cotone. And in The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III is a 1990 American gangster film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire...

, as an elderly man, he was portrayed by Vittorio Duse
Vittorio Duse
Vittorio Duse was an Italian actor born on March 21, 1916 in Marche, Italy. He died on June 2, 2005 in Rome, Italy....

.