American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Godfather: Part II" (1974)


Frankie Pentangeli Testifies Before the Senate Committee

Audio mp3 delivered principally by Michael V. Gazzo, William Bowers, Peter Donat and Robert Duvall


Committee Chairman: State your name, please.

Pentangeli: Frank Pentangeli.

Committee Chairman: And where were you born?

Pentangeli: Par Panico -- it's outside of Palermo.

Committee Chairman: And where do you live now?

Pentangeli: I live, uh, in an army barracks with the FBI guys.

Committee Chairman: We have here, finally, a witness that will further testify to Michael Corleone's rule over a criminal empire that controls all of the gambling in this country and perhaps in other countries. This witness has had no buffer between himself and Michael Corleone. He can corroborate our charges on enough counts for this committee to recommend a charge of perjury against Michael Corleone.



Senator #1: Thank you, Senator. Mr. Pentangeli -- Mr. Pentangeli, were you a member of the Corleone family? Did you serve under Caporegime Peter Clemenza, under Vito Corleone -- also known as "The Godfather?"

Pentangeli: I -- I never know no Godfather. I have my own family, Senator.


Senator Questadt: Mr. Pentangeli, you -- you are contradicting a sworn statement you've previously made to me and signed. I ask you again, sir,  here and now under oath: Were you at any time a member of a crime organization headed by Michael Corleone?

Pentangeli: I don't know nothin' about that. Oh! I was in the olive oil business with his father, but that was a long time ago. That's all.

Committee Chairman: We have a sworn affidavit -- we have it -- your sworn affidavit that you murdered on the orders of Michael Corleone. Do you deny that confession, and do you realize what will happen as a result of your denial?

  Pentangeli: Look, the FBI guys, they promised me a deal. So, so I made up a lot of stuff about Michael Corleone 'cause that's what they wanted.

But -- But it was all lies. Uh...everything!

Pentangeli: They kept saying Michael Corleone did this and Michael Corleone did that. So, I said, "Yeah, sure." Why not?

Senator #2: Mr. Corleone, would you kindly identify for the committee the gentleman sitting to your left?


Tom Hagen: I can answer that. His name is Vincenzo Pentangeli.

Senator #2: Is he related to the witness?

Tom Hagen: He is, I believe, his brother.

Senator Questadt: Will he come forward and be sworn, sir?

Tom Hagen: Sir, this man does not understand English. He came at his own expense to aid his brother in his time of trouble. He's not under subpoena and his reputation in his own country is impeccable.

Senator Questadt: Are you saying he knows nothing about these matters?

Tom Hagen: To my knowledge, nothing.

Committee Chairman: I'm gonna find out what the hell happened here. Alright this committee is now adjourned. The witness is excused.

Tom Hagen: Senator? Senator? This committee owes an apology! This committee owes an apology -- apology, Senator!

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