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Frankie Pentangeli is before a committee ready give evidence against Michael Corleone. His brother enters the room and Frankie to immediately changes his story.

Was it just out of guilt or was there another less obvious reason?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There's another less obvious reason that was left out of the final cut of the film.

From Wikipedia:

The finished film leaves unclear exactly what about his brother's presence motivated Frank to change his story. The final film only states that Vincenzo is himself a Mafia chieftain in Sicily. An early draft of the film explains that Vincenzo, shocked that Frankie is about to break his blood oath and betray the Corleones to government authorities, attends the hearing to remind Frankie that he must not break the Mafia's code of silence, Omertà. His brother's presence, as well as the stare they exchanged, serves as a threat that if Frankie follows through with his planned testimony, retribution will be taken against his children, who are living in Sicily under Vincenzo's guardianship.

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+1 Wow, never knew that. I always interpreted this along the lines of his brother sitting with Michael's men as a sign to Frankie that they will punish his brother if Frankie talks. In fact his brother didn't come across like a Mafioso in any way (and I must have missed where they stated it). –  Napoleon Wilson Nov 7 '12 at 9:30
    
@NapoleonWilson - When Tom goes to visit Frankie in custody and they go through the story about how Romans would commit suicide in order to protect their families and make sure they were taken care of, Frankie mentions his brother was so powerful that he could have come to America and had his own crime family. –  Johnny Bones yesterday

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