In the film Michael has the heads of the other four New York families assassinated.

These include Barzini, Tattaglia, Cuneo and Stracci.

In the novel, it is only Emilio Barzini and Philip Tattaglia that are assassinated.

Is there any explanation in the film as to why Cuneo and Stracci are also murdered? If I remember correctly it was only Barzini and Tattaglia that conspired to murder Vito and later Michael Corleone. I can't remember a mention of Cuneo and Stracci getting involved?

  • Cuneo sided with his fellow dons against the Corleone family. Stracci embraced the scheme of Don Emilio Barzini to unite against the Corleone family and force them into the heroin trade
    – A-K
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 22:22

2 Answers 2


Stacci and Cuneo, while not killed in the book, were aligned with the Barzini and Tattaglia families against the Corleone family to create the heroin trade:

Stracci embraced the scheme of Don Emilio Barzini to unite against the Corleone family and force them into the heroin trade. Wikipedia

[The] Cuneo family, along with Stracci, Barzini and Tattaglia crime families decide to invest in the Sollozzo heroin trade, but when Sollozzo is killed in 1946 by Michael Corleone, Ottilio Cuneo declares war, with the other families on the Corleone family Wikipedia

The obvious reason for them to be killed in the movie is they were also against them in the war that killed Sonny. It makes sense to me that Michael would want to eliminate those who conspired in (or failed to stop) the attack on his father and murder of his brother.


The movie didn't go into detail regarding the Barzini-Tattaglia Alliance that played such a crucial role in the book. Sure, Cuneo and Stracchi sided with the Tattaglias (and Barzinis) before Vito agreed to lend his political support to the heroin trade but that was strictly from a business point of view. They really had no other choice than to make war against the Corleones because of the hit on Sollozzo and McClusky, stifling progression for everybody.

When the peace was made at the meeting, the Cuneo and Stracchi families simply went their own way and didn't try to muscle in on Corleone interests. But because Barzini and Tattaglia gained a lot of power (they controlled most of the drug trafficking), they got greedy and started pushing the Corleone family out of New York.

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