Why did Santino get killed in The Godfather? I recently watched the movie and I just don't get it. Why did he get killed by the order of Barzini?
Barzini was partners with Don Tattaglia. You might recall that after Luca Brasi was killed, Sonny had Tattaglia's son Bruno killed in response.
The morning after the hospital incident.
TESSIO, to MIKE and CLEMENZA: Sonny got mad. We hit Bruno Tattaglia four o'clock this morning.
Barzini knew Sonny was a hothead, and also knew that Sonny was overly protective of his sister Connie. So Barzini had Connie's husband give her a beating, which put Sonny (predictably) in a rage. Barzini then had his men wait at the tollbooths, knowing Sonny would take the causeway en route to Connie.
The hit on Sonny (Don Corleone's son) was payback for the hit he put on Tattaglia's son. This is what caused the Dons to finally meet; you put a hit on a Don's family member and they'll come to the table a lot quicker than if you put a hit on a footsoldier.
Since you are Don Barzini, shouldn't you be telling us instead of asking?
In the movies, Sonny is an uncontrollable, enraged wild dog, so the fact that they were at war meant that it would keep going until Sonny was satisfied (aka - all enemies involved in the hit on Vito were wiped out), even if it meant the destruction of all parties involved, including the Corleone family, whereas Vito, himself, would be willing to call an end to it if it seemed in the best interest of his family.
Sonny did not have that sense of business "detachment." Killing Sonny was a matter of self-preservation, I'd think. At the time of the hit, Sonny was still calling the shots and running the war at full speed.