In The Godfather, when Tessio learns his fate, he says :

Tell Mike it was only business... I always liked him.

Then a bodyguard reaches his jacket pocket to take Tessio's gun.

It looks like Tessio was considering reaching his gun at this very moment. Was he seriously considering taking out all the goons and escaping? He seem to have accepted his fate, then he had this slight arm movement that bothers me.

Details from the book are welcome.

1 Answer 1


I think it doubtful that he was reaching for a gun.

It looked as though he might have just been reaching towards Tom Hagen (perhaps for a handshake goodbye?)

However, the only indication from the novel is...

At that moment three more bodyguards materialized around them. Hagen said gently, “I can’t go with you either, Tessio.”

The ferret-faced caporegime understood everything in a flash of a second. And accepted it. There was a moment of physical weakness, and then he recovered. He said to Hagen, “Tell Mike it was business, I always liked him.

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

The bodyguard removing the gun is not in the novel.

  • 4
    I think the "fight or flight" instinct may have kicked in for a second, but he realized there was no point. Tessio was no dummy, as Michael said earlier when learned Tessio would betray him, "It's the smart move. Tessio was always smarter."
    – dbugger
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 12:16

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