Every time I watch The Godfather I feel a little bad for Paulie.

He is quickly suspected of treachery, just for being sick the day of Vito Corleone's failed attempted murder. The result of not being able to work was his replacement by incompetent Fredo.

I know it's a common trope in these movies that they don't believe in coincidences... but what if?

Is there some elements that prove that Paulie really sold the Don? Isn't the job of Corleone Family's HR to replace a sick driver by another competent man?

  • Note that he is not really treated with much respect/affection by Clemenza during the wedding, perhaps indicating that Clemenza already has some doubts about him. And in the only scene that focuses on him, Paulie muses about stealing the wedding purse: he is being established as someone motivated by money, easily bribed.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


No...they don't believe in co-incidences but they're not conclusive.

Paulie Gatto had been sick before but still...

So, they checked...the novel makes this clear.

Sonny said, “We have people in the telephone company and they tracked down all of Paulie’s phone calls in and out. Clemenza’s too. On the three days Paulie was sick this month he got a call from a street booth across from the old man’s building. Today too. They were checking to see if Paulie was coming down or somebody was being sent down to take his place. Or for some other reason. It doesn’t matter.” Sonny shrugged. “Thank God it was Paulie. We’ll need Clemenza bad.”

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

  • I really need to read the novel... it seems to explain a lot! Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 15:11
  • 2
    It does...it's a cracking read, there's so much more depth to it than the movie.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 15:12
  • This was also an additional (i.e. deleted) scene from the first movie, made available as bonus content on the Coppola Restoration edition.
    – Prometheus
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 3:01
  • I agree with Paulie -- anyone who liked GF I would like the book although there might be parts that seem pointless; but there are many other parts that go into things like the background of characters which I found fascinating.
    – releseabe
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 10:32

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