There is a lot of speculation surrounding the potential symbolism of oranges in The Godfather. The primary interpretation being that whenever an orange is shown, there is impending doom on either the person handling the orange or an orange being shown in the scene:
- Sal grabbing an orange at Connie's wedding. Sal later betrayed the family and Michael had him killed.
- Tom Hagen's dinner with Jack Woltz shows a bowl of oranges on the table. Woltz later wakes up with his prize race horse's head at the foot of his bed.
- Vito Corleone is buying oranges right before he is gunned down in the street and later drops a bag of oranges after he is shot.
- During the meeting of the five families, there is an orange shown in a fruit bowl. Michael later has the heads of the other families killed.
- Vito Corleone is cutting up an orange and puts an orange rind in his mouth to play with his grand son minutes before he falls over and dies in his garden.
There are more orange references in the film, but these are the primary scenes that fans ponder over.
Were the oranges intentionally added as some sort of symbolic representation of doom by filmmakers? I realize that there are also several scenes depicting oranges or the color orange in the sequels. If this was merely a coincidence in the first film, is there any evidence that filmmakers chose to continue adding oranges into the sequels due to fan speculation about them?
Note: There is much speculation on the Internet and several theories about the symbolism of these oranges. I am looking for a direct source from filmmakers or any person involved in the film.