In The Godfather Part II why would Michael Corleone (pretend to) get approval from Hyman Roth to kill Frankie Pentangeli?

I understand that he was trying to mislead Roth regarding his suspicions and intentions, but why would he in any circumstance seek approval from a third party to kill one of his own people?


2 Answers 2


Because the Rosato brothers with whom Pentangeli is feuding are protected by Roth he needs to at least discuss potential action with Roth.

Michael: The Rosato Brothers have performed services for you in the past; I understand that they are under your protection.

but the important thing is the Cuba deal they're trying to put together.

Michael: The important thing is that nothing jeopardize our plans, yours and mine. This thing of ours, that we will build.

Killing Pentangeli will cause trouble and that's bad for business...and it's more like he's checking for objections rather than approval. The decision is made....it's now about the potential disturbance it will cause.

Michael: Pentangeli is a dead man; do you object?

Roth: It's always bad for business; but you have no choice.

So, he's not asking for permission or approval to kill Pentangeli exactly...more that he's seeking approval for the noise it will create.

Script Source


Paulie_D is totally right.

I also would like to add that at this moment, Michael strongly suspects Hyman Roth of the failed assassination attempt, coincidently just after a meeting with Frankie (refusing him to move against the Rosatos).

He is also checking Roth's reactions to see if he could get some tells. Maybe some reluctance would give Michael some doubts, but the fact that Roth accepts and wants to talk about something else confirm Michael's suspicions.

MICHAEL: The incident of the other night is a nuisance that I can take care of. I came to you because I want nothing to affect our agreement; I wanted to clear everything I'm going to do with you, just in case.

He also flatters Roth.

MICHAEL: You're a great man, Mr. Roth, I have much to learn from you.


MICHAEL: Technically, they are still under the Clemenza wing of the Corleone Family, now run by Frankie Pentangeli. After Clemenza died, the Rosatos wanted territory of their own. Pentangeli refused, and came to me, asking for permission to eliminate them. I, of course, knew of their relationship with you, and in gratitude for your help with the Tropicana matter, turned him down. Pentangeli was furious, and paid one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to have me killed. I was lucky and he was stupid. I'll visit him soon.

All this aims to make Roth believe that Michael doesn't suspect him at all. Michael is still trying to figure out who sold him (he doesn't know about Fredo yet).

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