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In the original movie, we see Genco in a scene talking to Vito about the actress who is his girlfriend and later, backstage, we watch him quietly leave as the girl is threatened even though Vito seems more than willing to help him against the man in the white suit, the local mafia guy Fanucci whom he will coincidentally shoot later.

That is the major scene for Genco in this version but in both the book and the Saga, we see Vito and his sons visit the dying Genco who has become his consigliere.

Now it seems to me that the cowardice Genco showed backstage would be a factor weighing heavily against him as both a friend and key member of his gang although it could be argued that his cowardice did not mean he was not smart, even perhaps meant he was smart and therefore could be a good consigliere.

Could it be that the editing was because Coppola recognized that it would be inconsistent to have both those scenes in the same movie?

Is there anything definitive from the movie makers in this respect?

EDIT: I am not sure if I have this straight: The hospital scene was filmed for I and the play/backstage scene was filmed and shown in II. So the elimination of the hospital scene was not needed due to any conflict between the two scenes; Genco is mentioned in GF I only by Sonny as Paulie_D says. So the inconsistency, if there is one, between cowardice and being consigliere only occurs watching both movies together, whether the hospital scene is included or not. I know the hospital scene is in the book but in my opinion it does not work well in the film. (It makes the scenes with Vito being menaced in the hospital just more scenes in a hospital and maybe this, come to think of it, is why the Genco hospital scenes were eliminated.)

  • I've added a quick addendum to bring this question out of the realm of asking for opinions. I hope that this is what you are after but please feel free to adjust as required. – Paulie_D Aug 18 '17 at 6:38
  • Genco wans't a gangster and was a true friend of Vito (not a gangster-friend like Sal or Pete) and Vito needed him to remain a legit civilian to have his name on the Genco Oil Company (Vito's front official business).So Genco, don't wanting to get into trouble with an armed man is a normal reaction for a regular civilian. – Silver Bebs Aug 18 '17 at 7:06
  • Vito would also expect Tom to backup when there is trouble around. – Silver Bebs Aug 18 '17 at 7:17
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Now it seems to me that the cowardice Genco showed backstage would be a factor weighing heavily against him as both a friend and key member of his gang although it could be argued that his cowardice did not mean he was not smart, even perhaps meant he was smart and therefore could be a good consigliere.

The whole scene is entirely filmic....it does not appear in the base novel so it's written by Coppola and based on his imagination.

So since Coppolla wrote the scene in its entirety he must have considered it in the light of showing the difference between Genco and Vito and highlighting that Vito is more likely to take direct action.

Recall, as far as Genco is concerned, Fanucci has the backing of the Black Hand. It's only when Vito indicates this is not the case that things change.

As for why it wasn't in the first film, it wasn't necessary for that story. When Coppola wanted to make Part II he used additional detail from the novel as the Prequel sections of the film.

Essentially, it's there in place of the more mundane hold that Fanucci had over the Abbandando family.

During World War I, when imported olive oil became scarce, Fanucci acquired a part-interest in the Abbandando grocery store by supplying it not only with oil, but imported Italian salami, hams and cheeses. He then moved a nephew into the store and Vito Corleone found himself out of a job.

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

Recall that Vito is a much stronger/ruthless/pragmatic character than Genco.

Genco and Vito were best friends from childhood and Genco was there on the "ground-floor" as Vito built his organisation. This makes him the logical person to be consigliere and we can, I think,safely assume that Genco served him well and faithfully or he would have been replaced.

There's also an indication that despite this youthful "cowardice", Genco managed to be a wartime consigliere during Vito's asencion

"If I had a wartime consigliere, a Sicilian, I wouldn't be in this shape. Pop had Genco, look what I got."

Sonny Corleone

  • Thanks for a thoughtful answer. Nonetheless, the scene backstage shows not just that Genco behaved in a cowardly fashion but had also lost the respect of Vito or if he had not, they really had a powerful friendship. But to me the central question is, does this have anything to do with the elimination of the hospital scene or simply the hospital was not that interesting? – Jeff Aug 19 '17 at 0:15

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