When Fredo arrives in Cuba, Michael fills him in on what's happening and drops Johnny Ola and Hiram Roth's names.

Fredo says he doesn't know them, and that night when Michael introduces him to Johnny Ola, they feign ignorance about knowing each other. Not long after Fredo takes the group to the Superman show and nonchalantly lets it slip that Johnny Ola had previously taken him there.

He also lets slip Roth's name. If he's acting so guarded and nervous since the beginning of the movie, how does Fredo so easily slip-up?

Is there more to this in the book that the movie doesn't cover?

  • 4
    He was drunk when he let it slip.
    – BCdotWEB
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:24
  • 3
    It's well established that Fredo isn't very bright. Caught up in the moment, with a few drinks in him, it's easy to slip up. Dec 26, 2017 at 20:31
  • 1
    His "Oh hi Mr. Johnny who I've definitely never met" is pretty awkward and obvious, too. Michael's suspicious eyes definitely caught that.
    – jscs
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Is there more to this in the book that the movie doesn't cover?

There is no book.

The scenes set after the original Godfather are entirely original and not based on any novel although Puzo co-wrote the movie's screenplay with Coppola.

Fredo has always been a weak person and something of a bungler. He's never really been trusted with anything other than errards or "showing the guests a good time"....he's the "party organiser".

He's a terrible liar and can't keep lies straight in his head.

It's not clear whether Fredo's admission that Johnny Ola showed him the nightclub was intended/meant to be overheard by anyone (especially Michael) since the comment was directed to Sen. Geary but its indicative of Fredo's character than he makes this mistake.

Plus...he's drunk...as the script makes clear

Our group are in a large Havana bar; the walls totally covered with hundreds of fifths of different types of rum and other liquor.

A couple of the girls from the show are out with the men; Yolanda herself is giving them a private song and dance.

Fredo is a little loaded, and especially attentive to Michael this night.

Fredo's party standing on the ramp, looking down at the spectacle. They're a little woozy from the drinks and late hour. Michael is with them, but now we sense he is using this time, with them all exhausted and drunk, to come to some important conclusions.

  • "meant to be overheard by anyone" Well, he yells it over his shoulder to Senator Geary.
    – jscs
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:35
  • Overheard...but it was directed at Geary...just goes to show how incompetent Fredo really was.
    – Paulie_D
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:41

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