Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Mario Puzo, fully Mario Gianluigi Puzo

American Screenwriter and Author of The Godfather

"Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer."

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

"Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger."

"A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults."

"Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold."

"I don't trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them."

"The man with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun."

"Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people."

"A man who is not a father to his children can never be a real man."

"And in that fraction of a second before anything actually happened, Santino Corleone knew he was a dead man."

"Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult."

"Behind every successful fortune, there is Crime."

"But let me say this. I am a superstitious man, a ridiculous failing but I must confess it here. And so if some unlucky accident should befall my youngest son, if some police officer should accidentally shoot him, if he should hang himself while in his jail cell, if new witnesses appear to testify to his guilt, my superstition will make me feel that it was the result of the ill will still borne me by some people here. Let me go further. If my son is struck by a bolt of lightning I will blame some of the people here. If his plane show fall into the sea or his ship sink beneath the waves of the ocean, if he should catch a mortal fever, if his automobile should be struck by a train, such is my superstition that I would blame the ill will felt by people here. Gentlemen, that ill will, that bad luck, I could never forgive. But aside from that let me swear by the souls of my grandchildren that I will never break the peace we have made. After all, are we or are we not better men than those pezzonovanti who have killed countless millions of men in our lifetimes?"

"Any man can turn traitor."

"?But you're the toughest son of a bitch I've ever seen. You never let anybody get near you. You never let anybody know what you really think."

"Certainly he can present a bill for such services. After all, we are not communists."

"Charity is salt in the wound. It is painful. The state gives charity with the bitter hatred of a victim to his blackmailer. The receiver of free money is subjected to harassment, insult, and profound humiliation. Newspapers are enlisted to heap scorn on the arrogant bastards who choose to beg instead of starve or let their children starve. It is made clear that the poor seek charity as a great and sordid chicanery in which they delight. And there are some who do. As there are people who take delight in sticking hot needles deep into their abdomens, swallow pieces of broken bottles. A special taste. Speaking for humanity in general, the poor accept charity with a shame and loss of self-respect that is truly pitiful."

"Even the strongest man needs friends."

"Do you believe a man can truly love a woman and constantly betray her? Never mind physically but betray her in his mind, in the very "poetry of his soul". Well, it's not easy but men do it all the time."

"Everything you do in life use percentage as your god."

"Falling in love is great but being in love is a disaster."

"Every man has but one destiny Veto Corleone"

"Every family has bad memories."

"Fredo you're my older brother and I love you. But don't ever take sides against the family."

"Freddie's face was anxious. Mike, you sure about Moe Greene selling? He never mentioned it me and he loves the business. I really don't think that he'll sell. Michael said quietly, I'll make him an offer he can't refuse. The words were said casually yet the effect was chilling."

"Friendship and money: oil and water."

"Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family."

"God seemed to be having a hard time killing him, and he'd be damned if he was going to make the job easy for mere mortals"

"Great men are not born great, they grow great."

"He had long ago learned that society imposes insults that must be borne, comforted by the knowledge that in this world there comes a time when the most humble of men, if he keeps his eyes open, can take his revenge on the most powerful. It was this knowledge that prevented the Don from losing the humility all his friends admired in him."

"Give this to Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who won't get carried away. I mean, we're not murderers, in spite of what this undertaker says."

"He was a degenerate gambler. That is, a man who gambled simply to gamble and must lose. As a hero who goes to war must die. Show me a gambler and I'll show you a loser, show me a hero and I'll show you a corpse."

"I believe in America. America's made my fortune."

"He'd always been a man who followed his head and not his heart. The heart was just a bloody motor. The head was meant to drive."

"He smelled the garden, the yellow shield of light smote his eyes, and he whispered, Life is so beautiful.Yes, he thought, if I can die saying, Life is so beautiful, then nothing else is important."

"I have always believed helping your fellow man is profitable in every sense, personally and bottom line."

"I have no such powers. If I did I would be more merciful than God, believe me."

"I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman. Blood is a big expense."

"I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men."

"I like to drink wine more than I used to. Anyway, I'm drinking more."

"If anything in this life is certain... if history has taught us anything, it's that you cn kill anyone."

"I will make you an offer you cannot refuse."

"I'll tell you the only real truth. Cunt is where it all begins and where it all ends. Cunt is the only thing worth living for. Everything else is a fake, a fraud and just shit."

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

"In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns."

"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

"It was a lie but he believed in telling lies to people. Truth telling and medicine just didn't go together except in dire emergencies, if then."

"It doesn't make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand. But your business is a little dangerous."

"It was not perhaps the warmest friendship in the world, they would not send each other Christmas gift greetings, but they would not murder each other."

"Italians have a little joke; that the world is so hard a man must have two fathers to look after him, and that's why they have godfathers."