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Paulie Gatto

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Rocco, sit on the other side; you block the rearview mirror.
~ Paulie Gatto

Paulie Gatto was a secondary villain in The Godfather novel and the first movie.

By 1945 Gatto was a made man and right hand man to caporegime Peter Clemenza's of the Corleone Family. He was a chauffeur for Vito Corleone, a job he shared with Vito's second son Fredo.

He attended the wedding of Connie Corleone to Carlo Rizzi, and stood near Clemenza in case Clemenza wanted his assistance.

At some point Gatto decided to betray the Corleone family, giving them the intelligence they needed in order to stage an assassination attempt on Vito. On the day the hit went down Paulie called in sick, leaving only Fredo to protect the Don. Vito was seriously wounded in the attempt.

Having Gatto brought to the Corleone compound Sonny Corleone deduced that Gatto had sold out his father. Sonny ordered Clemenza to have Gatto killed as soon as possible, saying he did not want to see Gatto again.

A short time later Clemenza had Gatto drive him and associate Rocco Lampone drive around New York City looking for places where Sonny's men could "go to the mattresses" in the upcoming gang war. This was to lull Gatto into a false sense of security. After a long day of driving Clemenza had Gatto pull over in a semi-rural area in Long Island. While Clemenza was emptying his bladder Lampone shot Gatto three times in the back of his head, killing him. When Clemenza returned he told Lampone to leave the gun but take the cannoli Clemenza had picked up for his wife.

Later when Sonny asked how Paulie was doing, Clemenza remarked that he would not be seeing Paulie any more.

Trivia

  • Paulie Gatto was portrayed by John Martino in The Godfather. For the video game he was voiced by Tony Alcantar.
  • Originally Robert DeNiro was going to play Paulie Gatto, but DeNiro was traded to another production in order to secure Al Pacino for the first film. This move enabled DeNiro to play the young Vito Corleone in the second film.
  • Gatto is the Italian word for cat.

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