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"I believe in America. America has made my fortune."
―Amerigo Bonasera[src]

Amerigo Bonasera was a Sicilian undertaker and a friend of the Corleone family. He was also the father of Maria Bonasera.


Bonasera was a longtime acquaintance of Vito Corleone. However, unlike many of the other residents of the Corleones' Little Italy neighborhood, he was unwilling to accept Don Corleone's friendship, believing that his newfound paradise would be jeopardized if word got out that he was in debt to the Mafia. Despite this, Don Corleone's wife Carmela became godmother to Bonasera's daughter Maria.

He was a mortician by trade and ran a funeral parlour called "Bonasera's".

Help from the Godfather

Bonasera pledges his loyalty to Don Corleone in exchange for revenge on the men who assaulted his daughter.

"For justice, we must go to Don Corleone."
―Amerigo Bonasera[src]

Life took an unexpected turn for Bonasera when his daughter was assaulted and badly beaten by her new American boyfriend Kevin Moonan, and his brutish college friend Jerry Wagner, who attempted to rape her and failed. Much to Bonasera's chagrin, the two men were released on a suspended sentence due to being from powerful and connected families. Enraged and embarrassed, Bonasera visited Don Corleone on the day of Connie's wedding and asked for justice.

Justice, in Bonasera's view, meant killing the two young men. But the Don refused, pointing out that Bonasera's daughter was still alive. "Let them suffer, then, as she suffers", Bonasera replied, and then offered to pay the Don for meting out this suffering.

"Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you."
―Vito Corleone[src]

The Don chastised Bonasera for not wanting to be in his debt, and for coming to him on the day of his daughter's wedding and asking him to commit murder for money. He also gently reprimanded Bonasera for attempting to seek justice through the courts first, as he ought to have first sought aid from him. But after chastising him, the Don agreed to grant a favor of justice in return for Bonasera's "friendship" and the respectful address of "Godfather". Bonasera readily consented, kissing the Don's hand.

Vito entrusted the task to his caporegime Peter Clemenza, who sent Paulie Gatto and two enforcers (one of whom was Nick Geraci[2]) to deal with the youths. They were beaten to bloody pulps, and Bonasera, upon viewing this news in the next morning's paper, proclaimed ever-lasting friendship with Don Corleone. He sent his thanks through consigliere Tom Hagen.

Bonasera prepares to embalm Sonny Corleone.

When he finally agreed to help Bonasera, Don Corleone said that he expected Bonasera would render him a service in return. Bonasera had nightmares that he would ask him to cover up a murder by secretly burying bodies. Finally, the time came three years later, when Tom Hagen called Bonasera and told him to prepare for the Don to come to his funeral parlour. Bonasera is surprised to see the Don come with the body of his son, Sonny Corleone. The Don called upon Bonasera to perform the embalming of Sonny and make his body presentable for an open casket. Bonasera complied to the best of his abilities. With this task completed, he had settled his debt with the Don, though he remained a friend to the Corleones. He later attended Don Corleone's funeral.

In the video game

Bonasera in the video game.

"I hope Don Corleone is happy with our arrangement."
―Amerigo Bonasera[src]

Bonasera makes a cameo appearance in The Godfather: The Game, portrayed by Rod Gnapp. He has the same character model as Tito Morelli but with Jerry the Spaniard's head.

In the video game, Aldo Trapani and Marty Malone were sent with Paulie Gatto to deal with the two youths, Jerry Wagner and Kevin Moonan, who beat up Bonasera's daughter. In the game, he is a business proprietor and is not encountered in any missions.

Behind the scenes

  • Bonasera was initially going to be played by Frank Puglia, but was instead played by Salvatore Corsitto, an Italian immigrant who had never been cast in a film before.
  • Bonasera has the first lines of the film The Godfather, but he also appears in the opening lines of The Godfather novel, "Amerigo Bonasera sat at New York Criminal Court...".
  • Bonasera's first name, Amerigo, is likely a reference to Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom America is named.

Notes and references