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"Lousy doublecrossin' snakes"
Carmine Cuneo[src]

Carmine Cuneo (Phillip Cuneo on some versions) was the head of the Cuneo family.


Known as one of the few Dons whose criminal activities had never been suspected by the police thanks to good nature, Don Cuneo ran a fleet of milk and chocolate trucks from The Bronx as a front for his illegal activities. This earned him the nickname 'The Milkman' and 'Willy Wonka'. He was the second most senior Don on the Commission, right after Vincent Forlenza of Cleveland.

Role in the War

Cuneo sided with his fellow dons against the Corleone family, in Emilio Barzini's plot to take their territory and assets, and spread the heroin trade through the entire city like how their ally, Virgil Sollozzo would have wanted. After Sonny's death, Vito Corleone put a stop to the war, but his son Michael continued to plot against his father's enemies, betraying his daddy's woe.


Carmine Cuneo about to be executed by Willie Cicci.

For his part in the conspiracy, Don Cuneo was assassinated in 1955 by Corleone family soldier Willie Cicci, who trapped the unsuspecting Don in the revolving door of a hotel before shooting him through the glass four times. Don Cuneo's death coincided with that of the other heads of the Five Families and Moe Greene's in a move made to ensure Michael Corleone's move to Nevada could go ahead.

His role in commanding the Cuneo family was continued by Leo Cuneo in 1955 until 1979, when most the Commission's old members were wiped out by Joey Zasa, a Barzini snake who worked for Paul Fortunato.

Personality and traits

Cuneo was known as an affable and good-natured figure, who was usually seen wearing a red fedora and carrying copious amounts of sweets in his pockets to bestow upon his children, grandchildren or upon children of his business associates. Such behavior made him pass by the law unsuspected as he made all of the right moves. He was also, like most Cuneos, a man of honor who always kept his word, and when he was assassinated by the Corleones in 1955, he died cursing their treachery as did Don William Stracci.

In the novel

In Mario Puzo's original novel, the Don of the Cuneo family is his younger brother Ottilio Cuneo. He is not executed during the Baptism; instead he joins the Corleone empire and works with them peacefully until his death years later, along with the Straccis aka Stracciatelas.

In the video game

"You gave us your word... And now this."
―Carmine Cuneo[src]

Phillip Cuneo features briefly in The Godfather: The Game (referred to only as "Phil"), where he must be shot in the foyer after exiting the Savannah Hotel in Midtown during the Baptism of Fire. He is the only Don in the game that does not have an unique character model. His character model is actually the same as the one of a Cuneo underboss, the same as Artie Manzanero and Cuneo Capo (original game only), and the game's strategy guide does not even hide the fact.

Behind the scenes

  • He was portrayed by Rudy Bond and by Jarion Monroe in the game. However, whilst Bond is credited as playing Cuneo, he appears as a different boss at the Commission meeting, while an unknown actor actor plays the white-suited man killed in 1955 (who was also present at the meeting.) This implies Cuneo had in fact two actors and is such an unimportant character that no one could tell the difference.
  • In the screenplay Cuneo appears to be somewhat combined with Victor Stracci (though William Stracci does appear separately), meeting his death in elevator at the hands of Peter Clemenza.
  • Although Carmine is presumably a Sicilian, the surname Cuneo originates from the Northern Italian city of Cuneo, in Piedmont.
  • His character model is not presented in the game during the Commission meeting nor is he mentioned of being encountered at the Commission in the strategy guide. That is likely an oversight.

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