The Godfather Wiki
Queicon.png There are two conflicting canon sources for this article, from The Godfather (novel) and The Godfather.

"You son of a bitch. Do you know who I am? I'm Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders."
―Moe Greene to Michael Corleone[src]

Morris "Moe" Greene was a casino owner from Las Vegas and former lieutenant in Roth syndicate.


Moe Greene was a renowned Jewish mobster and former executioner for Murder Incorporated, credited with the development of Las Vegas into a gambling and entertainment mecca, bringing the interests of the most powerful organized crime organizations in America to the town. He was a childhood friend of Hyman Roth.

Moe and Fredo

"The Corleone Family don’t have that kinda muscle anymore. The Godfather is sick, right? You’re getting chased out of New York by Barzini and the other Families... you think you can come to MY hotel and take over?!"
―Moe Greene[src]Among his powerful allies was Don Vito Corleone, who bankrolled the creation of Greene's first hotel-casino. In return, Moe took the Don's son Fredo under his wing during the war between the Five Families in New York, due to the intervention of West Coast Don, Anthony Molinari.

Although Fredo was greatly influenced by the city and Greene, family heir Michael Corleone disapproved of the effect it had on his brother, whom Greene reportedly chastised and slapped around in public - Moe claimed that Freddie had been disrupting the business by cavorting with cocktail waitresses, often keeping them from their work.

At a meeting with Greene, Michael expressed his disapproval and, perhaps partially motivated by Fredo's public disgrace, made a stern offer to buy out Greene's entire interest in the casino as part of the Corleones' relocation to Nevada. Offended, Greene angrily refused, claiming that the Corleones had neither the favor nor the power required to drive him out of the business. He also belittled Michael's credentials as a boss, saying, "I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!"

Moe's death

For this mistake, Greene was executed on the day of Michael Rizzi's baptism whilst at a massage parlor in Las Vegas. The execution was performed with a bullet clean through the eye. Moe's casinos then became property of the Corleone family.

Greene's death


His death enraged his friend Hyman Roth, who swore to kill Michael. It ignited the Roth Conspiracy, which eventually led to the war between the Corleone family and the Roth syndicate.

Personality and traits

Moe Greene was an arrogant but successful gangster, who had a love for the gambling industry. Greene loved his business so much, that he was offended at Michael Corleone's attempt to buy it over. However, Greene was not wise enough to realise that his refusal to the Corleones would sign his death warrant. Greene's refusal to sell to Michael was not entirely out of arrogance. His speculation that the Corleone crime family was toothless was not altogether wrong, as Vito Corleone was in failing health and the family was at war with the other four families. As such, it made sense for Greene to throw in his lot with the stronger Barzini family,

In the video game

"Moe's dirty Fredo. Dirty. He refused my offer... I can't allow that to happen."
Michael Corleone[src]

Moe Greene meets his end in the video game.

In the video game, Moe Greene is known as something of an entrepreneur, managing a casino below The Peak Hotel in Manhattan. Prior to Moe's death, Aldo Trapani robs Greene's secret casino in the basement of The Peak, gaining a sizeable sum that Michael would use to set up business in Vegas.

If the player manages to kill Moe before he has a chance to stand up using a pistol, he will die exactly as he did in the movie.

Throughout the game, Greene's name is misspelled Moe Green in the pause menu, in the subtitles and in the HUD.

Behind the scenes

  • Greene is primarily based on Bugsy Siegel, who was also good friends with Meyer Lansky, who inspired the character of Hyman Roth.[1] Like Moe Greene, Bugsy Siegel was also widely mythologized to have been killed with a single, clean, execution-style gunshot through the eye. This popular version of Siegel's death was based on inaccurate leaks and conflicting witness reports; the official files showed Siegel was actually killed with a burst of .30-caliber rounds from an M2 carbine, one of which struck him in the side of the head and gruesomely blew his right eye (largely intact) out of the socket and on to the carpet from the cranial overpressure.[2][3]
  • While Greene is based on Bugsy Siegel in the style of his death, there is a difference in the cause of doom. Greene died on account of refusal to sell. Siegel had been installed by the Mafia to manage the Flamingo Casino due to his accounting reputation. When revenue was down in spite of the Flamingo being a hot destination in town, Mafia bosses began to suspect Siegel was skimming profits, and ordered his death.
  • Moe Greene's name is believed to be derived from the names of Moe Sedway and Gus Greenbaum, who were close associates of Meyer Lansky, the model for Hyman Roth.
  • In addition to Bugsy Siegel, Moe Greene also shares history with Moe Dalitz who was referred to as "Mr. Las Vegas" and is credited with turning the city from a layover for GIs to a major tourist destination (exactly as Hyman Roth describes Moe Greene).
  • In the novel, Moe Greene was shot to death in the Hollywood home of his movie-star mistress. Afterward, Al Neri went on a vacation in the Caribbean and did not reappear in New York until almost a month later.
  • He was portrayed by the late Alex Rocco.
  • In the original screenplay, Greene had a business relationship with Carmine Cuneo, and the two were gunned down in an elevator by Peter Clemenza, much in the same way as Victor Stracci and his underboss in the final film.
  • Moe Greene's death in the film became known as "The Moe Greene Special".[4]
  • In "Denial, Anger, Acceptance" (1999), a Season 1 episode of the television show The Sopranos, Brendan Filone is executed with a bullet clean through the eye. The execution is referred to as a "Moe Greene Special", in reference to the way in which Moe Greene was killed in the Godfather, which in turn is based on Siegel's real-life execution.
  • Actor Rocco had a cameo appearance In the 1995 film Get Shorty as a mob boss. In the scene he is lying on his front and is being massaged in much the same fashion as his death scene in The Godfather.

Notes and references

  1. Cowie, Peter (1997). The Godfather Book. Faber and Faber, p. 155. ISBN 0571190111.
  2. Jones, Jenny M. (2007). The Annotated Godfather. Black Dog & Leventhal, p. 222. ISBN 1579128114.
  3. Fact and Fiction in The Godfather.
  4. Fact and Fiction in The Godfather.