Article published on March 30, 2016.
Reading our online nudge ‘expose’ on The Godfather prompts me to tell what I have gleaned from my perusal of gangster books. The term ‘Go To The Mattresses’ refers more to the aftermath of a war: a bunch of killings are carried out, then the perpetrators lie low for a long period until the heat dies down ie go the the mattresses, lie down and sleep for ages, play cards, keep out of sight etc etc… we tend to use the term ‘Go to ground’ to mean the same thing.
Also the term ‘sleeping with the fishes’ came to prominence in the film, of course, when Brasi is strangled, but for root source it really goes back to the Illiad by Homer, maybe even further back than that. So it is not really an old Sicilian saying as portrayed in the film, just a cleverly manipulated interpretation.
I do love the way that the Holy Roman Church gets portrayed – no offence intended here – but it has to be as corrupt as implied, the same as bankers and politicians; otherwise it would not be so rich for doing so little.
Having said all that, the film/books are very good, and I can say the same about the other Puzo volumes, The Last Don and Fool’s Die. Perhaps not so easily got into as The Godfather because we do not have a visual reference for these two books. I mention them because I have just found my copies after a long search on the shelves. Classic example of putting them somewhere practical for easy finding some day… !!
Reg refreshes his memory of the Lansky book and related matters (The Godfather pt 8)