John Cazale as Fredo, “I’m smart and I want respect.”

The great actor, John Cazale, has an unusual distinction among his fellow actors. He starred in 6 major motion pictures, one, The Godfather Part III, used archival footage after his death, and every one of them was nominated for Best Picture. As usual, Wikipedia has the details.

Cazale’s talent, as often happens, can be overlooked because Al Pacino is so great. Earlier in the film we had a scene which is often called the “kiss of death” in Havana, when Michael says, “You broke my heart, Fredo.” I call the scene below the “look of death” when Michael, while embracing Fredo in seeming forgiveness, gives Neri a look that says “OK, our mother’s dead, you can take care of Fredo now.” With all that going on, one might miss the look on Fredo’s face when he sees his brother, the way he puts the cigarette in the ashtray and the gut-wrenching embrace.

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3 Comments on “John Cazale as Fredo, “I’m smart and I want respect.””


  1. HE WAS A GREAT ACTOR indeed… check him out in DOG DAY AFTERNOON, totally different role. It’s amazing that its the same two actors, but they change places–Pacino is the hapless one, Cazale the cagey one. Very postmodern!

    Also, he was wonderful in THE DEER HUNTER.


  2. And I forgot, he’s in my 4th favorite movie of all time, THE CONVERSATION. (God, I DO love that movie, which contains the greatest performance by my all-time favorite actor, Gene Hackman.)

  3. mikeb302000 Says:

    Daisy, I only talked about the Godfather Part II in my post about Cazale, but I loved him in the other films too. The Conversation I need to see again, it’s been too long. After what you said about Gene Hackman, I’ll be renting it soon.


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