Food in movies: Oranges as an omen in The Godfather
The "citric" role of this fruit in Coppola's masterpiece
*Careful, this post may contain spoilers.*
If you haven't watched The Godfather yet, well, you've had enough time. If you have, you will probably agree with me, it's one of the best trilogies ever made (even with that awful third part, but let's not talk about that).
As a proper gangster movie, it is filled with death and treason. And you might be wondering what any of this has to do with the innocent, refreshing fruit. Well, during the three movies we can see oranges (or forms of it) making appearances as an omen of death or betrayal.
Since this trilogy is famous for its number of deaths, the oranges are everywhere!
The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola
The first scene of the trilogy is Connie Corleone and Carlo Rizzi's wedding. Here we can see Tessio holding an orange – later on he will betray the Corleone family.
Here we see Sandra talking about her husband Sonny with some oranges on the table. A few scenes later, we see Sonny committing adultery.
Even if you haven't watched the movie, you would probably know about the horrendous horse's head scene. Well, what do we see on the table just before the scene happens? Oranges!
When Vito Corleone is betrayed, we see him at a fruit stand in the market, buying some oranges that scatter all over the street when he gets shot.
Despite this murder attempt, Don Corleone doesn't die until later in the movie, when he's playing with his grandson, holding a piece of orange in his mouth to scare him.
We can also see oranges in other areas, like clothing. We see Carlo Rizzi and Michael Corleone's wife dressed in this striking colour.
But all this is only the first movie, the whole trilogy is filled with vitamin c!
The Godfather Part II
In the second movie, we can see examples like Johnny Ola, giving Michael Corleone an orange as a gift. Later, we see Michael's house is attacked.
Or even when we see Don Fanucci walking in the street playing with an orange... And we all know what happens to his business.
Michael Corleone himself eating one of them.
These are only some of the 30 (give or take) scenes where oranges play a role in the movie. The fans have always found this symbolism interesting and it's one of the little details that make this saga even better.
However, the creators have been interviewed about the oranges, and they've said there is no hidden symbolism behind them. Apparently they are just a pop of colour in what would be very dark scenes instead.
Intentional or not, it's one of the biggest food-related easter eggs in cinema. If you didn't know about it, next time you watch the movie, you wont stop noticing them!