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Thirty, forty grand, in small bills cash, in that little silk purse. If this was anybody else's wedding! Sweet tomate!
~ Paulie Gatto

Paulie Gatto is a minor antagonist in the late Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather, and Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 film adaptation. He was portrayed by John Martino in the film, and voiced by Tony Alcantar in The Godfather: The Game.

Gatto is a "made man" in the Corleone Family, and right hand man to caporegime Peter Clemenza. He is a chauffeur for Vito Corleone, a job he shared with Vito's son Fredo.

In 1945, he attends the wedding of Vito's daughter Connie to small-time hood Carlo Rizzi, and stands near Clemenza in case his boss wants his assistance.

Shortly afterward, Vito's chief rival, Don Emilio Barzini, bribes Gatto to betray the Corleone family by giving him the information his men need to stage an assassination attempt on Vito. On the day the hit went down Gatto calls in sick, leaving only Fredo to protect the Don. Vito is seriously wounded in the attempt.

Having Paulue brought to the Corleone compound Sonny Corleone deduced that Gatto had sold out his father. Sonny ordered Clemenza to have Gatto killed as soon as possible, saying he did not want to see Gatto again.

A short time later Clemenza had Paulie drive him and associate Rocco Lampone drive around New York City looking for places where Sonny's men could "go to the mattresses" in the upcoming gang war. This was to lull Gatto into a false sense of security. After a long day of driving Clemenza had Gatto pull over in a semi-rural area in Long Island. While Clemenza was emptying his bladder Lampone shot Gatto three times in the back of his head, killing him. When Clemenza returned he told Lampone to leave the gun but take the cannoli Clemenza had picked up for his wife.

Trivia

  • Originally, Robert De Niro was going to play Paulie Gatto, but he was traded to another production in order to secure Al Pacino. This move enabled De Niro to play the young Vito Corleone in the second film.
  • Gatto is the Italian word for cat.

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