The Godfather - 1 - 3 Act Structure

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Ameya Gore

ACT – 1

Act-1 begins with the exposition of all the main characters, during the wedding of Connie Corleone. We are introduced to the Don, Sonny, Mama, Johnny Fontane, Luca Brasi, the Consegliere etc. as Michael talks to his love interest about his family. At this time, Michael is detached from the family and all its interests. He is a war hero, and is happy being that. The power of the Corleone family is also established by one single incident – when the don manages to get Johnny a coveted role in a major Hollywood movie.

Turning point -1

The turning point begins with the introduction of Virgil Solozzo, who approaches the family for his narcotics business, to which the Godfather politely refuses. Consequently, Solozzo attempts to kill the Don, but he magically survives. Even in the hospital, his life is under threat, as Solozzo manages to bribe cops to finish him off. This prompts the protagonist, Michael, to enter the family affairs, and thus begins his journey.


The Act-2 continues with Michael volunteering to kill Solozzo and the coruppt cop, when they meet at a bar. The entire killing is planned out meticulously, and Michael succeeds. He now has to flee to Sicily, to escape from the police. After this the plot gets divided into 2 parts:

1. As the Don is bedridden, Sonny takes control of the family and begins killing ruthlessly for revenge.

2. In Sicily, where Michael is in hiding, he falls in love with a local girl and gets married to her.

Turning point 2

The second turning point, as far as the protagonist is concerned, occurs when his wife is also killed in a bombing, which was actually meant to kill him. At around the same time, Sonny is killed in a conspiracy, and the Don recovers.

ACT – 3

Act-3 sees Michael fit into his father’s shoes. He takes control of the family business. He plans to move all its interest from New...
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