Meanwhile, back at the party, the spirited Mama Corelone (Morgana King) sings the Italian favorite "Luna mezz' 'o mare" (an important song in this film, of which in Godfather II the local Nevada-based orchestra has no conception) and another of the Corelone’s son, Fredo, is quite drunk. Photographs are snapped, and the photographers ejected, their negatives destroyed. This is a closed affair. But even the hired wedding photographer cannot get the family together for a
A visit to the hospital, however, one of the most tense scenes in Coppola’s work, changes everything. Strangely enough, little happens in this desolate world which Michael suddenly uncovers. The large, unlit structure is suddenly empty, all guards, nurses, doctors (one cannot even imagine doctors within this space), all ancillary help has disappeared. If there was ever a vision of a collapsed center, here it is. No one is where all of us expect everyone to be, protecting, doctoring, bringing people to health. There seem not to be even any patients—except one, Don Corelone, all alone, a single nurse still there despite the abandonment. All have been told to evacuate the place. We follow Michael’s traumatic recognition of the events. Clearly, enemies (one must be paranoid, obviously, having grown up in the world that Michael has) have emptied the public space in order to kill Corelone. With the help of the dawdling worker Michael transfers his suffering father to another room, ordering a surprised and subservient visitor to the Don to stand by the entrance, pretending to have a gun.
Michael does not comprehend what that statement implies, nor, I might suggest, did I upon first viewing: Michael, the purposeful representation of family “salvation,” has, perhaps unintentionally, but most certainly, become one of them and all the evil acts the family has committed.