TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Happens When You See Orange in "The Godfather?"

March 15, 2011 ( - The presence of orange in the Godfather indicates that a death-related event will soon occur. 


…even though production designer Dean Tavoularis claimed the oranges were simply used to brighten up the darkly shot film.   

Can you name/remember them? 


According to the Internet Movie Database, in chronological order: 

Hagen and Woltz negotiate Johnny Fontane’s position at a table with a bowl of oranges on it, and later Woltz discovers his horse’s severed head. 

Don Corleone buys oranges right before he is shot. 

Sonny drives past an advertisement for Florida Oranges before he is assassinated. 

At the Mafioso summit, bowls of oranges are placed on the tables (specifically in front of those Dons who will be assassinated). 

Michael eats an orange while discussing his plans with Hagen. 

Before Don Corleone dies, he plays with an orange. 

Tessio, who is executed for attempting to betray Michael, plays with an orange at Connie’s wedding. 

Carlo Rizzi, who wears an orange suit right before Sonny beats him up, causes Sonny’s death and is himself garrotted in retribution.  

There is a gold fish on the window where Sollozzo has Luca Brasi killed.

In fact, according to the IMB, the only deaths in the film that don’t appear to have oranges foreshadowing them are the assassinations of Paulie, Sollozzo, McCluskey and Apollonia. 

Oh, and the total body count: 18 (including the horse).