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Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen is a fictional character in the Godfather books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall in the films. He is the informally adopted son of Don Vito Corleone and serves as the family lawyer and consigliere (Legal Advisor).

The Godfather

After Connie Corleone's wedding, Hagen is dispatched by Vito Corleone to Hollywoodmarker in order to convince Jack Woltz, a big-time movie studio head, to give singer/actor Johnny Fontane (Vito's godson) the lead role in his new war film. When he first approaches Woltz, he offers help with some union trouble. Hagen then tells Woltz that one of his actors has moved from marijuana to heroin. A deleted scene in the movie shows that this information was going to be used to expose the star and thus hurt Woltz's studio. Woltz at first angrily refuses, but becomes more cordial once he finds out who Hagen works for. Woltz invites him over to his palatial estate for dinner, and shows him his prized stud horse, Khartoum. During the dinner, Woltz tries to work out another deal with Hagen, but refuses to cast Fontane, who had slept with one of his proteges. Men working for the Corleones break into Woltz's stables and decapitate Khartoum, and place the horse's severed head and a large amount of its blood in Woltz's bed. The next day Hagen receives a call from a ranting Woltz, who threatens to bring the law down on the Corleones' heads. Hagen gives a nonchalant response and hangs up. Shortly afterwards, Woltz realizes that with Vito's connections, he is unlikely to win in court with the possibility of being killed himself.

That December, Hagen is abducted by Virgil Sollozzo and his bodyguards. At an undisclosed location, Sollozzo informs Hagen that Don Corleone has been shot and killed, and tells Hagen to convince Sonny to go along with the original deal. Hagen promises to calm Sonny down, but warns Sollozzo about inevitable reprisal from Luca Brasi, the Don's fanatically loyal bodyguard and hitman. Unbeknownst to Hagen, Brasi was killed by Sollozzo and Bruno Tattaglia. The meeting is interrupted when Sollozzo receives word that Don Corleone survived the shooting, which ruins all of Sollozo's plans, as Sonny would listen to no deal while his father was still alive.

While he loves all the Corleones, Hagen is especially fond of Sonny and considers him a true brother for helping him as a child, and blames himself when Sonny is murdered by the Barzinis. After becoming the new head of the family, Michael Corleone removes Hagen as consigliere in favor of having his father Vito take the position, restricting Hagen to handling the Family's legal business in Nevadamarker, Chicagomarker, and Los Angelesmarker. Hagen accepts the decision, and remains loyal. However, after Vito's death, Hagen resumes his role as consigliere.

The Godfather, Part II

After an attempt on Michael's life in The Godfather, Part II, Hagen takes over as acting Don while Michael tries to find out who in his organization had betrayed him and aided the assassins. Hagen is instrumental in both securing the friendship of Senator Pat Geary and defending Michael during the Senate hearings on the Mafia.

The fall of Fulgencio Batista's regime in Cubamarker forces Michael to abandon his dream of becoming a legitimate businessman and retake his place as the Don of the Corleone family. As a result, he gives Hagen back his old position as consigliere.

Even as Michael becomes increasingly ruthless and paranoid, Hagen dutifully fulfills his role as not just a legal adviser but a dispassionate envoy for the Family. For example, he gives Frank Pentangeli, who had betrayed Michael, the "idea" of committing suicide so that Pentangeli's family would continue to be taken care of after his death.

Near the end of the film, Michael confronts Hagen about listening to competing job offers, and obliquely threatens to inform Hagen's wife about his mistress. Challenged point blank by Michael to confirm his loyalty to the Corleone Family, Hagen responds (in Sicilian) that he will remain loyal.

The Godfather, Part III

According to The Godfather, Part III, Hagen dies of natural causes at some point prior to the timeframe of the film, 1979-1980. There is no specific indication in the film as to when or how he dies, except that it is before the ordination of his son, Andrew, a Roman Catholic priest.

The Godfather's Revenge

Mark Winegardner's sequel The Godfather's Revenge explains that Hagen is murdered in August 1964 by former Corleone underboss Nick Geraci, who drowns him in the Florida Evergladesmarker. Geraci then sends Michael a package containing a dead baby alligator along with Hagen's wallet, a message similar to the one that is sent to Sonny in the original novel following Luca Brasi's death, which was a package delivered to the Corleones' in the form of a bullet proof vest wrapped around a dead fish.

Behind the scenes

The Hagen character was originally intended to have been featured in The Godfather, Part III, but was written out because of a financial disagreement between Duvall and the film's producers. Coppola has stated that Part III was originally planned to feature a split between Michael and Hagen as its central plot. Coppola stated in the film's commentary that Duvall demanded the same salary as Al Pacino (who portrayed Michael Corleone). However, Duvall said in an interview that he was happy for Pacino to earn twice his (Duvall's) salary, but not three or four times his salary for the film.



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