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Al Neri
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Biography for
Al Neri (Character)
from The Godfather: Part II (1974)

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Albert "Al" Neri is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the three films based on it. He is portrayed by actor Richard Bright. In the Godfather game, he is voiced by Gary Chalk. He functions as the personal bodyguard, caporegime and chief assassin to Michael Corleone. He is completely devoid of fear and completely loyal to Michael Corleone.

In the novel The Godfather, Neri began his career as a New York City policeman where he earned a reputation as a legitimately tough officer thanks to his fierce temper, quick reflexes, and tremendous physical strength. He frequently patrolled with a large flashlight which he used to great effect, either cracking the foreheads of Italian youths that ran with street gangs or shattering the windshields of diplomats who showed no regard for traffic laws. After his wife left him in fear of his temper, he killed a drug dealer and pimp by shattering his skull with the flashlight, and was convicted of manslaughter. Tom Hagen and Pete Clemenza saw in his record a parallel to Luca Brasi, Vito Corleone's previous enforcer, and arranged for his release from prison. Michael, appealing to Neri's sense of loyalty and Sicilian roots, recruited him into Clemenza's regime where he "made his bones" and became Michael's chief lieutenant. Tom Hagen once said to Michael following the completion of Neri's training, "Well, now you've got your Luca."

When Michael ordered the assassination of the heads of the five New York Families, at the end of The Godfather Part I, Neri was responsible for the murder of Emilio Barzini, donning his old police uniform in order to arrange an ambush on the courthouse steps as Barzini was leaving. After Salvatore Tessio is killed for attempting to betray Michael, Neri takes over as caporegime of Tessio's former regime. When Michael and his family moved to Nevada, Neri became head of security for all hotels controlled by the Corleones.

In The Godfather Part II, Neri is seen to be an unofficial second-in-command to Michael, and serves as one of Michael's capos along with Rocco Lampone and Frank Pentangeli. He is responsible for a prostitute's murder that guarantees the loyalty of Senator Pat Geary. Neri was also personally responsible for the assassination of Michael's brother Fredo Corleone, under Michael's orders for Fredo's previous betrayal.

This is demonstrated further in the novel The Godfather's Revenge, where he takes part in an attempt to kidnap Nick Geraci's father (which fails). He is seriously wounded in the final shootout at the end of the novel.

By the time of The Godfather Part III, the aging assassin was still working for the Corleones, his loyalty to Michael extending to the new Don, Michael's nephew Vincent. His talents were called upon once again at the conclusion of the film when Vincent ordered him to kill Archbishop Gilday in revenge for the priest's intrigue against the family.

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