Senator Pat Geary
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Biography for
Senator Pat Geary (Character)
from The Godfather: Part II (1974)

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Pat Geary is a fictional character portrayed by G.D. Spradlin in the film The Godfather, Part II. He is a corrupt Democratic U.S. senator from Nevada. Some have suggested that the character is based on Patrick A. McCarran, who represented Nevada in the U.S. Senate from 1933 to 1954. Nevada's two U.S. Senators at the time of The Godfather, Part II were Alan H. Bible (D-NV), and Howard W. Cannon (D-NV). Bible, Cannon, and Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer were friendly with the Teamsters in Las Vegas, William F. Harrah, Harvey Gross, The Smith Family of Reno's Harold's Club, Howard Hughes, and brothel owner Joe Conforte.

At the beginning of the film, set in 1958, Geary and his wife (played by Patricia Kilbourn Walton) attend the First Communion party of the son of Michael Corleone, the head of the Corleone crime family, who has moved his base of operations to Nevada in order to begin easing his way out of crime. Geary publicly accepts a contribution in the name of Vito Corleone intended as a donation for the local public university. While speaking before the large gathering, Geary slaughters the pronunciation of Vito's name, saying VI-TOE [va to k li 'n] and the last name Corleone (to rhyme with "Right, Ho, for Dion"), and misnames Michael Corleone's wife Kay as Pat.

After the public ceremony, Geary meets with Michael in his office. The Corleone family had obtained control of several casinos in Nevada. However, with respect to one of the casinos, Corleone was having trouble obtaining a gambling license from the state authorities. Geary offers to help Michael obtain the license in exchange for an exorbitant bribe ($250,000 up front, and 4% of the gross monthly revenues from all Corleone casinos). Michael asks Geary why he should pay so much money when the license fee is only $20,000.

At that point, Geary launches into a vindictive attack on Michael, the Corleone family, and Italian-Americans in general, calling them "oily-haired" and "dirty." He says that he despises Michael and all he stands for and that he "intend[s] to squeeze" the Corleone family for all he can get. He also demonstrates that he is capable of pronouncing the "Corleone" name reasonably well in the Italian manner, even adding a trill to the R ([kor li 'o ne]), in contrast with his previous public performance. He gives Michael a day to respond to his offer.

As Geary heads for the door, Michael offers his response: Geary will obtain the gambling license for the Corleones for free, with no bribe. Indeed, Michael expects Geary to pay the $20,000 licensing fee out of his own pocket. Geary laughs and leaves, referring to Michael as "Mr. Core-lee-own-E."

Some time later, Geary spends the night with a prostitute in a brothel run by Fredo, Michael's brother. Having suffered from an alcoholic blackout, he awakes in a bed covered in blood next to the woman, who is dead. The dead prostitute's wrists are handcuffed; her legs spread wide. Geary has no memory of what happened, and is frantic with horror and worry. Tom Hagen arrives on the scene and promises Geary that since the woman has no family, the matter can be safely covered up. It is implied that the Corleones have engineered this situation, perhaps through drugging the senator. Michael's capo Al Neri is seen in the bathroom wiping his hands with a towel, indicating that it was he that murdered the prostitute.

Subsequently, it appears that the Corleones' "help" with the incident (in other words, their blackmail of the senator) sways Geary to the family's side. When Michael goes to Havana to meet with Hyman Roth and other crime bosses, Geary is in the group, greets Michael warmly, and accompanies them to a live sex show.

Later in the movie, when a U.S. Senate committee is investigating organized crime and subpoenas Michael and others to answer to charges of criminal activity, Geary speaks in defense of Italian-Americans, deploring the stereotyping of them as criminals.

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