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Johnny Fontane shrugged. “The picture is finished. The director was a square guy and treated me ri cheap nike air max ght. My scenes are too important to be left on the cutting-room floor just for Woltz to pay me off. He can’t ruin a ten-million-dollar picture. So now everything depends on how good people think I am in the movie.”

Hagen said cautiously, “Is winning this Academy Award so terribly important to an actor’s career, or is it just the usual publicity crap that really doesn’t mean anyth cheap nike air max trainers ing one way or the other?” He paused and added hastily, “Except of course the glory, everybody likes glory.”

Johnny Fontane grinned at him. “Except my Godfather. And you. No, Tom, it’s not a lot of crap. An Academy Award can make an actor for ten years. He can get his pick of roles. The public goes to see him. It’s not everything, but for an actor it’s the most important thing in the business. I’m counting on w nike air max 95 inning it. Not because I’m such a great actor but because I’m known primarily as a singer and the part is foolproof. And I’m pretty good too, no kidding.”

Tom Hagen shrugged and said, “Your Godfather tells me that the way things stand now, you don’t have a chance of winning the award.”

Johnny Fontane was angry. “What the hell are you talking about? The picture hasn’t even been cut yet, much less shown. And the Don isn’t even in the movie business. Why the hell did you fly the three thousand miles just to tell me that shit?” He was so shaken he was almost in tears.

Hagen said worriedly, “Johnny, I don’t know a damn thing about all this movie stuff. Remember, I’m just a messenger boy for the Don. But we have discussed this whole business of yours many times. He worries about you, about your future. He feels you still cheap nike air max need his help and he wants to settle your problem once and for all. That’s why I’m here now, to get things rolling. But you have to start growing up, Johnny. You have to stop thinking about yourself as a singer or an actor. You’ve got to start thinking about yourself as a prime mover, as a guy with muscle.”

Johnny Fontane laughed and filled his glass. “If I don’t win that Oscar I’ll have as much muscle as one of my daughters. My voice is gone; if I had that back I could make some moves. Oh, hell. How does my Godfather know I won’t win it? OK, I believe he knows. He’s never been wrong.”

Hagen lit a thin cigar. “We got the word that Jack Woltz won’t spend studio money to support your candidacy. In fact he’s sent the word out to everybody who votes that he does not want you to win. But holding back the money for ads and nike air max sale all that may do it. He’s also arranging to have one other guy get as much of the opposition votes as he can swing. He’s using all sorts of bribes— jobs, money, broads, everything. And he’s trying to do it without hurting the picture or hurting it as little as possible.”

Johnny Fontane shrugged. He filled his glass with whiskey and downed it. “Then I’m dead.”

Hagen was watching him with his mouth curled up with distaste. “Drinking won’t help your voice,” he said.

“Fuck you,” Johnny said.

Hagen’s face suddenly became smoothly impassive. Then he said, “OK, I’ll keep this purely business.”

Johnny Fontane put his drink down and went over to stand in front of Hagen. “I’m sorry I said that, Tom,” he said. “Christ, I’m sorry. I’m taking it out on you because I wanta kill that bastard Jack Woltz and I’m afraid to t cheap air max ell off my Godfather. So I get sore at you.” There were tears in his eyes. He threw the empty whiskey glass against the wall but so weakly that the heavy shot glass did not even shatter and rolled along the floor back to him so that he looked down at it in baffled fury. Then he laughed. “Jesus Christ,” he said.

He walked over to the other side of the room and sat opposite Hagen. “You know, I had everything my own way for a long time. Then I divorced Ginny and everything started going sour. I lost my voice. My records stopped selling. I didn’t get any more movie work. And then my Godfather got sore at me and wouldn’t talk to me on the phone or see me when I came into New York. You were always the guy barring the path and I blamed you, but I knew you wouldn’t do it without orders from the Don. But you can’t get sore at him nike air max . It’s like getting sore at God. So I curse you. But you’ve been right all along the line. And to show you I mean my apology I’m taking your advice. No more booze until I get my voice back. OK?”

The apology was sincere. Hagen forgot his anger. There must be something to this thirty-five-year-old boy or the Don would not be so fond of him. He said, “Forget it, Johnny.” He was embarrassed at the depth of Johnny’s feeling and embarrassed by the suspicion that it might have been inspired by fear, fear that he might turn the Don against him. And of course the Don could never be turned by anyone for any reason. His affection was mutable only by himself.

“Things aren’t so bad,” he told Johnny. “The Don says he can cancel out everything Woltz does against you. That you will almost certainly win the Award. But he feels that wo nike air max 90 sale n’t solve your problem. He wants to know if you have the brains and balls to become a producer on your own, make your own movies from top to bottom.”

“How the hell is he going to get me the Award?” Johnny asked incredulously.

Hagen said sharply, “How do you find it so easy to believe that Woltz can finagle it and your Godfather can’t? Now since it’s necessary to get your faith for the other part of our deal I must tell you this. Just keep it to yourself. Your Godfather is a much more powerful man than Jack Woltz. And he is much more powerful in areas far more critical. How can he swing the Award? He controls, or controls the people who control, all the labor unions in the industry, all the people or nearly all the people who vote. Of course you have to be good, you have to be in contention on your own merits. And your nike air max Godfather has more brains than Jack Woltz. He doesn’t go up to these people and put a gun to their heads and say, ‘Vote for Johnny Fontane or you are out of a job.’ He doesn’t strong-arm where strong-arm doesn’t work or leaves too many hard feelings. He’ll make those people vote for you because they want to. But they won’t want to unless he takes an interest. Now just take my word for it that he can get you the Award. And that if he doesn’t do it, you won’t get it.”

“OK,” Johnny said. “I believe you. And I have the balls and brains to be a producer but I don’t have the money. No bank would finance me. It takes millions to support a movie.”

Hagen said dryly, “W http://www.cheapnikeairmaxce.co.uk/ hen you get the Award, start making plans to produce three of your own movies. Hire the best people in the business, the best technicians, the best stars, whoe cheap nike air max ver you need. Plan on three to five movies.”

“You’re crazy,” Johnny said. “That many movies could mean twenty million bucks.”

“When you need the money,” Hagen said, “get in touch with me. I’ll giv nike air max 90 e you the name of the bank out here in California to ask for financing. Don’t worry, they finance movies all the time. Just ask them for the money in the ordinary way, with the proper justifications, like a regular business deal. They will approve. But first you have to see me and tell me the figures and the plans. OK?”

Johnny was silent for a long time. Then he said quietly, “Is there anything else?”

Hagen smiled. “You mean, do you have to do any favors in return for a loan of twenty million dollars? Sure you will.” He waited for Johnny to say something. “Nothing you wouldn’t do anyway if the Don asked you to do it fo nike air max 1 r him.”

Johnny said, “The Don has to ask me himself if it’s something serious, you know what nike air max classic I mean? I won’t take your word or Sonny’s for it.”

Hagen was surprised by this good sense. Fontane had some brains after all. He had sense to know that the Don was too fond of him, and too smart, to ask him to do something foolishly dangerous, whereas Sonny might. He said to Johnny, “Let me reassure you on one thing. Your Godfather has given me and Sonny strict instructions not to involve you in any way in anything that might get you bad publicity, through our fault. And he will never do that himself. I guarantee you that any favor he asks of you, you will offer to do before he requests it. OK?”

Johnny smiled.”OK,” he said. ③

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