A movie like The Godfather works so well because we enter a work without explanations. It's a world that exists under our very noses, one where a family controls a lot of the blue-collar work around a city and is part of the heartbeat of American life.

In the opening wedding scene, Michael explains to Kay how his family endears loyalty to them, by doing things the police can't do for the locals. The lead enforcer of that family is Luca Brasi. He's the man you send if you want a message to be heard.

Kay: Michael, that man over there is talking to himself. See that scary guy over there?
Michael: He's a very scary guy.
Kay: Well, who is he? What's his name?
Michael: His name is Luca Brasi—and he helps my father out sometimes.

But where did Luca Brasi come from, and why was his original story so violent and horrific that they took it out of the movie?

Check out this video explainer from CineRanter and let's talk after the jump.

The Horrifying Origin Story Of Luca Brasi | The Godfatherwww.youtube.com

Why Luca Brasi's Origin Story Was Too Violent for The Godfather

The book for The Godfather relays a lot of stories about the characters that never made it into the movie. Sometimes, it seems they were cut because those descriptions were too fantastical or violent, so much so that they took away from the serious tone of the movie.

That especially goes for Luca Brasi. In the book, we learn that Brasi was a crazed hitman, so hellbent on loyalty that he once killed a man who worked for the Corleone family because he thought he made them look bad.

He also took part in the Olive Oil Wars, where he was in the room with six other hitmen and killed all of them in various bloody ways. Another one of his origin stories crosses over with real life.

Brasi supposedly killed two of Al Capone's henchmen who were hired to assassinate Don Corleone. In typical Brasi fashion, he beat those guys up, bound and gagged them with towels, and dismembered one with an ax while the other henchmen choked to death on the towel.

Lovely stuff.

This was all talked about but cut from the movie because it made the character unlikeable. We liked thinking he was just a big uncle who was nervous to speak with the Godfather, and not someone whose deeds resembled the Zodiac killer.

What do you think of leaving it out? Would it have been too weird to hear about Al Capone in the movie, or too violent to hear about chopping someone up with an ax? I mean, we see a horses' head, is a human that much worse?

I do think explaining the mystery behind these people takes some of the wonder out of it, and adding too much violence like that would make it sound like an action movie, or like we should expect to see stuff like that again, instead of a carefully executed plot, pun intended.

Handling backstory is a delicate dance.

Let me know what you think in the comments.