“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” This line is so wonderful in its cavalier utterance. The scene in which the don’s caporegime, Clemenza, utters it is one of the best in The Godfather. He’s on the road with the don’s ex-driver and he’s under orders that the driver is not supposed to make the ride back alive. When Clemenza asks the driver to pull over so that he can take a leak, you just know something’s about to happen.
As Clemenza does his business on the side of the highway, the other man sitting in the backseat shoots the driver three times in the back of the head. The murder is all in a day’s work for Clemenza, and along with a strict devotion to his don is an equal sense of responsibility to his family. Clemenza takes a moment out of his routine to remember that he promised his wife that he would bring home dessert and has cannoli in the car.
When Clemenza tells the shooter to leave the gun and take the cannoli, it illustrates that the murder is not an act on which he dwells. The deed is done and Clemenza is ready to take dessert back home to his wife. Amidst the crime and the violence is a strong devotion to both the Godfather and to family, and this scene shows fierce loyalty to the don and love and consideration of family, and how the two exist side by side.