As Connie (played by Sophie Lowe) gets her chance to shine in The Slap tonight, so too does another instalment of Classic Screen Slaps. Admittedly, this week’s selection was a perfect fit for Anouk’s week. If you’ve seen Anouk’s episode, then it will become clear why this is so. It wasn’t posted then as it may have been a bit of a spoiler.
Film: The Godfather Part II (1974)
The Players: Al Pacino (the slapper) as Michael Corleone and Diane Keaton as Kay Adams Corleone (the slapped).
Social context: Entering a tumultuous life of crime, Kay became pregnant with a third child in the sequel to The Godfather. After experiencing a terrorist threat at the family compound, Kay decides to leave the family and abort the child, fearing it will make further ties to the mafia. Upon telling Michael of her impending plans, the truth comes out. Her abortion, previously hidden as a miscarriage, is revealed. Irate and slowly boiling, Michael reacts… (It should be noted that Keaton has revealed in interviews that audiences cheered when Kay was so vehemently slapped)
Velocity: Sharp and quick, the slap seemingly comes out of the blue, but really can be seen coming a mile off. Kay’s continual ranting only increases in speed and volume, and as Michael’s fury builds, his lunge glides towards Kay in an effort to shut her up.
Hardness: So hard was the slap that Kay conveniently flails onto the couch. Only a hard slap has the potential to really knock one out with such flight.
Sound: The slap is brisk and so is the sound. What highlights the intensity of the actual slap is Michael’s quick yelp, and Kay’s momentary surprised scream. Somehow, she seems surprised at Michael’s outburst, despite egging on a well-known gangster with the knowledge that she aborted his child due to her disgust at his life.
Be sure to check out all of our previous classic screen slaps here.