Albert "Al" Neri (1916-1990) is a fictional character appearing in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather and the three films based on it. He is portrayed by actor Richard Bright. He functions as the personal bodyguard, caporegime and chief assassin to Michael Corleone. He is completely devoid of fear and totally loyal to Michael and the Corleone family.


In the novel "The Godfather," Neri began his career as a New York City policeman where he earned a reputation as a legitimately tough officer thanks to his fiece temper and quick reflexes. He frequently patrolled with a large flashlight which he used to great effect, either cracking the foreheads of Italian youths that ran with street gangs or shattering the windshields of diplomats who showed no regard for traffic laws. After his wife left him in fear of his temper, he killed a drug dealer and pimp by shattering his skull with the flashlight and was convicted of manslaughter. Tom Hagen and Pete Clemenza saw in his record a parallel to Luca Brasi, Vito Corleone's previous enforcer, and arranged for his release from prison. Michael, appealing to Neri's sense of loyalty and Sicilian roots, recruited him into Clemenza's regime where he "made his bones" and became Michael's chief lieutenant.


When Michael ordered the assassination of the heads of the five New York Families, at the end of The Godfather Part I, Neri was responsible for the murder of Emilio Barzini, donning his old police uniform in order to arrange an ambush on the courthouse steps as Barzini was leaving. When Michael and his family moved to Nevada, Neri became head of security for all hotels controlled by the Corleones.
In The Godfather Part II, Neri is certainly seen to be an unofficial second-in-command to Michael. He functions as one of Michael's caporegimes after the betrayal of Sal Tessio, the death of Clemenza and the suicide of Frank Pentangeli. He is responsible for a prostitute's murder that guarantees the loyalty of Senator Pat Geary. Neri was also personally responsible for the assassination of Michael's brother Fredo Corleone, under Michael's orders for Fredo's previous betrayal.


This is demonstrated further in The Godfather's Revenge. He also takes part in an attempt to kidnap Nick Geraci's father (which fails). He is also seriously wounded in the final shootout at the end of the novel.
By the time of The Godfather Part III, the aging assassin was still working for the Corleones, his loyalty to Michael extending to the new Don, Michael's nephew Vincent. His talents were called upon once again at the conclusion of the film when Vincent ordered him to kill Archbishop Gilday in revenge for the priest's intrigue against the family.
 

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