Where Luca Brasi Met the Fishes?

One of the reasons I moved to Brooklyn Heights is because I’m a big fan of Moonstruck, and it seemed like a neighborhood with all sorts of romantic possibilities. (Little did I know.) Yet the Heights also has its dark side—which may or may not have been projected on the big screen in The Godfather. Specifically, the scene where Luca “May their first child be a masculine child” Brasi goes to sleep with the fishes.

I’ve heard that the Brasi death scene was filmed at the site of the old Club Wild Fyre behind the shackled doors of the St. George Hotel. I’ve also heard it was filmed on the top floor of the St. George Hotel. I’ve also heard that it wasn’t at the St. George Hotel at all. My esteemed colleague Claude Scales blogged about this in September when he mentioned that the Educational Housing Services wanted to renovate the unused portions of the hotel for events, including the “Luca Brasi Room.” Perhaps that means we’ll be able to get a look inside? Otherwise, is the only alternative bolt cutters? (I’m not that great of an urban warrior, I get nervous and run away.)

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  • Joe2: The Joe-ening

    If the Luca Brasi room is made viewable to the public, it would be the neighborhood’s answer to the Ghostbusters firehouse in Tribeca, no?

  • tom murphy

    I immediately remembered when that scene came on in the Godfather that it was the in the bar of the St. George’s Hotel where I celebrated one evening in the 60’s. There are not many distinguishing features to it but just the layout of the room gave it away.
    NYC, especially Brooklyn, is full of these spots.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    From what I remember: The doors in the photo did not go directly into the bar. They opened into an L shaped corridor that lead to the main lobby of the hotel (which was on Clark St, not at its current location). There was another set of doors between the corridor and the bar. I remember at the time, it was well known that a scene in the Godfather was filmed in that bar. I also recognized parts of it in the film.

  • nabeguy

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  • weegee

    Some of the confusion has arisen with the establishing scene immediately prior to the bar; the corridor with the circular mirrors is the Hotel Edison in Manhattan.

    Incidentally, this interior is replicated beautifully in the “Godfather: Don’s Edition” video game on PS3, etc. Also, one can navigate the streets of New York interactively, with a surprising degree of accuracy. Driving over the Brooklyn Bridge, you wind up in Downtown Brooklyn. Borough Hall is prominently seen, and Henry, Clinton, Court, and Remsen Streets appear on your map. Brownstones, yes, but 100% accurate layout, no. It’s still pretty nifty.

    Anyway, the St. George identification comes from the fish motif on the glass outside the bar, which people familiar with the place remember.