One's a hotheaded gangster whose accuracy with a baseball bat is to be feared, while the other is, well, a hotheaded gangster who’s also busted his share of heads. Tony’s a great leader and he thrives on intimidation, but his history of panic attacks could easily result in a heart attack. Sonny is too impulsive to be a good leader, but he’s a dedicated soldier when it comes to protecting his family. An old school/new school gangland war for the ages….
James Cann, "The Godfather"
In 1945, if you’d asked around as to which Corleone son would end up as Vito’s long-term successor, everyone would’ve said Sonny…and then added, “God love him,” to stay on his good side. Violent and impulsive, Sonny Corleone has a highly warranted reputation as the hothead of his family. Always the first to raise his fists (or gun) in response to a perceived insult or threat, Sonny’s hobbies include breaking cameras, spitting on FBI agents and putting out hits. To take him down, count on needing a team of guys, a bunch of submachine guns, and a shitload of bullets.
Definitive badass moment:
When Sonny hears that his brother-in-law, Carlo Rizzi, has knocked his sister around, he hunts Carlo down and beats him within an inch of his life…which involves punching, kicking, biting, and the strategic use of a garbage can lid. In closing, Sonny declares, “You touch my sister again. I'll kill ya," then gives him one last kick for good measure, leaving the poor bastard lying on his back in the downpour of an open fire hydrant.
Classic badass line: “No, no, no! No more! Not this time, Consiglieri. No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give 'em one message: I want Sollozzo. If not, it's all-out war. We go to the mattresses.”
Occupation: Legitimate businessman (as far as you know)
Strengths: When he’s mad, he’s virtually unstoppable
Weaknesses: Hotheaded, rarely thinks before acting
James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos"
He said it best during one of his therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi: “What fucking kind of human being am I, if my own mother wants me dead?” The answer, of course, is a bit of a hypothetical one for those keeping track of Tony Soprano’s exploits throughout his six-years on “The Sopranos.” As the unofficial boss of the New Jersey family, Tony is one of the most malicious and terrifying men in the history of television. He shot one of his best friends point blank in the chest, ordered the hit on his nephew’s fiancée, and even murdered his favorite cousin in cold blood...all so he could live to see another day.
Definitive badass moment: Upon discovering that Ralph Cifaretto was responsible for the death of his horse, Pie-O-My, Tony physically beats him to death, later cutting off his head and sticking it in a bowling bag.
Classic badass line: “You wanna talk rules? You wanna talk all that old- school bullshit? Then remember this rule: I am the motherfuckin'-fuckin' one who calls the shots!”
Occupation: Waste management consultant...allegedly
Strengths: Lucky and intimidating, a great leader
Weaknesses: Hotheaded, overweight and susceptible to panic attacks