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Frederick Keinszig

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Title: Frederick Keinszig  
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Subject: The Godfather Part III, Michael Corleone, Vincent Corleone, Cardinal Lamberto, Archbishop Gilday
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Frederick Keinszig

Frederick Keinszig is a fictional character appearing in The Godfather Part III. He was portrayed by Austrian actor Helmut Berger.

In the film

Nicknamed "God's Banker," Keinszig is the Swiss chief accountant of the Vatican Bank. As such, he represents the Vatican on the board of International Immobiliare, a European real estate company in which the Church has a quarter interest and is transferred to the control of Michael Corleone. However, he is also part of a large conspiracy with Don Licio Lucchesi and Archbishop Gilday to scam Michael out of hundreds of millions of dollars and give it to persons holding positions of political power. The three accomplished this by constantly stalling the conclusion of the Immobiliare deal and harping on the ill health of Pope Paul VI, as the Pontiff's personal approval is necessary to finalize the transfer of the company to Corleone control.

After the Pope's death, Cardinal Lamberto is elected the new Pontiff (he takes the name John Paul I) and promptly requests a meeting with Keinszig to discuss reform of the Vatican Bank. However, Keinszig mysteriously departs Rome, along with a large amount of money and several important documents. After Michael's nephew Vincent Corleone becomes the new Don, he orders the deaths of Keinszig, Lucchesi, and the Archbishop in revenge for swindling his uncle. Accordingly, Vincent's dispatched assassin penetrates Keinszig's house and smothers him with a pillow. His corpse is subsequently hanged from a bridge, in full view of the public.

Inspirations

The character of Frederick Keinszig is loosely based on Roberto Calvi, the head of the Vatican-controlled Banco Ambrosiano, which spectacularly collapsed in 1982, causing a large scandal in Italy. Calvi was found hanging from the Blackfriars Bridge the same year, victim of a murder of yet unclear circumstances.

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