Massimo Fanucci was a member of The Black Hand, who served as the victim of Vito Corleone's first hit. He was portrayed by Gastone Moschin.
Fanucci was a freelance extortionist with ties to the Black Hand, who operated in Hell's Kitchen, the neighborhood in which the young Vito Corleone lived at the turn of the century. He was believed to have connections with notorious gangster Maranzalla, which made him, in a sense 'untouchable'. Fanucci demanded "protection" money from neighborhood businesses, and did not confine his demands to non-Sicilians, which is considered a sign of disrespect in the Mafia. Corleone witnessed Fanucci threaten to disfigure a young girl when her father refused to pay him. He also indirectly lost his own job when Fanucci demanded that his friend Genco Abbandando's father provide employment for Fanucci's nephew, Sandiago. Corleone watched Fanucci wander the streets without obvious protection, but took no immediate action. However, when Fanucci demanded a substantial cut of the illegal business Corleone conducted with Peter Clemenza and Salvatore Tessio, he saw a chance to take the Fanucci's place. When Vito met with Fanucci, he offered only a fraction of the amount demanded - $100 of the $600 Fanucci expected. Fanucci was impressed with Vito's courage, and offered him work. Vito interpreted his ability to low-ball Fanucci as a sign of the latter's weakness, thus confirming his suspicion of Fanucci's vulnerability. Corleone followed Fanucci to his apartment down the street, and prepared to execute him. He wrapped the gun in a towel to muffle its report. When Fanucci arrived, Corleone shot him once in the chest and two times in the face, while loud music was being played during a nearby parade. The parade matched the event of the Fanucci hit. The music sounds dramatic when Vito enters the apartment building but an uproarious happy sound occurs after Fanucci is killed. After the hit, Vito retrieved the money Fanucci had taken earlier in the day and then destroyed the gun, dropping the pieces of the gun down pipes of the apartment building. He then took over the neighbourhood, for which he was respected by the local people. It was discovered, due to lack of interest or reprisals following Fanucci's demise that he had, in fact, fabricated the tales of his connections, or, at the very least, exaggerated them.