Jack Woltz is a fictional character from the novel and movie series The Godfather, where he was a movie producer from Hollywood.
Woltz was a Jewish movie producer who had achieved mild success in the film industry, having come up from nothing, rolling barrels with his father in Hell's Kitchenduring the early 1900s. He eventually went on to found Woltz International Pictures, which grew into one of the biggest studios in Hollywood.
During World War II he became the White House's propaganda adviser, obtaining a large government contract as well as political contacts in the process, as well as an acquaintance with J. Edgar Hoover. It is also revealed that he had become a pedophile in his old age who routinely molests young girls who audition for his movies, as well as the daughters of some of his actresses. To discourage these rumors, he married a series of actresses, as well as taking etiquette lessons from a British butler and dressing lessons from a British valet.
By the 1940s, Woltz's latest hobby became racehorse breeding, and he had purchased the British Triple-Crown winning racehorse Khartoum for $600,000, planning to retire the champion from racing and put him to stud for Woltz's private stables. Woltz was very fond of the stallion, and spent a fortune hiring expert breeders, vets, and even armed P.I.'s to guard Khartoum's stable.
Dealings with the Corleones
In 1945, Woltz had bought the rights to film a war movie from a best selling novel. Woltz refuses to cast the singer/actor Johnny Fontane in his movie due to his jealousy over Fontane's role in the break up of one of Woltz's previous relationships. Woltz unsuccessfully tried to blacklist Johnny as a communist, but resorted to barring him from a movie role that would have restored Fontane's career. Fontane would have been perfect for the role, and probably have been a contender for the Best Actor Academy Award. However, Woltz, guided by revenge, turns Johnny down for the role in the hopes of destroying Johnny's career. Fontane asks Don Vito Corleone, who is his godfather, as well as the head of the Corleone family, to lean on Woltz. Corleone sends his consigliere, Tom Hagen, to Hollywood make Woltz "an offer he can't refuse".
The deal was very generous: the Corleone family would keep the actors' unions from giving Woltz International any trouble, and would insure that one of Woltz's best actors, who had started using heroin, would be barred access to drugs. Don Corleone was even willing to finance the entire production. Thinking Hagen is "some punk that Fontane hired", Woltz initially becomes enraged and resorts to truculent behavior and racial slurs. Woltz assaults Hagen with a series of anti-Italian racial slurs, then refuses to bargain. Later, after finding out Hagen worked for the Corleones, he appeared more eager to listen, trying to renegotiate to gain help with the union problems, but in the end he still refused to cast Fontane simply out of spite. Woltz even threatened to use his connections to the White House and the F.B.I. if the Corleones tried any "rough stuff". By contrast, Hagen is able to remain calm and professional during negotiation, whereas Woltz is hotheaded, stubborn, and impulsive.
Don Vito's Answer
Hagen returned to New York to report to Don Corleone, and told the Don that Woltz was not "Sicilian", i.e., Woltz was not willing to risk everything he had, including his life, just to settle a petty vendetta. Don Corleone decided to make Woltz realize this as well. One morning soon after, Woltz wakes up to find himself and his bedsheets covered in blood. He pulls back the covers to find Khartoum's severed head in his bed. Woltz realized that he was dealing with people who didn't think twice before butchering a half-million dollar horse and could easily do the same to him. After having a chance to calm down, Woltz's first instinct is to prosecute the Corleones, but rethinks this when he suspects that if word got out that he had been so easily pushed around by an "obscure little olive oil importer from New York", it would make him the laughingstock of Hollywood and he would lose all credibility. Covering up the cause of Khartoom's untimely death, Woltz gave Johnny Fontane the role in his picture.
When Johnny Fontane is nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film, a spiteful Woltz bribes or threatens nearly everyone in Hollywood to keep him from winning. He is again thwarted by the Corleone family, and Fontane wins, eventually opening a Corleone-funded movie studio that soon rivals Woltz Pictures.
Several years later, rumours of Woltz's pedophilia grew, and to combat them he married former starlet Vickie Adair. She promptly squandered his fortune on extreme redecoration and additions to his mansion and lavish parties with hipsters and surfers. He survived only by quietly selling of assets and land from the back of his movie lot.
In 1962, the Corleone family needed to negotiate with Woltz again in order to remove the heat they were receiving from President Shea. Woltz supplied them with a sex-tape of Shea and Marguerite Duvall, who was dating Michael Corleone at that time. Because of his help the Corleones secured him financially and his studio again became successful. He is considered a Hollywood legend.
In the video game
In the game The Godfather: The Game, for one of the stages the player is sent on a mission to Hollywood. Being outside of New York City, he has no map to rely on. Aldo Trapani is ordered by Tom Hagen to decapitate Khartoum, with the help of Rocco Lampone, a Corleone soldato. Aldo then must sneak the head into Woltz's bedroom, all the while being quiet enough so as not to alert any of the security guards or maids who are employed by Woltz. Successfully completing the stage will show a reenactment of the infamous "horse head" scene.