The Godfather is universally considered to be one of the best movies ever produced. This masterpiece contains many memorable scenes, but one scene trumps all the rest in dramatic intensity. The Italian Restaurant.
An assassination attempt on Don Corleone left him badly injured and near death. A costly and brutal war between the Families seemed inevitable. The hot-headed Sonny Corleone was hell-bent on a war of revenge, but his younger brother Michael came up with a better plan.
Under the guise of suing for peace, the Corleones made arrangements for Michael to meet with Sollozzo and the corrupt police captain McCluskey. The secret location of the meeting was discovered via the Corleone’s network of contacts and a handgun was planted there in the restaurant restroom.
Michael was instructed by Clemenza to come out of the rest room with the gun blazing, but Michael used his brain and his instincts to alter his plan. He knew that Sollozzo was nervous because he frisked him again before Michael made his way to the back. Michael also noticed the guy sitting in the corner and realized that if he made an immediate move, without sitting back down, that he would be in danger.
There is no doubt that the gunman in the corner relaxed after Michael sat back down, thinking that there was no threat. Michael waited for the right moment, shot Sollozzo and the Captain, and immediately looked at the guy in the corner. He made no move and Michael calmly walked out and dropped the gun.
This scene is one of the most dramatic in the history of cinema. That music at the end!