* Considering ''The Godfather'' is both critically acclaimed AND popularly beloved, the entire movie could be one long Crowning Moment. The acting is so good that otherwise tragic scenes are memorable for the delivery of the actors alone.
** Considering that the second film is often cited as ''[[EvenBetterSequel superior]]'', it also counts.
** The fact that Creator/MarlonBrando and Creator/RobertDeNiro are the only actors ever to both win acting Oscars for playing the same character is pretty damn impressive as well.
* In a scene only shown in the ''Saga'' edition, Michael's cronies have tracked down his treacherous bodyguard Fabrizzio. He is shown getting into his car, turning the ignition key--[[LaserGuidedKarma and the car explodes, killing him the way he killed Michael's first wife.]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CDlBLvc3YE The Baptism scene:]] interspersing the church ceremony of Michael becoming a literal godfather to his nephew, Michael has his troops [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill wipe out the other heads of the Five Families]]. Michael's promises to renounce "the Devil" and "his works" underscore the grisly scenes of the bodies piling up.
* Pretty much every scene of Clemenza providing advice to Michael or his underlings.
** "Leave the gun. (pause) [[MemeticMutation Take the cannoli.]]"
** Clemenza's recipe for spaghetti sauce and meatballs has been tried in Real Life and deemed [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome pretty damn good]].
* Moe Greene's rant at being disrespected by Michael in Las Vegas. "Son of a bitch, do you know who I am? I'm Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!"
* At the hospital, when Michael realizes his father is getting set up for another hit, he's forced to improvise with little help until Enzo the Baker shows up paying his respects for Don Vito. Enzo offers willingly to help Michael ("For your father"), and Michael gets Enzo to stand with him in front of the hospital [[BatmanGambit as a bluff]] to scare off the incoming assassins. Once the car of hitmen drive off, Enzo tries to light up a cigarette but can't because his hands are shaking too much. Michael helps with the lighter, and notices with some awe ''that his own hands aren't trembling''.
** Given Michael's military background and experience, [[FridgeBrilliance it makes perfect sense that he was able to keep it together]].
** Remember that Enzo '''also''' was a soldier. He was in the Italian army and got captured and sent to America to help the war effort. He must have experienced combat as well but still wasn't as calm as Michael. So it's a double moment of Awesome for the both of them - Michael was able to do it with nerves of steel, and Enzo kept on even though he was scared out of his wits.
* Michael's meeting with Sollozzo under [=McCluskey=]'s bodyguard at that small family restaurant. And how the meeting ends.
-->"Try the veal. It's the best in the city."
* The murders of Solozzo and Captain [=McCluskey=] by Michael, sending the formerly squeaky clean war hero down the same criminal path as the rest of his family. It was such a Crowning Moment that it convinced Paramount, who had been looking for any reason to fire Francis Ford Coppola (and Al Pacino) and get another director, that he might actually know what he was doing.
* When Connie protests the Corleone men discussing business at the dinner table (something Vito didn't do), hubby Carlo silences her rather harshly. Even though Mama Corleone rebukes Sonny's [[BigBrotherInstinct defense of his sister]], he's still able to retaliate by shooting down [[CoattailRidingRelative Carlo's request to get more involved in the family business]].
--> [[MeaningfulEcho "We don't talk business at the dinner table."]]
* The apologetic way Neri closes the door between Michael and Kay as Michael receives Clemenza and other mafia lieutenants. It makes Kay realize Michael just lied to her about the Family business. But it's also [[BittersweetEnding the best way to end the film]].
* For Fredo, the fact that he'd been [[MemeticMutation banging cocktail waitresses two at a time]] during his stay in Vegas.
* It's bad news for the horse, but the way the Corleones handle the corrupt movie producer (and pedophile) Woltz by discreetly placing the head of Woltz's prized race horse Karthoum in Woltz's bed. The fact the mobsters were capable of doing such an act quietly and efficiently demonstrates some serious skills. Not to mention how far they were willing to go to punish Woltz.
* Tom Hagen gets an understated moment shortly before that. Woltz, explaining ''why'' he doesn't want Johnny Fontaine in his new film, breaks down into a violent rant and angrily demands Tom get out. Hagen calmly sets down his utensils, stands up, and quietly thanks Woltz for the pleasant tour of his home (which it had been, up until that point), and says his farewells without once losing his cool. Even before the scene with [[spoiler:the horse]], you know he's gotten the upper hand.
* The last 15 minutes or so of ''Film/TheGodfather'' are pure awesome for Michael Corleone. The Corleone Family is at its lowest moment; Sonny and Michael's first wife murdered, Vito almost murdered, the Family forced to accept a truce with the people who did it, and their rivals moving in on their business interests. While he's standing as godfather to his sister's baby, Michael calmly says yes while, at the exact same moment, his men all over the city and the country are pulling off a series of assassinations on every opposing mob leader or power broker that stand in his way, reestablishing the Corleones as the most powerful crime family in the nation and sending the message that Michael is even more cunning and ruthless than his father. ''Then'' he goes up to his brother-in-law Carlo, whose baby he was just named godfather for, and tells him that he knows that Carlo was involved in the death of Michael's older brother and a conspiracy against Michael's family. He pretends he's [[PutOnABus putting Carlo on a bus]], but actually sends him off to be killed. And ''then'' he calmly denies it when his hysterical sister accuses him of doing this and uses every ounce of his wife's trust to tell her a stone cold lie and make her believe he had nothing to do with it, if only briefly. MagnificentBastard.
* More concise, and yet more devastating, in ''The Godfather Part II''. New Year's Day in Havana, Michael at a celebration with his brother Fredo, the brother who secretly (and unintentionally) nearly had him assassinated. In the middle of the roaring party, Michael whispers some travel arrangements in Fredo's ear, then delivers the KissOfDeath to him full on the lips and grabs him without letting go. "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. ''You broke my heart''."
* Michael's confrontation with Fredo back in Nevada after they fled from Cuba. With Fredo expressing all of the [[WhatTheHellHero rage and frustration]] of being passed over and belittled by his little brother. For John Cazale, this is his finest moment as an actor.
-->Taken care of me?! You're my kid brother, and you take care of me?! Did you ever think about that? Huh? '''Did you ever once think about that?!''' Send Fredo off to do this, send Fredo off to do that! Let Fredo take care of some Mickey Mouse nightclub somewhere! Send Fredo to pick somebody up at the airport! I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
* The whole story of Vito Corleone's rise to becoming the Godfather is basically just one Crowning Moment of Awesome after another, culminating in this line: "My father's name was Antonio Andolini...''[[GuttedLikeAFish and this is for you!]]''"
** Linked to that, the deleted scenes from the ''Saga'' that show Vito tracking down Don Ciccio's mooks and killing them as well.
** An understated one from Vito's wife Carmela, who while never asking about his business, knows he can help her friend Signora Columbo who is being evicted from her home.
* One word:
* Hyman Roth's pep speech to Michael while in Cuba, waiting on their deal with the corrupt government to go through.
-->"Michael, we're bigger than US Steel."
* Hyman Roth's legendary "Moe Green" speech. Many found themselves rooting for him after that part.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=435mkg6_eGQ The final flashback]] of ''Part II'' on Vito's birthday day and after Pearl Harbor. In just a few minutes it manages to summarize and flesh out the traits of many posthumous and still young or not fully developed characters back then. Special mention to Sonny's role, who takes over several Vito's lines form the novel after Brando made a no-show. Vito, who is about to arrive still manages to haunt the scene being a literal [[TheGhost looming ghost]], as even in absentia he dominates the conversation.
* Michael gets another when Tom Hagen tells him they have no way of getting to Hyman Roth.
-->'''Michael''': Tom, I'm surprised at you. If there's one thing that's certain in this world, if there's one thing history has taught us, it is that you can kill anybody.
* Sonny's bastard Vincent Mancini shows he's his father's son by expertly taking out two goons sent by Joey Zaza to kill him in his apartment.
* The mass assassination of the Commission by [[spoiler:Joey Zaza and Don Abetello]]: almost a SerialEscalation from the infamous Baptism massacre from Part I where a ''helicopter'' is brought in outside the meeting room and [[MoreDakka military firepower]] gets unleashed on the entire Mafia leadership. One critic noted it was "an unholy matrimony" of the ''Godfather'' series to Coppola's other epic work ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
* Michael's PassingTheTorch moment to Vincent is a truly awesome piece of cinematography, mainly because of how quiet and understated it is. It begins with Michael gently trying to dissuade Vincent, telling him that being a Mafia Don isn't all power and glamour. And when it's clear that Vincent genuinely wants it, he calls his lieutenants in to witness, and declares, "From this moment on, [[YouAreInCommandNow call yourself Vincenzo Corleone]]." Cue the kissing of hands and theme music.
* Despite being used to punctuate a tragic ending, "Cavalleria Rusticana" is a piece so powerful that at times it raises about the drama.