Awesome Music: Naturally, as it has a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Not only that, but Sergio Leone considered the film's soundtrack the best work that Morricone had ever done for him. Justthinkaboutthat for a second. Particularly awesome: Morricone's instrumentals of The Beatles' "Yesterday"—which ultimately brings the poignancy of Noodles's reunion with MaxUp to Eleven.
Funny Moments: Max's purchase of an elaborate chair that was a gift to a Pope. And according to the commentary it may even be a self-deprecating joke, as Sergio Leone was an avid furniture collector.
Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Noodles himself when he rapes Deborah in the back of a moving taxi. Granted, he does rape Carol earlier in the movie, but that one's relatively emotionless on both ends and you're not stuck watching it during the heist. Since Deborah is the only character in the movie who the viewer has a conventionally positive investment in, not to mention how Noodles rips her dress apart for round two when you think/hope it's over and he's already got her in the palm of his hand, it's tough stuff. Really makes that bitch-slap from Michael to Kay in The Godfather Part II look tame.
Tear Jerker: Poor Little Dominic. The music makes it even worse when it happens.
Vindicated by Cable: The Z Channel's broadcasts of it in its original cut helped restore its reputation in the US.
Vindicated by History: While original 229 minute European cut was always highly regarded, the US release was made over an hour shorter and had the order of events changed thanks to Executive Meddling. Critics and audiences were left confused thanks to the removal of several scenes. As a result, the film was a financial flop and received lukewarm reactions. The few American critics who praised the film were the ones who had seen the original cut, and some even attacked the American release. The original 229 minute release has since been made widely available, and the film is now widely recognized as a classic.