The final five minutes from The Godfather II.
Not only loaded with action and conflict but the scene establishes the relationships between the four Corleone brothers and where they sit within the current pecking order.
We see family emotions sway between:
Tension to Promise;
Rage to Joy;
Fear to Hope.
It is pure operatic genius.
All of this packed into one amazing scene...
1) It's Christmas time. The evening of Monday, December 8th, 1941.
2) The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor just happened the prior day, which was also Don Vito's birthday.
3) Lots of excitement around the dinner table as the family prepares a birthday surprise for the Don.
4) Sonny introduces Carlo to Connie for the 1st time.
5) Sal Tessio arrives dressed in winter gear and delivers a beautiful birthday cake from Nazorine, the baker.
6) Carlo and Connie work together putting candles on the birthday cake.
7) Michael has just arrived home from college for the holidays and everyone is happy to see him.
8) Family discusses Pearl Harbor attack and we learn varied opinions on the concept of patriotism vs. family.
9) Michael tells his family he's enlisted in the Marines.
10) Sonny tells Connie to leave the dining room and "go show Carlo the tree".
11) Sonny scuffles with Michael over the news of his enlistment.
12) Sonny's little daughter says: "Mommy, Daddy's fighting again!" and then giggles.
13) Tom tells Michael that he and the Don have been discussing Michael's future, which draws Michael's ire.
14) Eldest brother Fredo (the simpleton) attempts to congratulate Micheal, but Sonny interrupts him harshly.
15) Sonny barks at Fredo a command to get him a drink. And Fredo complies.
16) Vito's car has just pulled up outside. The entire family leaves to go greet him at the front door.
17) Michael remains at the table alone to contemplate his position in the family and his own self-determination for his future.