The Godfather, Elizabeth
This Week in 1972: 'The Godfather'

It's the Corleones' world; we just live in it.

It's hard to overstate the impact of 'The Godfather' (released 39 years ago this week, on March 15, 1972) on pop culture. Francis Ford Coppola's epic (and its sequels) finally made the gangster drama respectable as art, offered an alternative history of immigration and assimilation in America, and spawned a mob vogue that continues to this day in movies, TV, books, music and video games. It spawned catchphrases ("I'll make him an offer he can't refuse"), inspired businesses (the Godfather's Pizza chain) and launched or jump-started countless Hollywood careers. Its influence is so far-flung that there are even some movies that have nothing to do with the Mafia or Italian-American life that nonetheless wear their 'Godfather' homages on their sleeves.