From Al Capone and Vito Corleone to John Gotti and Tony Soprano, real-life and fictional mafiosos have captured the public imagination since the 1920s. Ruthless and violent, these men are nonetheless often seen to maintain their own personal brand of honor and decency. In this way, they are modern-day versions of the outlaw heroes of the Wild West, such as Jesse and Frank James or Billy the Kid. Gangsters were only a tiny percentage of the huge migration of Italians, primarily from the south of Italy, to America in the early 20th century. Still, “The Mafia” has become the primary pop culture expression of the Italian American identity–much to the dismay of many Italian Americans. This is due largely to the enduring influence of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 Oscar-winning smash hit film “The Godfather” (based on Mario Puzo’s novel) and its reinvention of the gangster movie genre.