You can't watch The Godfather and not be struck by how great it is. The Francis Ford Coppola mafia movie is violent and a frightening reflection of New York's meanest streets.
But, more than that, The Godfather is a story about family, loyalty and dying alone like a dirty dog when, instead of protecting them, you kill them.
The Godfather, The Godfather II and, to a lesser degree, The Godfather III captured life in America as seen from an immigrant family that started out with nothing but realized financial success and respect, even if they went about getting it the wrong way.
The movies are classics that won armfuls of Academy Awards and, today, live on as some of the best movies ever made.
The movies are so good and so beloved that any documentary about them could easily slip into an exercise in fawning gobbledy-gook.
Thankfully, Kevin Burns' The Godfather Legacy (History Channel, 9pm) takes a different approach that works perfectly.
Legacy dissects the movies and their impact on American culture much like you might experience in a college film history class or a Shakespearean lit class - in the best sense.
The Godfather movies weren't just good. They were complex, deep stories that reflected a sometimes brushed-over history of America.
On Legacy, Francis Ford Coppola and several The Godfather's stars - Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire - do more than talk about their memories. Michael Imperioli narrates.
They explain the movies and how the characters and their stories take inspiration from classic works of fiction while explaining American culture and politics at the time. Both influenced the making of the movies and, for moviegoers, the experience of watching The Godfather.
Al, James and Talia speak in such loving terms about the movies and being involved in classics that will live on for generations to come, that it's hard not to get completely caught up in The Godfather Legacy - just like the movies themselves.