According to most reliable surveys, The Godfather is the most popular movie of all time. Therefore, in the wake of Marlon Brando's death in July 2004, it's no surprise that memorabilia from his house and from the film fetched huge dollar amounts at a Christie's auction. An anonymous buyer purchased a Brando-signed script of the film for more than $310,000.Other Godfather memorabilia at this auction sold for thousands of dollars, including a letter to Brando from the author, Mario Puzo. In this letter, the author importuned Brando to take the lead role in the film version of his book. This piece sold for over $130,000. All told, over 250 Brando-related items were sold off at this Christie's auction.Thanks to its cultural importance, Godfather memorabilia will no doubt continue to appreciate over time. Indeed, original signed copies of Mario Puzo's book, which inspired the film, now sell regularly for hundreds of dollars. What made this film so iconic in the American mind? The Godfather is at heart a quintessential American story. It follows a classic struggle between father and son and depicts a clash between old world Italian ways and new American traditions. Michael, the son of Mafia kingpin, Don Corleone, returns from fighting abroad to apprentice himself to his father's crime business. As Michael gets torn between the call of family and the calls of modernism, his relationship with his dad fractures. While this film is oftentimes truly violent, it's also stunning in its storytelling artistry and directorial brilliance.