The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola
Publication Year: 2014
WITH A FOREWORD BY WALTER MURCH Gene Phillips blends biography, studio history, and film criticism to complete the most comprehensive work on Coppola ever written. The force behind such popular and critically acclaimed films as Apocalypse Now and the Godfather trilogy, Coppola has imprinted his distinct style on each of his movies and on the landscape of American popular culture. In Godfather, Phillips argues that Coppola has repeatedly bucked the Hollywood "factory system" in an attempt to create distinct films that reflect his own artistic vision -- often to the detriment of his career and finances. Phillips conducted interviews with the director and his colleagues and examined Coppola's production journals and screenplays. Phillips also reviewed rare copies of Coppola's student films, his early excursions into soft-core pornography, and his less celebrated productions such as One from the Heart and Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The result is the definitive assessment of one of Hollywood's most enduring and misunderstood mavericks.
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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It disappeared long ago, but in 1972 the Window was still there, peering through milky cataracts of dust, thirty-five feet above the floor of Samuel Goldwyn's old Stage 7.1 never would have noticed it if Richard hadn't sud denly stopped in his tracks as we were taking a shortcut on our way back "That... was when Sound ... was King!" he said, gesturing dramati ...
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First of all, I am grateful to Francis Ford Coppola, who was willing to talk with me at the Cannes International Film Festival, for reading the precis from which this book was developed and for reading through all of his published interviews to check for factual errors. In addition, I would also like to single out the following among those who have given me their assis ...
Chronology for Francis Ford Coppola
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...1939 Born April 7 in Detroit, Michigan, to Carmine and Italia Coppola. 1960 Earns a Bachelor of Arts degree at Hofstra and enters the film 1962 Is hired by Roger Corman, an independent producer, and works 1963 Directs his first feature, Dementia 13, a low-budget movie made 1966 As scriptwriter for Seven Arts, an independent production unit, ...
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At 7:00 PM on the evening of May 7, 2002, Francis Ford Coppola took his place in a special box overlooking the auditorium of Avery Fisher Hall in New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The occasion was a gala tribute sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center honoring Coppola's lifetime achievement as a filmmaker. Several cinema artists asso ...
Part One: Hollywood Immigrant
1. Point of Departure
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...completely stultifying to whatever creative talent one might hap pen to possess. But like others before me, I discovered that this "Hollywood's like Egypt,5' the late producer David O. Selznick once re marked, "full of crumbled pyramids. It will just keep crumbling until fi nally the wind blows the last studio prop across the sands There might ...
2. Going Hollywood
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Hollywood is a surreal place. The first time I saw a crane plant ing a full-grown tree in a garden, I realized that Hollywood is The collapse in the 1960s of Hollywood as the center of mass entertain ment in America was precipitated by the advent of television, which be came America's principal source of entertainment for the mass audience. ...
3. Nightmares at Noon
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Warners-Seven Arts was satisfied with Coppola's direction oiFinians Rain bow, particularly his filming of the musical numbers. What's more, although the picture was not a box-office bonanza, it earned $5.5 million in its initial run, and Coppola had brought the picture in on a budget of $3.5 million. The front office was therefore interested in the movie he wanted to make ...
Part Two: The Mature Moviemaker
4. In a Savage Land
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When Francis Coppola first considered filming Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather, he perused the book and found it a rather sensational, sleazy crime novel. But, then, Puzo was not aspiring to create a work of literature. When he conceived it, as he confesses in The Godfather Papers, he had al ready published two novels that did have literary pretensions, but they went ...
5. Decline and Fall
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...of life. I never knew these people as criminals. To me they were When The Godfather became a runaway hit, Coppola's earnings from the film's profits amounted to a small fortune. So he could now afford to move the offices of American Zoetrope, his independent film production unit, from the old Folsom Street warehouse in San Francisco to more ample ...
6. The Unknown Soldiers
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Nothing comes free. One way or another, you pay for what you are. Life is a trail you follow in an unknown jungle. There is always Apocalypse Now was originally conceived by George Lucas and John Milius as a film about the Vietnam War when Francis Coppola was just starting American Zoetrope. In early 1970 Coppola presented to Warner Brothers a ...
Part Three: Artist in an Industry
7. Exiled in Eden
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...ing the Sphinx. It's just there, and it will go on being there, Hollywood is still held together by palm trees, telephone wires, Although both of the Godfather films were productions originated by Para mount Pictures, Coppola continued to maintain his own independent pro duction company through which he initiated projects, such as Apocalypse ...
8. Growing Pains
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In the fall of 1980 Coppola received a joint letter from the librarian of Lone Star High School in Fresno, California, Ellen Misakian, writing on behalf of several of the students who also signed the letter. After the re lease of Apocalypse Now Coppola had served as executive producer on The Black Stallion (1980), which was made under the banner of Ameri ...
9. Night Life
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Very often performers were court jesters or troubadours for the Robert Evans, who was production chief at Paramount when Francis Ford Coppola filmed The Godfather there, in due course left his posi tion to become an independent producer, releasing films through Para mount. After producing successful movies like Chinatown (1974), Evans ...
Part Four: The Vintage Years
10. The Past as Present
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I've spent much of my life trying to outrun the past, and now it At this juncture Francis Coppola still considered himself a hireling who was compelled to accept projects brought to him by the studios because he was not in a position to originate projects of his own. Still facing bankruptcy because of the demise of Zoetrope Studios in Los Angeles, he had arranged ...
11. The Disenchanted
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Preston Tucker, the maverick automobile inventor who was the subject of Coppola's biographical film, first came to Coppola's attention when, as a child of eight, he saw the first Tucker automobile on display in 1948. He never forgot the experience and decided to make a movie about the flam Preston Tucker was born in suburban Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1903. ...
12. Fright Night
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Because Winona Ryder had had to bow out of Godfather III because of illness, she was anxious to work with Coppola in another film. When she read James Hart's screen adaptation of Dracula, based on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, she not only wanted to play the heroine in the film, but she also asked Coppola to direct it. She passed the script on to him, and Coppola ...
13. The Vanishing Hero
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While waiting for his flight to Paris to take off from JFK in New York, Francis Coppola bought a copy of John Grisham's novel The Rainmaker. No less than five of Grisham's books had made it to the big screen, and so Coppola decided to take a gander at this one. By the time his plane touched down at Orly, he was hooked on filming Grisham's The Rainmaker as an American ...
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Francis Ford Coppola learned during his career that a director not only has to work hard to achieve the kind of artistic independence that qualifies him to be an auteur, but also that the director has to work just as hard to keep it. For example, although a director like Coppola has often been looked upon as a maverick who makes films perhaps more subjective and personal ...
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Above: After serving his apprenticeship under independent producer Roger Corman, Coppola wrote and directed his first feature, Dementia 13y which Corman produced. The film featured Mary Mitchel and William Campbell (Museum of Modern Art/Film Stills Archive). Below: In the psychological thriller Dementia 13, the lives of newlyweds Kane (Mary Mitchel) and Richard (William Campbell), a ...
Page Count: 424
Publication Year: 2014