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Francis Ford Coppola
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Francis Ford Coppola

, Michael Jackson and Francis Ford Coppola filming Captain EO]]

Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is an American film director.

Table of contents
1 Career 1960 to 1978
2 Career 1979 to present
3 Selected filmography
4 External links

Career 1960 to 1978

Coppola studied film at UCLA and while there, he made numerous short films, including some pornography. In the late 1960s, he started his professional career making low-budget films with Roger Corman and writing screenplays.

In 1971 Coppola won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Patton. However, his name as a filmmaker was made as the co-writer and director of The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), which both won the Academy Award for Best Picture — the latter being the first sequel to do so.

During this period he also wrote the screenplay for the 1974 remake of The Great Gatsby and produced George Lucas's breakthrough film, American Graffiti.

Career 1979 to present

Following the success of The Godfather and its sequel, Coppola set about filming an ambitious version of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, set during the Vietnam war. The film, entitled Apocalypse Now (1979), was beset by numerous problems, including typhoons, drug abuse and nervous breakdowns; and was delayed so often it was nicknamed Apocalypse Whenever. The film was equally lauded and hated by critics when it finally appeared, and the cost nearly bankrupted Coppola's nascent studio American Zoetrope. The 1991 documentary film , directed by Eleanor Coppola (Francis's wife), Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper, chronicles the difficulties the crew went through making Apocalypse Now, and features behind the scenes footage filmed by Eleanor.

Despite the setbacks and ill health Coppola suffered during the making of Apocalypse Now, he kept up with film projects, presenting in 1981 a restoration of the 1927 film Napoléon; that was edited and released in the United States by American Zoetrope. However it wasn't until the experimental musical One from the Heart (1982) that he returned to directing. Unfortunately, the film was not a success.

In 1986 Coppola, with George Lucas, directed the Michael Jackson film for Disney theme parks, Captain EO, which at the time was the most expensive film per minute ever made.

In 1990 he completed the Godfather series with The Godfather Part III, which while not as critically acclaimed as the first two movies, was still a box office success.

Coppola's daughter Sofia is also a filmmaker (see The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation). His nephew Nicolas Cage is an acclaimed actor in his own right.

In recent years, Coppola with his family has extended his talents to winemaking in California's Napa Valley and opening resorts in Guatemala and Belize, inspired by his accommodation in the Philippines during the making of Apocalypse Now, with decor supervised by Eleanor Coppola.

Selected filmography

External links