Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola (kō´pə´lə), 1939–, American film director, b. Detroit. Coppola began his career directing low-budget films and working on screenplays for other directors. He won his first Academy Award for Patton (1970) and firmly established his reputation with The Godfather (1972; Academy Award). In this film, he converted an unambitious novel about the Corleone family and organized crime into a subtle portrait of the immigrant experience in America. He created an even more expansive version of this story in The Godfather Part II (1974; Academy Award). Apocalypse Now (1979) was Coppola's ambitious effort to show Vietnam as America's Heart of Darkness, with Joseph Conrad's story providing the narrative skeleton; an expanded cut of the film entitled Apocalypse Now Redux was released 22 years later. His post-Apocalypse films, including The Outsiders (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), and Tucker (1987), varied widely in quality, but he returned to top form with The Godfather, Part III (1990), which brought the story of the Corleones into the 1980s. In 1992, Coppola turned to the horror genre with his version of the vampire classic, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Thereafter he focused more on the making of wines from his California vineyards. In 2007 he released Youth without Youth, a complex film about a man who mysteriously recovers his lost youth, adapted from a novella by Mircea Eliade.

See biography by M. Schumacher (1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Major Film Directors of the American and British Cinema
Gene D. Phillips.
Lehigh University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Francis Coppola: The Lower Depths"
Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures
Vincent Lobrutto.
Praeger, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Tableau Narrative Structure and Sound Design: Apocalypse Now"
Apocalypse. Again: The Vietnam War Has Possessed the Imaginations of Film-Makers for a Quarter of a Century. but One Hellish Vision of the Conflict Still Dominates the Canon. (the Back Half)
Kerr, Philip.
New Statesman (1996), Vol. 130, No. 4565, November 26, 2001
A Cinematic Offer You Can't Refuse: Or How 'The Godfather' Prefigured Apocalypse
Tonkin, Boyd.
New Statesman (1996), Vol. 125, No. 4295, August 2, 1996
Beyond "Pizza" and "Nonna"! or, What's Bad about Italian/American Criticism? Further Directions for Italian/American Cultural Studies (1)
Tamburri, Anthony Julian.
MELUS, Vol. 28, No. 3, Fall 2003
Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995
Daniel Curran.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Coppola, Francis Ford" begins on p. 67
Hollywood Scavenges Magazines in Search of Plots and Story Lines
Horvitz, Leslie Alan.
Insight on the News, Vol. 13, No. 17, May 12, 1997
Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers
Yvonne Tasker.
Routledge, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Francis Ford Coppola" begins on p. 118
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