November 9, 2007

"The Rain People," "The Conversation," "Apocalypse Now," "Rumble Fish," and "Youth Without Youth."

Francis Ford Coppela lists what he thinks are his 5 best movies. Is he lying to get us to pay more attention to his non-"Godfather" work or does he really mean it?

A telling remark: "The easiest way to make sure a movie is successful is to make a traditional movie very well. If you make a slightly unusual movie or [don't] exactly follow the rules as everyone sees them, then you get into trouble."

35 comments:

Bissage said...

I was surprised to learn that not everyone appreciates "The Godfather."

George said...

Is there any truth to producer Robert Evans' claim that he re-edited The Godfather, saving it from being a dud?

SWBarns said...

1) Godfather
2) Godfather II
3) There is no number 3
4) There is no number 4
.
.
.
11) Aocalypse Now
12) Rumble Fish

Ron said...

Robert Evans would probably claim to re-editing The Gold Rush to save it from being a dud!

rhhardin said...

The best movie ever is Cane Toads : An Unnatural History , no question about it. I hope I have the right movie linked but I think that's the one.

It even won some award or other, which you'd think would put it out of the running.

Trooper York said...

Although the Godfather and Godfather II are as good as it gets, I have always enjoyed as a guilty pleasure "One from the Heart" with the Kooky Terri Garr and the delectable Nastassja Kinski. Also the Cotton Club was great since it actually gave some screen time to one of the most important but neglected figures in American Crime: Owney Madden. Plus Fred Munster in a supporting role. And great tap dancing. And a young hot Diane Lane. Good times.

ron st.amant said...

I think The Conversation is on a par with The Godfather and The Godfather II.

Apocalypse Now is a good film that could have been great, but has some deep flaws.

Smilin' Jack said...

Is he lying to get us to pay more attention to his non-"Godfather" work...?

'...his about-to-be-released "Youth Without Youth"...'

I think that answers that question.

John Kindley said...

Whew, I almost posted a snarky comment about how bad The Departed sucked. Thank God for second thoughts and narrow escapes from worldwide embarrassment.

rcocean said...

Sadly, Cotton Club was ruined by the animal friendly Mr. Richard Gere and his egregious clarinet.

Trooper York said...

I know, Mr. Gere totally butchered a character who was based on George Raft who in real life was a low level gangster before he became a movie star. But the tap dancing was great and the tap off between the two brothers was off the chart. And the babes. Diane Lane, Lonette McKee, and the cotton club girls. The supporting players Bob Hoskins, Fred Gywnne,
James Remar, and Laurence Fishburne
as Bumpy Johnson. Good, good stuff.

reader_iam said...

I always had the serious hots for Gregory Hines (may he RIP). That alone could explain why I watched the Cotton Club more than once, despite Mr. Gere's unfortunate casting, but I also loved the dancing, the music & etc.

Joe said...

I hated Godfather I and II--for the life of me I can't figure out the attraction to either of these movies.

Apocalypse Now is a bore fest. It's simply unwatchable in its entirety.

john said...

"Five guys tied up the people, stabbed the photographer in the shoulder when he resisted, and stole our electronics," including the computer with the "Tetro" script and his backup drives. "The script was finished. It made 'Hamlet' look like garbage, but it's gone"

OK, sound a bit like he's back in the Philipines? Losing his marbles in the jungle, typing the script in the rain, trying to keep Brando and Hopper from wandering off?

His wife's "Hearts of Darkness" was far better than Apocalypse. He needs to retire to his vineyard.

Modern Otter said...

My sentimental favorite Coppola (I think that's the spelling) movie is the early You're a Big Boy Now, which I've heard was actually his film school masters thesis. I'm fond of it for the same reason I'm fond of Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily? (Does anybody know what I mean by that?)

Luckyoldson said...

Ann says: "Francis Ford Coppela lists what he thinks are his 5 best movies. Is he lying to get us to pay more attention to his non-"Godfather" work or does he really mean it?"

At this point in time, considering his reputation, and the fact that he's been away from the mainstream industry or years, I can't imagine why he would "lie" about anything.

Why would anyone even consider such a thing?

P.S. Joe: You've got to be kidding.

Luckyoldson said...

modern,
I agree.

Tiger is one of the funniest things Allen ever did and I've seen it many times.

Wing Fat...??

Revenant said...

It is really hard to care about what Coppola is doing these days. He hasn't made a good movie in nearly 25 years.

Luckyoldson said...

Like I said, he's been away from the mainstream industry for years, but the following weren't bad:

# The Rainmaker (1997)
# The Godfather: Part III
# Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
(Actually this is one of my favorites)

John Stodder said...

Oh come on Francis. Stop acting like a film school undergraduate.

It's the Godfather, the Godfather Part II. Brando, DeNiro, Pacino, Caan, Duvall, "leave the gun, take the cannolli," "Fredo, you broke my heart," "You don't buy me out, I buy you out," "And I hope their first child be a masculine child," "You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing, you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit," "In my home! In my bedroom! Where my wife sleeps... and my children play with their toys."

Shaddup!

Trooper York said...

John you heard those people last night through the open window on Carroll Street too. Wow, small world.

Luckyoldson said...

Wow.

Luckyoldson said...

Trooper,
How could John hear anything in Brooklyn...when he was here in California, counting homes that didn't burn?

Faster than a speeding bullet...??

John Stodder said...

Can't you just hear those lines of dialogue I wrote down? And those are just the ones that came to mind in the instant of writing the comment. There are many, many others, and many unforgettable images as well.

There are a few moments of G-III and Apocalypse Now that are memorable -- especially of course "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like...victory," and "Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!" But not so many.

I can't remember a single line of any of Coppola's other films.

When I was a snot-nosed kid, I loved "The Conversation," and can still sort of picture it. And like you, Trooper York, I was initially dazzled by "One from the Heart," but I've never felt the urge to see it again. "Cotton Club" came out during my heavy phase of listening to Duke Ellington, so I was anticipating great things. In the end, all that sticks was Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwynne's comedy act as bouncers and a few scenes of Gregory Hines performing. Otherwise, it's probably the worst gangster film ever.

Rumble Fish, eh, okay. The Rain People, I sort of remember as good, but kind of a sixties artifact. William Inge meets "Easy Rider." He's insane if he thinks these films are better than his masterpieces.

Luckyoldson said...

"You bought an Edsel!"

Trooper York said...

Don't get me wrong, the Cotton Club isn't a great film. But bits and pieces of it came out really well. James Remar did a great job as Dutch Schultz and I loved some of the musical and dance performances. There is some great source material there if someone wants to give it another go. I just wish someone would do the definitive film about Owney Madden who was possibly the most important Irish gangster in the history of the United States, except of course for Joseph Kennedy.

Luckyoldson said...

The "Cotton Club" sucked.

Luckyoldson said...

It was also a huge flop financially.

Blake said...

OK, but ISTR that Cotton Club was a project fraught with problems before Coppola signed on. Unfortunately, I can't find any evidence of that. Damn internets.

The funny thing about that "Family Guy" scene that Bissage posted is that they're having that conversation while they're up to their necks in water, about to drown. It's only then that Peter can reveal his true feelings.

Blake said...

I like "Big Boy", too, but my favorite Coppola films would be:

1. Apocalypse Now
2. Dracula
3. Peggy Sue Got Married
4. Gardens of Stone
5. Dementia 13

Seriously, Dementia 13 flick creeps me out every time I see it.

Also, I don't like mob movies.

Dracula is a movie-fan's movie. I can see why people don't like it but it's so rich in cinematic homages that it's hard for me not to smile through the whole damn thing. And the people who point out Keanu & Winona's mis-casting are missing the point: Dracula is always about Dracula, the other characters are props. Even when it's Lawrence Olivier or Anthony Hopkins.

Ann Althouse said...

"Peggy Sue Got Married" was a lot of fun and very affecting, but not great art.

Modern Otter said...

luckyoldson wrote

modern,
I agree.

Tiger is one of the funniest things Allen ever did and I've seen it many times.


Tiger and Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now both include fun musical contributions from the Lovin' Spoonful. (In the case of Big Boy, a soundtrack pretty much all by John Sebastian.)

Modern Otter said...

It's the Godfather, the Godfather Part II. Brando, DeNiro, Pacino, Caan, Duvall, "leave the gun, take the cannolli," "Fredo, you broke my heart," "You don't buy me out, I buy you out," "And I hope their first child be a masculine child," "You've gotta get up close like this and bada-bing, you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit," "In my home! In my bedroom! Where my wife sleeps... and my children play with their toys."


"We're bigger than U.S. Steel."

John Breen said...

Just a few more from the Godfather and Godfather II . . .

"I don't feel as though I have to wipe everyone out Tom, just my enemies, that's all."

"My father taught me many things, he taught me keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

"Ah, that little farce you played with my sister. Did you really think that could fool a Corleone?"

"Kay what do you want from me? Do you expect me to let you go? Do you expect me to let you take my chidren from me? Don't you know me, don't you know that's an impossibility, that that could never happen, that I would use all my power to keep something like that from happening."

"Oh Michael you are blind. It wasn't a miscarriage. It was an abortion, an abortion just like our marriage is abortion, something that's unholy and evil. . . It was an abortion Michael. It was a son, a son and I had it killed because this must all end!"

Oh, and from Apocalypse Now . . .

"Never get out'a the boat, absolutely goddamn right, unless you were going all the way."

Revenant said...

I realize I'm in a tiny minority in thinking this, but I didn't care for Godfather II at all. It seemed overwrought and poorly plotted. The Fredo plotline amd the Kay abortion thing made little sense for those characters.