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Francis Ford Coppola turns 65

Born April 7, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, Francis Ford Coppola turns 65 today. That makes him nominally retirement age, but he apparently has a new movie coming out this year, and hopefully a few more left in him.

Already, he’s given us some outstanding landmark films. Of course, the Godfather movies are the main backbone of his reputation. Heck, I even think Godfather III was outstanding. Then there is Apocalypse Now.

As reknowned as he is, still not all of his films have gotten their due. Finian’s Rainbow, his first major budget feature, remains underappreciated. It was a musical based on a big Broadway play, which was the original source for the classic “Old Devil Moon.” Coppola’s movie featured Fred Astaire in his last starring musical role.

Tucker: The Man and His Dream didn’t fare well in theaters, and his languished among critic types. Nonetheless, it is just about as good a movie as he ever made. Beautiful stuff. Give it a try.

Happy birthday, Francis, and thanks for all the great work.

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  • Chris Kent

    Coppola really hasn’t made a truly great film since Apocalypse Now. That infamous Vietnam epic left him, for the most part, a shell of what he once was. Looking at the man’s career, we can only find 3-4 truly great films.

    He’s had some interesting films since Apocalypse Now, among them The Cotton Club, One from the Heart and Dracula, though all of them furiously flawed. I don’t even consider Tucker one of his 10 best films……

    Coppola could always talk a good talk, but actually making the film was an entirely different matter. I suppose one could compare him to Orson Welles, another brilliant talent who was often his own worst enemy…..