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The Godfather Speaks

Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the iconic Godfather series, reveals secrets about the making of the epic saga.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Francis Ford Coppola, Sept/Oct 03

(continued from page 15)

CA: In your life, you've done a lot of things. But without The Godfather, you might not be in the position to have the vineyard, the winery and the estate. Is that correct?
Coppola: I bought this place in 1975 with the money from The Godfather.

CA: What, in your mind, is the high point of your career? If not The Godfather, what was it?
Coppola: The Godfather is not the high point of my career because it was such a horrible experience and I hate the memory of it. I become nauseous when I think about it. For me, given what I want to do in my life, the high point of my career is The Conversation, because it was a film that I really wrote from scratch and I got to make the way I wanted to make.

But, I acknowledge that The Godfather is the event that made me, that put me on the map in a way so that I was able to make The Conversation and Apocalypse Now and other stuff. I am respectful of The Godfather.

First of all, movies are the work of many people, and The Godfather was the work of myself, Mario Puzo, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, the cinematographer Gordy Willis, the art director Warren Clymer. In other words, I acknowledge that it was really a team. But all movies are. Everything you do in life is a team thing. I acknowledge that The Godfather really made me, but it also bugged me, too, because I couldn't escape it.

CA: Doesn't that always happen when you are the chef that married the ingredients?
Coppola: I was the chef. And the plan was in here, in this book. If you look at this, you'll see everything in that movie exactly the way it's done and why I did it that way. I was very fortunate that I had this recipe.

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