Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Gen. Tommy Franks, Nov/Dec 03
(continued from page 1)
Your interview with Francis Ford Coppola in Cigar Aficionado (October 2003) is a classic. You did a wonderful job, and got inside the emotions of the filmmaker of a classic—a real revelation.
President/New Line Cinema
New York, New York
Your interesting October 2003 interview with one of the world's premier filmmakers, Francis Ford Coppola, was outstanding—especially his lengthy background remarks on the torturous difficulty in making and casting The Godfather his way. His candid depictions illustrated the dozens of threatening roadblocks he encountered with Paramount brass that could have derailed the project at any stop along the way, from location to budget to vision. To think of The Godfather placed in modern-day Kansas City with others (Robert Redford, Ryan O'Neal, Carlo Ponti) in the seminal roles rather than Brando, Pacino, Caan and Duvall makes a moviegoer's mind whirl—especially for the millions who consider the film one of cinema's best. The Best Picture Oscar must have been sweet justice; Best Director for The Godfather: Part II the icing.
That said, it was surprising to learn that for Coppola, the process of making his most famous film is still viewed by him 30 years later as a horrible, exhausting experience that nauseates him to this day. Thank God for the profit percentage points that helped him buy his winery in the mid-'70s. Perhaps a great 1993 bottle of his Niebaum-Coppola Estate Cabernet Sauvignon helps dull his painful memories these days. What wonderful medicine!