[[caption-width-right:344:Why can't I hold all these Oscars?]]

->''Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos.''

'''Francis Ford Coppola''' (April 7, 1939-) is a famed American film director/screenwriter/producer, one of the paragons of The NewHollywood and best known for such works as ''Film/TheGodfather'' trilogy and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.

After doing low-budget films in the 1960s and early '70s, his breakthrough was winning an Academy Award for his screenplay of ''Film/{{Patton}}''. Creator/GeorgeLucas was hired to be his assistant. The two founded Zoetrope International Pictures together in 1971. Coppola's directing breakthrough was 1969's ''The Rain People'', which was a box office flop, but impressed Paramount executives enough to tap him as director for ''Film/TheGodfather''.

In 1972, ''The Godfather'' was a critical and huge commercial success, and with that recognition, Coppola shot George Lucas to fame for producing his ''Film/AmericanGraffiti'' and ''Film/{{THX 1138}}''. In 1974 he directed ''Film/TheGodfather Part II'', and ''Film/TheConversation'' in the same year. The production of ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' was an absolute nightmare for everyone who worked on it, but the film is widely regarded today by film critics as a masterpiece.

Those were his most famous works. His career stumbled with ''One from the Heart'', an expensive flop which nearly bankrupted Zoetrope. Nonethless, Coppola remained prolific throughout TheEighties, releasing ''Film/PeggySueGotMarried'', featuring his nephew Creator/NicolasCage. He also directed ''Film/TheOutsiders'' and ''Literature/RumbleFish'', two "pet projects" of his, and ''Film/TuckerTheManAndHisDream'', largely because [[AuthorAppeal his father owned a Tucker]]. ''Film/TheOutsiders'' launched the careers of more than a few familiar actors now. In TheNineties he went more commercial with films such as ''Film/BramStokersDracula'', ''Film/{{Jack|1996}}'' and ''Film/TheRainmaker''.

Recent projects include ''Film/NewYorkStories'' with fellow famed (and Oscar-winning in their own right) directors Creator/WoodyAllen and Creator/MartinScorsese, ''YouthWithoutYouth'' and ''Tetro''. He now publishes magazines and makes wine and lives in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco.

His father Carmine Coppola was the first flautist for the UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}} Symphony Orchestra, and won an Oscar scoring ''The Godfather Part II''. His daughter Creator/SofiaCoppola became an acclaimed director (despite an ill-fated acting gig in ''The Godfather Part III''). His sister Talia Shire was cast by him as Connie Corleone, and later became Film/{{Rocky}}'s wife Adrian (her son Jason Schwartzman is also an actor). His brother August is the father of NicolasCage. Along with the Hustons (Walter, John and Angelica) they are the only family to feature three generations of Oscar-winners.
!!Related tropes:

* AuteurLicense: Got it with ''The Godfather'', lost it somewhat after ''One From the Heart'' bombed and caused him to file bankruptcy. How much he still has this has varied from project to project since then until the past decade when he was able to fund his own films. He's recently taken to using profits from his lucrative winery to making personal films, solving the problem for himself seemingly, he's becomes highly prolific of late.
* AuthorAppeal: His main reason for making ''Film/TuckerTheManAndHisDream'' was his father owned a Tucker. GeorgeLucas produced it for, surprisingly, the same reason - his father also owned a Tucker.
** ''Film/TheConversation'' draws on Coppola's own fascination with bugging and electronic gadgets generally. He also incorporates a lot of his personality into the film's protagonist, [[AuthorAvatar Harry Caul]].
* BerserkButton: In the DVDCommentary, Coppola is ''very'' defensive of his choice to cast his daughter Sofia in the third ''Godfather'' film. The much-criticized casting choice was due to Winona Ryder ducking out of the role day before shooting began (and Coppola having hard demands to stay on time and budget), and Coppola had to scramble to fill it. It's said to be a poor idea to bring it up in his presence.
** Another BerserkButton is writer Peter Biskind whose book ''Easy Riders, Raging Bulls'' painted him as a PrimaDonnaDirector which not surprisingly angered him greatly, though he also claims that the book is unfairly biased and very poorly researched and an inaccurate look at his generation from someone who wasn't there.
* BreatherEpisode: ''One From the Heart'' was supposed to be this for him after the incredibly difficult production of ''Apocalypse Now''. Sadly, its critical and commercial failure came close to killing his career and ensured he'd never reach the peaks of his 70s work again.
* CreatorKiller: ''One From the Heart'' (which even earned the nickname ''One Through the Heart'' for this), though he's still made somewhat high profile projects compared to most victims of this trope. Its failure did kill his independent production studio though. On the commentary, Coppola is still proud of his film, believing it was WorthIt.
* FriendToAllChildren: Very close to his own kids, and enjoys working with children and teens as well. He's cited this as the main reason he signed on to ''Film/TheOutsiders'' and ''Film/{{Jack|1996}}''.
* HeAlsoDid: Before breaking into directing, he co-wrote the scripts for ''Film/IsParisBurning'' and ''Film/{{Patton}}'', the latter earning him an Oscar. He also wrote the 1974 adaptation of ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'', which wasn't produced until ''The Godfather'' became a smash hit. Coppola also funded the release of Kevin Brownlow's restoration of Abel Gance's ''Napoleon'' out of his own pocket, kick-starting the film restoration trend of the '80s and '90s.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Coppola felt that Mario Puzo deserved most of the credit for ''Film/TheGodfather'', so it's known as ''Mario Puzo's The Godfather''. He also named his ''Dracula'' adaptation ''Bram Stoker's Dracula''. This is also, as he explains, driven by his desire to distinguish his original screenplays(which he feels are more personal) from adaptations. One exception seems to be ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' which is an adaptation of Creator/JosephConrad's ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness'' but is retitled and regarded as a Coppola movie.
* MagnumOpusDissonance: Critics regularly list ''The Godfather'' Parts I and II among the greatest movies ever, but Coppola seems to regard them as basically [[MoneyDearBoy paycheck films]]. Ask Coppola for his favorite and he'll usually name ''Apocalypse Now'', ''The Conversation'' or ''The Rain People''.
* OldShame: Pretty much all of Coppola's screenwriting work except ''Patton''; he's especially adamant that his script for ''[[Film/TheGreatGatsby1974 The Great Gatsby]]'' was ruined by ExecutiveMeddling. He doesn't have fond memories of ''The Cotton Club'' either, due to the tremendously difficult production triggered by his feud with Robert Evans.
* ProductionPosse: Robert Duvall, Creator/JamesCaan, Frederick Forest and Teri Garr were his most frequent repeat collaborators.
* TroubledProduction: He became a lightning rod for those -- ''Film/TheGodfather'' (Paramount's executives frequently complained with him), ''The Cotton Club'' (script issues, budget rising, clashing with the star), ''One from the Heart'' (ballooned budget and filming problems) and most infamously, ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' -- aka "Apocalypse ''When''?" or "Apocalypse Forever" -- a case so famous that it has its own documentary dedicated to it, ''Hearts of Darkness''.
** Coppola himself summed it up by saying "My film is not about Vietnam, it '''[[IAmTheNoun is]]''' Vietnam" and famously explaining that "We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane."
** It's important to point out that despite this, ''Apocalypse Now'' was a critical and box-office success.