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

Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a famed American film director/screenwriter/producer, one of the paragons of The UsefulNotes/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 ''Film/TheRainPeople'', 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. In fact, [[Website/{{Cracked}} Coppola's films had won so many Oscars that he could smelt them all down to make the most critically acclaimed suit of armor in all the land.]]

When the Seventies ended, Coppola's fortunes began to turn. 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, ''Film/BramStokersDracula'', ''Film/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 Franchise/{{Rocky}}'s wife Adrian (her son Jason Schwartzman is also an actor). His brother August is the father of Creator/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.
* AuthorAppeal: His main reason for making ''Film/TuckerTheManAndHisDream'' was his father owned a Tucker. Creator/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 a 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.
* 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}}''.
* GenreRoulette: Even in TheSeventies, Coppola wrote screenplays for a war film (''Patton''), a literary adaptation (''The Great Gatsby''), directed a paranoid thriller (''The Conversation''), a war movie (''Apocalypse Now'') and two gangster movies [[GenreAdultery that are more like]] HistoricalFiction period and family dramas than actual crime movies. He has become even more diverse then making Teen/YA movies, period {{Biopic}}, musicals, a Dracula movie and recently, he's moved into actual experimental movies.
* 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.
* RaisedCatholic: Like most Italian-Americans of his generation, though religion did not make as big a mark on him as it did on Creator/MartinScorsese. Harry Caul's lingering issues with his Catholic upbringing were autobiographical reflections on Coppola's part.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Coppola is on the Romantic side, not only in content but also in style, in terms of use of music, editing and lighting (very lush, dreamlike and stylized).
** His movies revolve around dreamers, idealists (benign like Tucker, self-deluded in the case of Michael Corleone who wants to make the family legit, insane with Kurtz) and visionaries, and feature ByronicHero, doomed romance and heroes fighting compromise and being burnt by the sun for flying too close (Dracula himself).
** Coppola himself expresses this view many times in his own interviews in terms of how he sees his own career and his characters. He notes that to him the gangsters of ''The Godfather'' were like characters from Italian Opera, and that he's drawn to characters who are obsessive, determined and committed to a vision, willing to risk everything, face the consequences and say it was WorthIt, which he himself does all the time on his commentaries with regards to his less successful personal films.
* TransAtlanticEquivalent: In their aesthetics, methodologies, and even personalities, Coppola and Creator/WernerHerzog are bosom-buddies. Both favor flawed yet ambitious heroes in bold projects that balance [[ThePerfectionist meticulous planning]] with [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants off-the-cuff episodes]], with [[TroubledProduction attendant complications]]. They even had their own "Madness in the Jungle" [[Film/ApocalypseNow movie]], [[Film/AguirreTheWrathOfGod each]][[note]]What makes it even more interesting, is that ''Aguirre'''s visual style and narrative elements had a strong influence on Francis Ford Coppola when he was making ''Apocalypse Now''[[/note]].
* VitriolicBestBuds: He and George Lucas met in 1967 as two filmmakers in their 20s just starting to get a foothold in the business, and teamed up to create Zoetrope International Pictures, intended to be a place where young new filmmakers could do their stuff without any ExecutiveMeddling. Unfortunately, the disastrous performance of their first release, Lucas' ''THX 1138'', killed the idea and they've had a quite tempestuous relationship ever since, though Lucas still describes it as the closest relationship he's ever had with ''anyone''.

!! Selected Filmography

* ''Film/BattleBeyondTheSun''
* ''Film/Dementia13''
* ''You're a Big Boy Now''
* ''Theatre/FiniansRainbow''
* ''Film/TheRainPeople''
* ''Film/{{Patton}}'' (Screenwriter only - He shared the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with Edmund H. North)
* ''Film/TheGodfather''
* ''Film/TheConversation''
* ''Film/TheGodfatherPartII''
* ''Film/ApocalypseNow''
* ''One from the Heart''
* ''Film/TheOutsiders''
* ''Film/RumbleFish''
* ''Film/TheCottonClub''
* ''Film/PeggySueGotMarried''
* ''Gardens of Stone''
* ''Film/TuckerTheManAndHisDream''
* ''Film/NewYorkStories'' (Anthology film, he directed ''Life Without Zoe'')
* ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''
* ''Film/BramStokersDracula''
* ''Film/{{Jack|1996}}''
* ''Film/TheRainmaker''
* ''Film/YouthWithoutYouth''
* ''Tetro''
* ''Twixt''