Best Films of Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola, American filmmaker

Whenever one speaks of the 20th century American cinema, a name that inevitably comes to mind is that of Francis Ford Coppola. With as many as five Oscars (excluding the esteemed Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award that he received in 2010), two Palme d’Or wins and countless other esteemed awards under his belt, Francis Ford Coppola, is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. To Coppola's credit, he not only succeeded as a director but also proved his mettle as a screenwriter, right at the onset of his career, with powerful works like Patton (1970). 

There was a time when Coppola’s name was synonymous with American cinema while his movies epitomized the 20th century America. His eccentric, cynical, larger-than-life characters came across to the whole world as an embodiment of the modern American men: be it Harry Caul [The Conversation, 1974], Colonel Walter E. Kurtz [Apocalypse Now, 1979], or Don Vito Corleone [The Godfather, 1972]. 1970s saw Coppola go from strength to strength as he delivered one blockbuster after another. 80s turned out to be mixed affair for Coppola, but his great reputation helped him endure the decade. However, 90s posed unprecedented challenges for Coppola as success became more far-fetched than ever. Coppola was devastated by the accidental death of his eldest son Gian-Carlo in a speedboating accident in the year 1987. Many believe that it proved to be the starting point of Coppola’s decline as a filmmaker.  

After directing Rainmaker in the year 1997, Coppola decided to take a break from active filmmaking so as to solely experiment with motifs that appealed to his deepest creative urges. The first product of Coppola’s self-indulgence was the enigmatic Youth Without Youth (2007)—a story of a timid professor metamorphosed by a cataclysmic event. Coppola backed it up with two more ambitious ventures, Tetro (2009) and Twixt (2011). While these movies may not be significant from the entertainment point of view, their academic significance cannot be overlooked, for these movies serve to be classic examples of unbridled creativity in cinema—a formidable overture to its limitless scope. 

Coppola’s decision to disassociate himself from commercial filmmaking can be interpreted as a deliberate attempt on his part to escape the expectations of his ever so demanding producers. Coppola’s hermitic descent into self-indulgence is also characteristic of a perturbed artist desperately on the lookout for some divine source of inspiration in order to prove himself all over again. This critic, as a ardent fan of Coppola's filmmaking, just can't wait for his next directorial venture.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

Top 10 Movies by Francis Ford Coppola (as per IMDb user ratings)

1). The Godfather (1972)
2). The Godfather: Part II (1974)
3). Apocalypse Now (1979)
4). The Conversation (1974)
5). The Godfather: Part III (1990)
6). Dracula (1992)
7). Rumble Fish (1983)
8). The Outsiders (1983)
9). The Rainmaker (1997)
10). The Rain People (1969)

Top 5 Movies by Francis Ford Coppola (Author’s Pick)

1). The Conversation (1974)
2). Apocalypse Now (1979)
3). The Godfather (1972)
5). The Godfather: Part III (1990)

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  1. It's always nice to read a post at "A Potpourri of Vestiges". Glad to tell you that , Out of 10(mentioned as per IMDB) i've watched 9 ...just need to watch " The Rain People" to make is 10 :D
    And Mr. Coppola is one of my favorite directors as well!:)

  2. Thanks for those kind words... really glad you liked the article. Also, it's heartening to know that you have watched 9 of Coppola's best 10 films.


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