Francis Ford Coppola
Quotations


A number of images put together a certain way become something quite above and beyond what any of them are individually.

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

Art depends on luck and talent.

Frank Capra was a prop man, I think. John Ford was a prop man. It was a little bit of a father and son thing, and you kind of worked your way up.

George Lucas doesn't have the most physical stamina. He was so unhappy making Star Wars that he just vowed he'd never do it again.

I always found the film world unpleasant. It's all about the schedule, and never really flew for me.

I associate my motion picture career more with being unhappy and scared, or being under the gun, than with anything pleasant.

I became quite successful very young, and it was mainly because I was so enthusiastic and I just worked so hard at it.

I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing.

I had a heartbreaking experience when I was 9. I always wanted to be a guard. The most wonderful girl in the world was a guard. When I got polio and then went back to school, they made me a guard. A teacher took away my guard button.

I had a number of teachers who hated me. I didn't do well in school.

I had a number of very strong personalities in my family. My father was a concert flutist, the solo flute for Toscanini.

I had an older brother who was very interested in literature, so I had an early exposure to literature, and theater. My father sometimes would work in musical comedies.

I had been a kid that moved so much, I didn't have a lot of friends. Theater really represented camaraderie.

I landed a job with Roger Corman. The job was to write the English dialogue for a Russian science fiction picture. I didn't speak any Russian. He didn't care whether I could understand what they were saying; he wanted me to make up dialogue.

I liked to work in a shop down in the basement and invent things and build gadgets.

I remember growing up with television, from the time it was just a test pattern, with maybe a little bit of programming once in a while.

I remember teachers who really singled me out for their discouragement.

I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians.

I thought I wanted to be a playwright because I was interested in stories and telling stories.

I was the kind of kid that had some talents or ability, but it never came out in school.

I wrote the script of Patton. I had this very bizarre opening where he stands up in front of an American flag and gives this speech. Ultimately, I was fired. When the script was done, they hired another writer and that script was forgotten.

In kindergarten that used to be my job, to tell them fairytales. I liked Hans Christian Andersen, and the Grimm fairy tales, all the classic fairy tales.

It's ironic that at age 32, at probably the greatest moment of my career, with The Godfather having such an enormous success, I wasn't even aware of it, because I was somewhere else under the deadline again.

Listen, if there's one sure-fire rule that I have learned in this business, it's that I don't know anything about human nature.

Most Italians who came to this country are very patriotic. There was this exciting possibility that if you worked real hard, and you loved something, you could become successful.

My film is not a movie; it's not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam.

Roger Corman exploited all of the young people who worked for him, but he really gave you responsibility and opportunity. So it was kind of a fair deal.

Ten Days That Shook The World, by Eisenstein, I went to see it, and I was so impressed with this film, so impressed with what cinema could do.

The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.

The professional world was much more unpleasant than I thought. I was always wishing I could get back that enthusiasm I had when I was doing shows at college.

The stuff that I got in trouble for, the casting for The Godfather or the flag scene in Patton, was the stuff that was remembered, and was considered the good work.

They needed someone to write a script of The Great Gatsby very quickly for the movie they were making. I took this job so I'd be sure to have some dough to support my family.

Usually, the stuff that's your best idea or work is going to be attacked the most.

We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane.

We were raised in an Italian-American household, although we didn't speak Italian in the house. We were very proud of being Italian, and had Italian music, ate Italian food.

When I do a novel, I don't really use the script, I use the book; when I did Apocalypse Now, I used Heart of Darkness. Novels usually have so much rich material.

When I was about 9, I had polio, and people were very frightened for their children, so you tended to be isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched television.

When I was going for my graduate degree, I decided I was going to make a feature film as my thesis. That's what I was famous for—that I had my thesis film be a feature film, which was You're a Big Boy Now.

You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost.

You ought to love what you're doing because, especially in a movie, over time you really will start to hate it.

You're in a profession in which absolutely everybody is telling you their opinion, which is different. That's one of the reasons George Lucas never directed again.



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