Yes, he made four great films in the seventies, some of the greatest ever made. Apocalypse Now alone is worth the praise, but TSPDT ranks him in the Top 10 directors. I mean, after Apocalypse Now, he never really quite regained that lofty height. And some of his films are just awful (Jack, anyone?). Which begs the question, how should we rank filmmakers? Should we rank them on the strength of their masterpieces alone? Their output? Or their entire filmography as a whole? Coppola made great films, but looking at his entire output, I wouldn’t say he’s one of the greatest.
You answered your own question. He made those four great films and those have more than stood the test of time. That’s four more great films than a lot of directors can claim. Making crap like Jack doesn’t erase those earlier accomplishments.
I’m not a huge fan of him myself. To me he’s only made two great films: Rain People and Rumble Fish.
Coppola is regarded highly?
Peggy Sue Got Married,Rumble Fish ,The Cotton Club are all very much underrated.
Brad S is right.Those four films alone makes him one of the greatest.
Most “great” directors don’t even make two masterpieces, let alone four.
I know someone is probably going disagree with me on this but I think “Youth without Youth” should replace “Apocalypse Now” when where talking about Coppola’s four great films.
Even The Godfather III shows up in in the TSPDT Top #1000.
He does make a mean marinara.
As Orson Welles said, “You only need one!”
“Even The Godfather III shows up in in the TSPDT Top #1000.”
Well it is an Oscar nominee.
^ SO is Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close….. Oh wait, Santino likes that film!
I expect Extremely Loud to be included in TSPDT shortly.
TSPDT — fooey. If you can’t think of 1000 better films than RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, you should stop at 999.
Yes, but we can at least acknowledge that Raiders is a cultural touchstone of sorts. Godfather III is just….. actually, I guess I should re-see it before passing judgment again…. it’s been a long while. Anyway, The Conversation is one of the great American films from the 1970s so I have no problem with Coppola being ranked highly even if he’s made mostly crap.
Godfather 3 is not the worst movie ever. It just sucks compared to the other two.
Or in the case of GODFATHER III, make it 998.
Is RAIDERS really a cultural touchstone? I’d put it in the “Enjoyed it in high school, now can’t bear it” file.
My two cents on the OP — all great filmmakers blow it on occasion. Coppola’s got JACK and the unspeakable LIFE WITHOUT ZOE, Scorsese’s got COLOR OF MONEY and the unspeakable SHUTTER ISLAND, Kurosawa’s got DODESKADEN, DREAMS and the unspeakable QUIET DUEL. Doesn’t detract from the brilliance of GODFATHER I/II, RAGING BULL, or SEVEN SAMURAI.
You could do worse, a lot worse (and, in fact Coppola has), but it’s not one of the 1000 greatest films of all time. I imagine it gets some halo effect from it’s association with parts I and II.
That reminds me I have Youth Without Youth sitting on my shelf for months without having seen it. I guess I should give it a spin. Is it better than Tetro?
I thought Youth Without Youth was worse than Tetro.
But I liked Tetro, so there you go.
I believe Raiders was one of the films Tarr mentioned as inspiration for Werckmeister Harmonies.
Unspeakable Quiet Duel? Yeah right.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the greatest movie of it’s type. Why is that getting ripped on in a Coppola thread?
How do you feel about Eliade, Ari?
The Romanian philosopher of religion, Matt?
Yup . . . wrote the book Youth Without Youth is based on. If you don’t have much patience with that kind of thinking, you probably won’t like the film.
Huh, interesting. I had no idea it was based on his book. Or even that he wrote novels…. Uh, I’m mixed on him. I imagine it’s very archetypal then?
When you make four movies as excellent as those you are one of the greatest by no question. I can see your arguement, though.
Yeah. Apparently he wrote quite a lot of fiction, but are far as I know only a handful of his fiction has been translated into English.
Back to the question.
I think it is because, especially with The Godfather I and II he achieved one of the marks of great films – they are very coherent. Then he confirmed his position with The Conversation and Apocalypse Now, which were thematically different, still solid (out of all his films I still prefer The Conversation the most).
The other thing is – he was able to create emblematic American movies, featuring (and creating) some of the greatest American actors – the change of generations of actors like Brando vs. Pacino / De Niro reflected the generations change in The Godfather story.
Personally, I have problems calling Coppola great. He misses some other marks of a genius – like telling something new – the psychological depth of Bergman, the coding of Kubrick, the vision of Tarkovsky. But on the narrative side, he is of the best.