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Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, USA) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking.
In 1970, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer, with Edmund H. North, of Patton (1970). His directorial prominence was cemented with the release in 1972 of The Godfather, a film which revolutionized movie-making in the gangster genre, earning praise from both critics and the public before winning three Academy Awards—including his second Oscar (Best Adapted Screenplay, with Mario Puzo), Best Picture, and his first nomination for Best Director.
He followed with The Godfather Part II in 1974, which became the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Highly regarded by critics, it brought him three more Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture, and made him the second director, after Billy Wilder, to be honored three times for the same film. The Conversation, which he directed, produced and wrote, was released that same year, winning the Palme d'Or at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. He next directed 1979's Apocalypse Now. Notorious for its over-long and strenuous production, the film was nonetheless critically acclaimed for its vivid and stark depiction of the Vietnam War, winning the Palme d'Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. Coppola is one of only eight filmmakers to win two Palme d'Or awards.
While a number of Coppola's ventures in the 1980s and 1990s were critically lauded, he has never quite achieved the same commercial success with films as in the 1970s. Coppola originally got his start working with infamous but rather knowledgable B-movie producer, director and writer Roger Corman. Coppola was also best friends with George Lucas, who also worked occasionally with Corman while trying to further his skills as a filmmaker. One of the foreign films Coppola helped re-write and re-release for Corman's studios was The Magic Voyage of Sinbad. Coppola has, like many filmmakers, been constantly referenced in the riffs on MST3K and RiffTrax.
Michael J. Nelson has said various times that he'd be interested in riffing The Godfather. In the audio-only and live version of the RiffTrax episode, The Room, Bill Corbett does a simple play-on of his name as "Francis Ford Crappola."