Photo of Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola

Born April 7, 1939, to Italian-American parents in Detroit, Mich., Francis Ford Coppola grew up in a New York City suburb. He attended UCLA to learn filmmaking and landed a job working as an assistant to B-movie director and producer Roger Corman, who gave Coppola the chance to direct his first feature, Dementia 13 (1963).

After winning his first Oscar for writing the script for Patton (1970), Coppola was given the chance to direct one of the most influential films in history, The Godfather (1972). Surprisingly, it wasn't until the release of The Godfather, Part II (1974) that Coppola took home an Oscar for directing.

Coppola began his most ambitious and personally taxing project with Apocalypse Now (1979). He has since balanced smaller-scale projects such as The Outsiders and Peggy Sue Got Married with larger productions such as The Cotton Club, Dracula and The Godfather, Part III (1990).

Francis Ford Coppola in The Godfather

The Godfather

1972 R

When organized-crime family patriarch Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son steps in to take care of the would-be killers, launching a campaign of bloody revenge in this Oscar-winning epic.

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