Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Atlanta Attorney Says He Accidentally Fatally Shot Wife as They Drove Home – and Blames Black Lives Matter Protestors
- Read the Cover Story: Brad & Angelina Split After 12 Years: It's Over
- FROM EW: Relive 42 Years of Saturday Night Live Auditions with These Throwback Videos
- Here's a Reminder That You Can Ice Skate on Kim Kardashian's New Engagement Ring from Kanye West
- Donald Trump Told Howard Stern He Thought Paris Hilton Was 'Beautiful' When She Was 12 Years Old
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 30, 1974
- Vol. 2
- No. 27
Francis Ford Coppola
Godfather II Confirms Him as Cinema's Creative King
Francis is Francis Ford Coppola, coauthor and director of the biggest grossing film in history, The Godfather, and he can cut through the showbiz shtik (in this instance from Charles Bluhdorn, board chairman of the conglomerate parent of Paramount Pictures) as masterfully as if it were film. As it happened, Coppola accepted those blandishments and has in the process become the single most powerful creative artist in Hollywood.
The original Godfather earned $285 million, extracting Coppola from $500,000 personal debt. It also fulfilled a career that included (unprecedented at the time) a graduate degree in film from UCLA and started with what then (1962) were called "nudies," like The Peeper. In the interim years Coppola produced American Graffiti; directed this year's winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix, The Conversation, a deeply-felt personal indictment of the wiretap mentality; and bought an interest in the Cinema 5 moviehouse-distribution empire. Meanwhile, Coppola personally had escaped Hollywood with his family to become a sort of dilettante Da Vinci of San Francisco, directing local dramas and operas, restoring blocks of real estate and publishing a cultural magazine called City.
Thus, the $1 million guarantee, the 15 percent of the net, the bonus of a Lear jet plus the artistic autonomy Bluhdorn offered him for the Godfather II sequel became irresistible. Just now in release, the monumental 3-hour, 20-minute picture challenged critics (The New Yorker, for example, attended three screenings) but has the biggest exhibit advances ever. "It is a more serious film," says Coppola, "a more cold and frightening vision." It is both prologue and epilogue to the original, chronicling the Corleone family's embattled arrival in America from Sicily to its tragic end in Lake Tahoe.
Coppola's own personal family is inextricably involved—with source music by his father, a flutist with Toscanini's old NBC orchestra; his sister, actress Talia Shire, once again as Connie Corleone; and even his mother playing extras on the far-flung locations. Like Michael Corleone's wife, Coppola's artist wife, Eleanor, and the three Coppola kids are insulated from the family business. And though he still considers himself "primarily a writer," Francis is not impervious to flattering rumors that he might eventually take over a major studio. "It is very tempting," concedes Godfather director Coppola, "to have access to real power."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!