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Coppola Then

September 08, 1996

"Count Coppola" (Aug. 4) was an excellent examination of Francis Ford Coppola the man, the filmmaker and the businessperson, but Patrick Goldstein failed to note Coppola's track record as a social scientist and visionary.

At the Academy Awards presentation of April 9, 1979, a long time before computers became the filmmaker's everyday tool, Coppola predicted: "We're on the eve of something that's going to make the Industrial Revolution look like a small-town tryout. I see a communications revolution that is about movies and art and music and digital electrons and computers and satellites and, above all, human talent . . . . The movies of the '80s are going to be amazing beyond what any of you can dream."

He was right--except that the human talent in filmmaking seems not to have progressed very far.

Martin M. Cooper

Woodland Hills


Some years back, I was privileged to work as an extra in Coppola's "Gardens of Stone." I saw firsthand what a true professional and a gentle man he is.

Midway through the film, he suffered the tragic loss of his son, who was also working on the film, in a Maryland boating accident. How he managed to complete the film, re-shooting many of the scenes that needed to be redone because of the accident, I'll never know. But I do remember this kind man taking the time to lunch with us extras and ask about our lives, rather than sitting with the principals and snubbing the"little people."

I'm so glad his life has taken a turn for the better.

Marilee S. Morgan


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