Martin Sheen

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Posted by motoman 04/03/2009 @ 14:07

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Martin Sheen has his eyes on Specter - Politico
Arlen Specter has been a Democrat for 2.5 seconds and already Martin Sheen has his sights set on him. The man best known to we DC types as President Bartlet in "The West Wing" has voiced a radio ad for Catholics for Working Families airing in...
Actors taking sides in SAG battle - Entertainment Weekly
High-profile actors like Melissa Gilbert and Martin Sheen are picking sides in the increasingly bitter struggle to ratify the Screen Actors Guild's proposed new contract, Variety reports. "I'm still amazed and shocked at the level of vitriol among the...
Bobby: too much reverence and none of the sparkle -
Martin Sheen and Helen Hunt in Bobby Bobby's depthless, explain-the-obvious script frequently sets the teeth on edge. "She bought a painting of a can of soup last month," says President Bartlet from The West Wing (Estevez's dad Martin Sheen)....
catholics for working families - SEIU Blog
Martin Sheen, an active Catholic and a union member since 1961, says in the ad that the decline in the number of unionized US workers is intricately linked to the massive increases in executive bonuses, and has led to a bad situation for working...
Movie Review: 'The Garden' digs deep into truths about community - Providence Journal
But on the brighter side, the garden becomes a cause célèbre, with such celebrities as Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson and Martin Sheen showing up to lend support. Joan Baez calls Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on her cell phone from the garden, asking him to...
Politics? No thanks, says Sheen - The Press Association
Hollywood actor Martin Sheen has explained why he would never let life imitate art by entering the world of politics. Sheen, who starred as President Josiah Bartlet in acclaimed American drama The West Wing, told Oxford University students he did not...
Work of human rights activists honoured at Dublin Castle - Irish Times
The event was attended by actor and human rights activist Martin Sheen. "That is a very critical area where we need to encourage truth to speak to power, because unfortunately any criticism of Israeli policy is considered anti-Semitic, which is foolish...
Jonathan Ross chats to Martin Sheen, Scott Maslen and Grace Jones - MyParkMag
Jonathan Ross welcomes Martin Sheen to this week's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross on BBC One. Martin Sheen speaks of his admiration for President Barack Obama: "He's loved, it's not fakery, I thank God for Barack Obama." Martin Sheen also tells...
Martin Sheen's 'in love' with all things Irish - Irish Central
He was, we'd have to assume, one of the oldest undergrads at University College Galway when he studied English and philosophy there for a semester beginning in September of 2006, but actor Martin Sheen still has fond memories of his time in the Irish...

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen at an anti-war protest in October 2007.

Martin Sheen (born Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez, August 3, 1940) is an actor who is best known for his performances as Captain Willard in the film Apocalypse Now and President Josiah Bartlet on the television series The West Wing. As well as the critical acclaim he has received as an actor, he has become known as an activist. Born and raised in Ohio, United States, with Irish and Spanish parents, Sheen is also an Irish citizen.

He is the father of actors Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Ramon Estevez and Renee Estevez.

Sheen was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Mary Ann (née Phelan), an immigrant from County Tipperary, Ireland, and Francisco Estévez, a factory worker/machinery inspector from Parderrubias, Galicia, Spain. Sheen's mother fought in the Irish War of Independence due to her family's connections to the Irish Republican Army. Sheen adopted his stage name in honor of the Catholic archbishop and theologian, Fulton J. Sheen. Sheen lived on Brown Street in the South Park neighborhood, and was one of 10 siblings (nine boys and one girl). One of his brothers is actor Joe Estévez. He attended Chaminade High School (now Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School) and was raised as a Roman Catholic.

During the 1930s, his family lived in Bermuda, where Sheen's father was a representative of IBM, selling cash registers and early computing and copying equipment to businesses and to the U.S. Air Force. The family lived on St. John's Road, Pembroke, just outside Hamilton and Sheen and his siblings attended the Mount Saint Agnes school, an institution operated by the Sisters Of Charity, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. Sheen was the first of the ten Estevez children who was not born in either Bermuda or Ireland.

Sheen was drawn to acting at a young age, but his father disapproved of his interest in the field. Despite his father's opposition, Sheen borrowed money from a Catholic priest and headed to New York City. It was there that he met the legendary Catholic activist Dorothy Day. It was working with her Catholic Worker movement that began his commitment to social justice. However, at age 14, he organized a strike of golf caddies while working at a private golf club in Dayton Ohio. He complained about the golfers: "they often used obscene language in front of us….we were little boys and they were abusive… anti-Semitic … racist. And they, for the most part, were upstanding members of the community." While Sheen claims he deliberately failed the entrance exam for the University of Dayton so that he could pursue his acting career, he still has an affinity for UD, and is seen drinking from a "Dayton Flyers" coffee mug during several episodes of The West Wing. He also has a great affinity for the University of Notre Dame and was awarded the Laetare Medal, the highest honor bestowed on American Catholics, in May 2008 at the school's commencement. Sheen has said that he was greatly influenced by the actor James Dean. He developed a theater company with other actors in hopes that a production would earn him recognition. In 1963, he made an appearance in Nightmare, an episode of the television science fiction series The Outer Limits. The following year, he starred in the Broadway play The Subject Was Roses, which he recreated in the 1968 film of the same name. In 1969 "Live Bait" (Mission Impossible) 3rd season of the TV series, played Albert, assistant to the Col. interrogating an America Agent that IM was tasked to free. Sheen was a co-star in the controversial, Emmy-winning 1972 television movie That Certain Summer, said to be the first television movie to portray homosexuality in a sympathetic, non-judgmental light. His next important feature film role was in 1973, when he starred with Sissy Spacek in the crime drama Badlands - which he has said in many interviews is his best film.

In 1974, Sheen portrayed a hot rod driver in the TV movie The California Kid, and that same year received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actor in a television drama for his portrayal of Pvt. Eddie Slovik in the made-for-television film, The Execution of Private Slovik. Based on an incident that occurred during World War II, the film told the story of the only U.S. soldier to be executed for desertion since the American Civil War. It was Sheen's performance in this film that ultimately led to Francis Ford Coppola choosing him for a starring role in 1979's Apocalypse Now, a film that gained him wide recognition. Sheen admitted that during filming, he was not in the greatest shape and was drinking heavily. On location, he had a heart attack and crawled out to a road for help. After his heart attack, his younger brother Joe Estevez stood in for him in a number of long shots and in some of the voice-overs.

Sheen has performed voice-over work as the narrator for the Eyewitness Movie series.

After the end of filming of The West Wing, Sheen announced plans to further his education: "My plan is to read English literature, philosophy and theology in Galway, Republic of Ireland, where my late mother came from and where I'm also a citizen". Speaking after an honorary arts doctorate was conferred on him by the National University of Ireland, Sheen joked that he would be the "oldest undergraduate" at the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway when he started his full-time studies there in the autumn of 2006. Although expressing concern that he might be a "distraction" to other students at NUIG, he attended lectures like everyone else. Speaking the week after filming his last episode of The West Wing, he said, "I'm very serious about it." He once said, "I never went to college when I was young and am looking forward to giving it a try... at age 65!" On September 1, 2006, Sheen was among the first to register as a student at NUI Galway. He left the University after completing a semester.

Martin Sheen is no stranger to politics, both as an actor and in real life. He has played U.S. President John F. Kennedy (in the miniseries Kennedy — The Presidential Years), Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the television special The Missiles of October, White House Chief of Staff A.J. McInnerney in The American President, sinister future president Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone, and fictional Democratic president Josiah Bartlet in the acclaimed television drama The West Wing.

Although he did not attend college, Sheen credited the Marianists at University of Dayton as a major influence on his public activism. Sheen is known for his robust support of liberal political causes, such as opposition to United States military actions and a toxic-waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. Sheen has resisted calls to run for office, saying: "There's no way that I could be the president. You can't have a pacifist in the White House … I'm an actor. This is what I do for a living." Sheen is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum.

He supported the 1965 farm worker movement with Cesar Chavez in Delano, California. He is a proponent of the Consistent Life ethic, which advocates against abortion, capital punishment and war. He also supports the Democrats for Life of America's Pregnant Women Support Act. In 2004, along with fellow actor Rob Reiner, Sheen campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. He later campaigned for nominee John Kerry.

On May 16, 1995, Martin Sheen and Paul Watson from the non-profit environmental organization, Sea Shepherd, were attacked in a hotel on Magdalen Islands by a number of Canadian sealers, who were upset that they had come there to protest against the annual seal hunt and promote non-lethal alternatives. Sheen was trying to negotiate with the angry mob while Watson was escorted to the airport by police and had to spend the night in the hospital. On August 28, 2005, he visited anti-Iraq War activist Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey. He prayed with her and spoke to her supporters. He began his remarks by stating, "At least you've got the acting President of the United States," referring to his role as fictional President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing. Cindy Sheehan had been demanding to speak with the President, George W. Bush.

Sheen endorsed marches and walkouts called by the civil rights group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), to force the state of California to honor the Cesar Chavez holiday. On March 30, the day of the protests, thousands of students, primarily Latino from California and elsewhere, walked out of school in support of the demand. Sheen also stated that he participated in the massive immigration marches in Los Angeles in 2006 and 2007.

On April 10, 2006, the New York Times reported that members of the Democratic Party in Ohio had contacted Sheen, attempting to persuade him to run for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. Sheen declined the offer, stating that "I'm just not qualified," he said. "You're mistaking celebrity for credibility." On November 26, 2006, the Sunday Times in the Republic of Ireland, where Sheen was then living due to his enrolment in NUI Galway, reported on him speaking out against mushroom farmers exploiting foreign workers by paying them as little as €2.50 an hour in a country where the minimum wage was €7.65.

On April 1, 2007, Sheen was arrested, with 38 other activists, for trespassing at the Nevada Test Site at a Nevada Desert Experience event protesting the Nevada Test Site.

His latest activism includes several attendances at meetings of the environmentalist group Earth First!. Sheen has also endorsed and supported Help Darfur Now, a student run organization to help aid the victims of the genocide in Darfur, the western region in Sudan.

Sheen has appeared in television and radio ads urging Washington State residents to vote no on Initiative 1000, a proposed assisted suicide law before voters in the 2008 election.

Sheen initially endorsed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in the 2008 US Presidential Election, and helped raise funds for his campaign. After Richardson had dropped out of the campaign, Sheen stated in a BBC Two interview that he was supporting Barack Obama. On the same show he reported that he had been arrested 67 times.

Sheen married art student Janet Templeton on December 23, 1961, and they have four children, three sons and a daughter, all of whom are actors: Emilio, Ramón, Carlos (better known as Charlie Sheen) and Renée. Sheen became a grandfather at age 43 when his son, Emilio, had a son named Taylor Levi with his girlfriend, Carey Salley. Other than Taylor Levi, Sheen has five other grandchildren. Sheen's daughter-in-law, Brooke Mueller (wife of Charlie), welcomed twin boys, Bob and Max, on March 14, 2009.

Sheen starred in the Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now, and his son, Charlie Sheen, also starred in a film about Vietnam: Platoon. Charlie Sheen once stated that he wanted to star in a film similar to one his father was in because he wanted to know what it feels like. They jointly parodied their respective previous roles in the 1993 movie Hot Shots Part Deux: their river patrol boats passed each other, at which point they both shouted, "I loved you in Wall Street!", a film they both starred in as father and son in 1987.

In the Spring of 1989, Sheen was named Honorary Mayor of Malibu, California. He promptly marked his appointment with a decree proclaiming the area "a nuclear-free zone, a sanctuary for aliens and the homeless, and a protected environment for all life, wild and tame". Some local citizens were angered by the decree, and the Malibu Chamber of Commerce met in June of that year to consider revoking his title, but voted unanimously to retain him.

Sheen has limited lateral movement of his left arm, which is three inches shorter than his right, due to its being crushed by forceps during his birth. This restricts him from putting on a coat in the typical manner; instead, he flips it up and over his head from the front, as clearly demonstrated throughout the run of The West Wing.

He has played the father of sons Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen in various projects: he played Emilio's father in The War at Home and In the Custody of Strangers, and Charlie's father in Wall Street, No Code of Conduct, and two episodes of Spin City. He also appeared as a guest star in one episode of Two and a Half Men playing the father of Charlie's neighbor Rose (Melanie Lynskey), and another as guest star Denise Richards' father; at the time that episode aired, Richards was still married to Charlie. Martin also played a "future" version of Charlie in a VISA TV commercial. Martin has played other characters with his sons and his daughter.

Sheen received six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance on The West Wing, for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in TV-Drama, as well as two SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, and was part of the cast that received two SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

In his acting career, Sheen has been nominated for ten Emmy Awards, winning one. He has also earned eight nominations for Golden Globe Awards. Sheen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.

Sheen was the 2008 recipient of the Laetare Medal, an annual award given by the University of Notre Dame for outstanding service to the Roman Catholic Church and society.

Sheen was the 2003 recipient of the Marquette University Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa for his work on social and Catholic issues.

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Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz.

Apocalypse Now is an American 1979 epic war film set during the Vietnam War. It tells the tale of Army Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) who is sent into the jungle to assassinate United States Army Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has gone AWOL and is believed to be insane. The film was produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script by Coppola and John Milius, based on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness, as well as drawing elements from Michael Herr's Dispatches, the film version of Conrad's Lord Jim (which shares the same character of Marlow with Heart of Darkness), and from Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972).

The film became notorious in the entertainment press due to its lengthy and troubled production as documented in Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Marlon Brando showed up to the set overweight and Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack. The production was also beset by extreme weather that destroyed several expensive sets. In addition, the release date of the film was delayed several times as Coppola struggled to come up with an ending and edit the millions of feet of footage that he had shot.

The character of Colonel Kurtz is widely believed to be modeled after a famous CIA Paramilitary Officer named Tony Poe from their famed Special Activities Division. Poe was known to use human ears to record the number of enemy killed. He sent these ears back to the CIA station as proof of his efforts deep into enemy territory in Laos. Poe was one of the very few that received two Intelligence Stars for his actions in combat. These are the second highest award for valor in the CIA and analogous to the U.S. Military's Silver Star.

The film won the Cannes Palme d'Or and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Drama.

It is 1969 and the war is at its height. CPT Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) has returned to Saigon; a seasoned veteran, he is deeply troubled and apparently no longer adjusted to civilian life. Two intelligence officers, LTG Corman (G. D. Spradlin) and COL Lucas (Harrison Ford), as well as a government man (Jerry Ziesmer), approach him with a special mission: journey up the fictional Nung River into the remote Cambodian jungle to find COL Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a former member of the United States Army Special Forces.

Willard studies the intelligence files during the boat ride to the river entrance and learns that Kurtz, isolated in his compound, has assumed the role of a warlord and is worshipped by the natives and his own loyal men. Willard learns much later that another officer, Colby (Scott Glenn), sent earlier to kill Kurtz, may have become one of his lieutenants.

Willard begins his trip up the Nung River on a PBR (Patrol Boat, Riverine), with an eclectic crew composed of the obstinate and formal QMC George Phillips (Albert Hall), the Navy PBR boat captain; GM3 Lance B. Johnson (Sam Bottoms), a tanned all-American California surfer; GM3 Tyrone Miller (Laurence Fishburne), a.k.a. "Mr. Clean", a black 17-year-old from "some South Bronx shit-hole"; and EN3 Jay "Chef" Hicks (Frederic Forrest), an aspiring sauce chef from New Orleans, whom Willard describes as "wrapped too tight for Vietnam, probably wrapped too tight for New Orleans".

The PBR arrives at a landing zone where Willard and the crew meet up with LTC Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall), the eccentric commander of 1/9cav AirCav, following a massive and hectic mopping-up operation of a conquered enemy village. Kilgore, a keen surfer, recognizes and befriends Johnson. Later, he learns from one of his men, Mike, that the beach down the coast which marks the opening to the river is perfect for surfing, a factor which persuades him to capture it. The problem is, his troops explain, it's "Charlie's point" and heavily fortified. Dismissing this complaint with the explanation that "Charlie don't surf," Kilgore orders his men to saddle up in the morning to capture the town and the beach. Riding high above the coast in a fleet of Hueys accompanied by OH-6As, Kilgore launches an attack on the beach. The scene, famous for its use of Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," ends with the soldiers surfing the barely claimed beach amidst skirmishes between infantry and VC. After helicopters swoop over the village and demolish all visible signs of resistance, a giant napalm strike in the nearby jungle dramatically marks the climax of the battle. Kilgore exults to Willard, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", which he says smells "like... victory" as he recalls a battle in which a hill was bombarded with napalm for over twelve hours.

The lighting and mood darken as the boat navigates upstream and Willard's silent obsession with Kurtz deepens. Incidents on the journey include a run-in with a tiger while Willard and Chef search for mangoes. The boat then moves up river and watches a USO show featuring Playboy Bunnies and a centerfold that degenerates into chaos.

The boat moves up river to a surreal stop at the American outpost at the Do Long bridge, the last U.S. Army outpost on the river. The boat arrives during a North Vietnamese attack on the bridge, which is under constant construction. Upon arrival Willard receives the last piece of the dossier from an officer named Lt. Carlson, along with mail for the boat crewmen. Willard and Lance, who has taken LSD, go ashore and they make their way through the trenches where they encounter many panicked, leaderless soldiers. Willard asks a machine gunner if he knows who the commanding officer is, but the machine gunner replies "Ain't you?". As they talk, a North Vietnamese soldier hiding under a pile of his dead comrades constantly swears at them and cries for help. A soldier named Roach (Herb Rice), armed with a tiger-striped M79 grenade launcher, promptly dispatches the NVA soldier. Willard asks Roach if he knows who is in command, and Roach only smirks and replies that he does. Realizing the situation has devolved into chaos, Willard and Lance return to the boat. The chief tries to convince Willard not to continue on with his mission (which he does not truly know the details of). He compares the mission to the Do Long bridge, which is destroyed every night but rebuilt so that it can be said the road is open, and that the mission is insignificant. In response, Willard snaps at Phillips to get him upriver. As the boat departs, the NVA launch an artillery strike on the bridge, destroying it.

The next day the PBR, while its crew is busy reading mail, is ambushed by Viet Cong hiding in the trees by the river which results in Clean's death as he listens to a tape from his mother. The chief, who had a father-son relationship with Clean, becomes openly hostile to Willard. As they approach the outskirts of Kurtz' camp, Montagnard villagers begin firing toy arrows at them. The crew opens fire until the chief is hit by a real spear. As Willard hovers over the mortally wounded Chief Phillips, he attempts to kill Willard by pulling him onto the spearpoint protruding from his chest. Willard subsequently smothers the chief with his bare hands.

After arriving at Kurtz' outpost, Willard leaves Chef behind with orders to call in an air strike on the village if he does not return. They are met by a seemingly crazed freelance photographer (Dennis Hopper) who explains Kurtz's greatness and philosophical skills to provoke his people into following him. Willard also encounters Colby, in an apparently shell-shocked state. Brought before Kurtz and held in captivity in a darkened temple, Willard’s constitution appears to weaken as Kurtz lectures him on his theories of war, humanity, and civilization. Kurtz explains his motives and philosophy in a famous and haunting monologue in which he praises the ruthlessness of the Vietcong he witnessed following one of his own humanitarian missions.

While bound outside in the pouring rain, Willard is approached by Kurtz, who places the severed head of Chef in his lap. Coppola makes little explicit, but we come to believe that Willard and Kurtz develop an understanding nonetheless; Kurtz wishes to die at Willard's hands, and Willard, having subsequently granted Kurtz his wish, is offered the chance to succeed him in his warlord-demigod role. Juxtaposed with a ceremonial slaughtering of a water buffalo, Willard enters Kurtz's chamber during one of his message recordings, and kills him with a machete. This entire sequence is set to "The End" by The Doors, as is the sequence at the very beginning of the film. Lying bloody and dying on the ground, Kurtz whispers "The horror... the horror," a line taken directly from Conrad's novella. Willard drops his weapon as in turn the natives do in a symbolic act of laying down of arms,he walks through the now-silent crowd of natives and takes Johnson (who is now fully integrated into the native society) by the hand. He leads Johnson to the PBR, and floats away as Kurtz's final words echo in the wind as the screen fades to black.

Several actors who were, or later became, prominent stars have minor roles in the movie including Harrison Ford, G. D. Spradlin, Scott Glenn, and R. Lee Ermey. Fishburne was only fourteen years old when shooting began in March 1976, and he lied about his age in order to get cast in his role. Apocalypse Now took so long to finish that Fishburne was seventeen (the same age as his character) by the time of its release.

Although inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the film deviates extensively from its source material. The novella, based on Conrad's real experiences as a steam paddleboat captain in Africa, is set in the Congo Free State during the 19th century. Kurtz and Marlow (who is named Willard in the movie) both work for a Belgian trading company that brutally exploits its native African workers.

In the novella, Marlow is the pilot of a river boat sent to collect ivory from Kurtz's outpost, only gradually becoming infatuated with Kurtz. In fact, when he discovers Kurtz in terrible health, Marlow makes a concerted effort to bring him home safely. In the movie, Willard is an assassin dispatched to kill Kurtz. Nevertheless, the depiction of Kurtz as a god-like leader of a tribe of natives and his malarial fever, Kurtz's written exclamation "Exterminate the brutes!" (which appears in the film as "Drop the bomb. Exterminate them All!") and his final lines "The horror! The horror!" are taken from Conrad's novella.

Coppola argues that many episodes in the film—the spear and arrow attack on the boat, for example—respect the spirit of the novella and in particular its critique of the concepts of civilization and progress. Other episodes adapted by Coppola, the Playboy bunnies (Sirens) exit, the lost souls, "taking me home" attempting to reach the boat and Kurtz' tribe of (white-faced) natives parting the canoes (gates of Hell) for Willard, (with Chef and Lance) to enter the camp are likened to Virgil and "The Inferno" (Divine Comedy) by Dante. While Coppola replaced European colonialism with American interventionism, the message of Conrad's book is still clear.

While working as an assistant for Francis Ford Coppola on The Rain People, George Lucas encouraged his friend and filmmaker John Milius to write a Vietnam War film. Milius came up with the idea for adapting the plot of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness to the Vietnam War setting. He had no desire to direct the film and felt that George Lucas was the right person for the job. However, filmmaker Carroll Ballard claims that Apocalypse Now was his idea in 1967 before Milius had written his screenplay. Ballard had a deal with producer Joel Landon and they tried to get the rights to Conrad's book but were unsuccessful. Lucas acquired the rights but failed to tell Ballard and Landon.

Coppola gave Milius $15,000 to write the screenplay with the promise of an additional $10,000 if it got made. Milius claims that he wrote the screenplay in 1969 and it was originally called The Psychedelic Soldier. He wanted to use Conrad's novel as "a sort of allegory. It would have been too simple to have followed the book completely". He based the character of Willard and some of Kurtz on a friend of his, Fred Rexer, who had experienced, first-hand, the scene related by Marlon Brando's character where the arms of villagers are hacked off by the Viet Cong. At one point, Coppola told Milius, "write every scene you ever wanted to go into that movie", and he wrote ten drafts - over a thousand pages. Milius changed the film's title to Apocalypse Now after being inspired by a button badge popular with hippies during the '60s that said, "Nirvana Now". He was also influenced by an article written by Michael Herr entitled, "The Battle for Khe San", which referred to drugs, rock 'n' roll, and people calling airstrikes down on themselves.

Coppola was drawn to Milius' script, which he described as "a comedy and a terrifying psychological horror story". George Lucas was originally interested in directing and planned to shoot it after making THX 1138 with principal photography to start in 1971. He planned to shoot the film in the rice fields between Stockton and Sacramento, California. His friend and producer Gary Kurtz traveled to the Philippines, scouting suitable locations. They intended to shoot the film on a $2 million budget, documentary style, using 16 mm cameras, and real soldiers. However, Lucas became involved with American Graffiti and this delayed the production of Apocalypse Now. In the spring of 1974, Coppola discussed with friends and co-producers Fred Roos and Gary Frederickson the idea of producing the film.

While making The Godfather Part II, Coppola asked Lucas and then Milius to direct Apocalypse Now, but both men were involved with other projects, in Lucas' case, he got the go-ahead to make his pet project, Star Wars, and declined the offer to direct Apocalypse Now. Coppola was determined to make the film and pressed ahead himself. He envisioned the film as a definitive statement on the nature of modern war, the difference between good and evil, and the impact of American society on the rest of the world. The director said that he wanted to take the audience "through an unprecedented experience of war and have them react as much as those who had gone through the war".

In 1975, while promoting The Godfather Part II in Australia, Coppola and his producers scouted possible locations for Apocalypse Now in Cairns in northern Queensland that had jungle resembling Vietnam. He decided to make his film in the Philippines for its access to American equipment and cheap labor. Production coordinator Fred Roos had already made two low-budget films there for Monte Hellman and had friends and contacts in the country. Coppola spent the last few months of 1975 revising Milius' script and negotiating with United Artists to secure financing for the production. According to Frederickson, the budget was estimated between $12-14 million. Coppola's American Zoetrope assembled $8 million from distributors outside the United States and $7.5 million from United Artists who assumed that the film would star Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and Gene Hackman. Frederickson went to the Philippines and had dinner with President Ferdinand Marcos to formalize support for the production and to allow them to use some of the country's military equipment.

Steve McQueen was Coppola's first choice to play Willard but the actor did not accept because he did not want to leave the country for 17 weeks. Al Pacino was also offered the role but he too did not want to be away for that long period of time and was afraid of falling ill in the jungle as he had done in the Dominican Republic during the shooting of The Godfather Part II. Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and James Caan were approached to play either Kurtz or Willard. Coppola and Roos had been impressed by Martin Sheen's screen test for Michael in The Godfather and he became their top choice to play Willard but the actor had already accepted another project and Harvey Keitel was cast in the role based on his work in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. By early 1976, Coppola had persuaded Marlon Brando to play Kurtz for a then-unheard of fee - $3.5 million for a month's work on location in September 1976. Dennis Hopper was cast as a kind of Green Beret sidekick for Kurtz and when Coppola heard him talking nonstop on location, he remembered putting "the cameras and the Montagnard shirt on him, and we shot the scene where he greets them on the boat".

On March 1, 1976, Coppola and his family flew to Manila and rented a large house there for the five-month shoot. Sound and photographic equipment had been coming in from California on a regular basis since late 1975. Principal photography began three weeks later. Within a few days, Coppola was not happy with Harvey Keitel's take on Willard, saying that the actor "found it difficult to play him a passive onlooker". After viewing early footage, the director took a plane back to Los Angeles and replaced Keitel with Martin Sheen.

Tropical rains wrecked the sets at Iba and on May 26, 1976, production was closed down. Dean Tavoularis remembers that it "started raining harder and harder until finally it was literally white outside, and all the trees were bent at forty-five degrees". One part of the crew was stranded in a hotel and the others were in small houses that were immobilized by the storm. The Playboy Playmate set had been destroyed, ruining a month's shooting that had been scheduled. Most of the cast and crew went back to the United States for six to eight weeks. Tavoularis and his team stayed on to scout new locations and rebuild the Playmate set in a different place. Also, the production had bodyguards watching constantly at night and one day the entire payroll was stolen. According to Coppola's wife, Eleanor, the film was six weeks behind schedule and $2 million over budget.

Coppola flew back to the U.S. in June 1976. He read a book about Genghis Khan to get a better handle on the character of Kurtz. After filming commenced, Marlon Brando arrived in Manila very overweight and began working with Coppola to rewrite the ending. The director downplayed Brando's weight by dressing him in black, photographing only his face, and having another, taller actor double for him in an attempt to portray Kurtz as an almost mythical character.

In the days after Christmas 1976, Coppola viewed a rough assembly of the footage he had to date but still needed to improvise an ending. He returned to the Philippines in early 1977 and resumed filming. On March 5, 1977, Sheen had a heart attack and struggled for a quarter of a mile to reach help. He was back on the set on April 19. A major sequence in a French plantation cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but was cut from the final film. Rumors began to circulate that Apocalypse Now had several endings but Richard Beggs, who worked on the sound elements, said, "There were never five endings, but just the one, even if there were differently edited versions". These rumors came from Coppola departing frequently from the original screenplay. Coppola admitted that he had no ending because Brando was too fat to play the scenes as written in the original script. With the help of Dennis Jakob, Coppola decided that the ending could be "the classic myth of the murderer who gets up the river, kills the king, and then himself becomes the king - it's the Fisher King, from The Golden Bough".

A water buffalo was slaughtered with a machete for the climactic scene. The scene was inspired by a ritual performed by a local Ifugao tribe which Coppola had witnessed along with his wife (who filmed the ritual later shown in the documentary Hearts of Darkness) and film crew. Although this was an American production subject to American animal cruelty laws, scenes like this filmed in the Philippines were not policed or monitored, and the American Humane Association gave the film an "unacceptable" rating. Principal photography ended on May 21, 1977 and everyone headed home.

In the summer of 1977, Coppola told Walter Murch that he had four months to assemble the sound. Murch realized that the script had been narrated but Coppola abandoned the idea during filming. Murch thought that there was a way to assemble the film without narration but it would take ten months and decided to give it another try. He put it back in, recording it all himself.

By September, Coppola told his wife that he felt "there is only about a 20% chance can pull the film off". He convinced United Artists executives to delay the premiere from May to October 1978. The Coppolas were facing a crisis of their own as Francis, overwhelmed by the pressure of keeping Apocalypse Now going, was infatuated with another woman.

Author Michael Herr received a call from Zoetrope in January 1978 and was asked to work on the film's narration based on his well-received journal about Vietnam, Dispatches. He said that the narration already written was "totally useless" and spent a year writing various narrations with Coppola giving him very definite guidelines.

Murch had problems trying to make a quadraphonic soundtrack for Apocalypse Now because sound libraries were devoid of any stereo recordings of any weapons and, specifically, weapons used in Vietnam. In addition, the sound material brought back from the Philippines was inadequate because the small location crew lacked time and resources sufficient to record jungle sounds and ambient noises. Murch and his crew had to fabricate the mood of the jungle on the soundtrack. Apocalypse Now would feature innovative sound technique for movies as Murch insisted on recording the most up-to-date gunfire and employed a quintuphonic soundtrack with three channels of sound behind the movie screen and two channels of sound from behind the audience.

On May 1978, Coppola decided that it would not be possible to finish the film for a December release and postponed the opening until spring of 1979. He screened a "work in progress" for 900 people in April 1979 that was not well-received. That same year, he was invited to screen Apocalypse Now at the Cannes Film Festival. United Artists were not keen on showing an unfinished version in front of so many members of the press but Coppola remembered that The Conversation won the Palme d'Or and agreed to show Apocalypse Now at the festival less than a month before it began. The week prior to Cannes, Coppola arranged three sneak previews that each featured their own slightly different versions. He allowed critics to attend the screenings and believed that they would honor the embargo placed on reviews. On May 14, Rona Barrett reviewed the film on television and called it "a disappointing failure". At Cannes, Zoetrope technicians worked during the night before the screening to install additional speakers on the theater walls in order to achieve Murch's quadraphonic soundtrack.

At the time of its release, many rumors surrounded the ending of Apocalypse Now. Coppola stated an ending was written in haste in which Willard and Kurtz joined forces and repelled the air strike on the compound; however, Coppola never fully agreed with the two going out in apocalyptic intensity, preferring to end the film in a more encouraging manner.

When Coppola originally organized the ending of the movie, he had two choices. One involved Willard leading Lance by the hand as everyone in Kurtz's base throws down their weapons, and ends with images of Willard's boat pulling away from Kurtz's compound superimposed over the face of a stone idol which then fades into black. Another option showed an air strike being called and the base being blown to bits in a spectacular display, consequently killing everyone left at the base.

The original 1979 70 mm exclusive theatrical release ended with Willard's boat, the stone statue, then fade to black with no credits, save for '"Copyright 1979 Omni Zoetrope"' right after the film ends. This mirrors the lack of any opening titles and supposedly stems from Coppola's original intention to "tour" the film as one would a play: the credits would have appeared on printed programs provided before the screening began. For general release in 35mm, Coppola elected to show the credits superimposed over shots of Kurtz's base exploding. Rental prints circulated with this ending, and can be found in the hands of a few collectors. However, when Coppola heard that audiences interpreted this as an air strike called by Willard, Coppola pulled the film from its 35 mm run, and put credits on a black screen. In the DVD commentary, Coppola explains that the images of explosions had not been intended to be part of the story; they were intended to be seen as completely separate from the film. He had added them to the credits because he had captured the footage during the demolition of the set in the Philippines, which was filmed with multiple cameras fitted with different film stocks and lenses to capture the explosions at different speeds.

Because of the confusion over the misinterpreted ending, there are multiple slightly varying versions of the ending credits. Some TV screenings maintain the explosion footage at the end, others do not, and there are several other versions.

The first DVD of the theatrical version plays like the 70 mm version, without beginning or ending credits, but has them on a separate part of the DVD. The credits to Apocalypse Now Redux are different again: the credits play over a black background, but with ambient music by the Rhythm Devils.

There is also a longer 289 minute version which circulates unofficially. It has never been officially released but circulates as a video bootleg, containing extra material not included in either the original theatrical release or the "redux" version.

In 2001, Coppola released Apocalypse Now Redux in cinemas and subsequently on DVD. This is an extended version that restores 53 minutes of scenes cut from the original film. Coppola has continued to circulate the original version as well: the two versions are packaged together in the Complete Dossier DVD, released on August 15, 2006.

The most significant footage added in the Redux version is an anticolonialism chapter involving the de Marais family's rubber plantation, a holdover from the colonization of French Indochina, featuring Coppola's two sons Giancarlo and Roman as children of the family. These scenes were removed from the 1979 cut, which premiered at Cannes. In behind-the-scenes footage in Hearts of Darkness, Coppola expresses his anger, on the set, at the technical aspects of the shot scenes, the result of tight allocation of resources. At the time of the Redux version, it was possible to digitally-enhance the footage to accomplish Coppola's vision. In the scenes, the French family patriarchs argue about the positive side of colonialism in Indochina and denounce the betrayal of the military men in the First Indochina War. Hubert de Marais argues that French politicians sacrificed entire battalions at Điện Biên Phủ, and tells Willard that the US created the Viet Cong (as the Viet Minh), to fend off Japanese invaders.

Other added material includes extra combat footage before Willard meets Kilgore, a humorous scene in which Willard's team steals Kilgore's surfboard (which sheds some light on the hunt for the mangoes), a follow-up scene to the dance of the Playboy playmates, in which Willard's team finds the playmates awaiting evacuation after their helicopter has run out of fuel, and a scene of Kurtz reading from a Time magazine article about the war, surrounded by Cambodian children.

There is a deleted scene entitled "Monkey Sampan" which was used as a way to represent the whole movie in a three minute scene. The scene shows Willard and the PBR crew suspiciously eyeing an approaching Sampan juxtaposed to Montagnard villagers joyfully singing "Light My Fire" by The Doors. As the Sampan gets closer Willard realizes there are Monkeys on it and no driver. Finally just as the two boats pass, the wind turns the sail and exposes a naked dead civilian tied to the sail boom. His body is mutilated and looks as though the man was whipped. The singing stops. It is assumed the man was tortured by the Viet Cong. As they pass on by, Chief notes out loud "That's comin' from where we're going, Captain." The boat then slowly passes the giant tail of a shot down B-52 bomber. The scene is ominous and the noise of engines way up in the sky is heard. Coppola said that he made up for cutting this scene by having the PBR pass under an airplane tail in the final cut.

A three-hour version of Apocalypse Now was screened as a "work in progress" at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and met with prolonged applause. At the subsequent press conference, Coppola criticized the media for attacking him and the production during their problems filming in the Philippines and uttered the famous quotes, "We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane", and "My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam". The filmmaker upset newspaper critic Rex Reed who reportedly stormed out of the conference. Apocalypse Now won the Palme d'Or for best film along with Volker Schlondorff's The Tin Drum - a decision that was reportedly greeted with "some boos and jeers from the audience".

Apocalypse Now performed well at the box office when it opened in August 1979. The film initially opened in one theater in New York City, Toronto, and Hollywood, grossing USD $322,489 in the first five days. It ran exclusively in these three locations for four weeks before opening in an additional 12 theaters on October 3, 1979 and then several hundred the following week. The film grossed over $78 million domestically with a worldwide total of approximately $150 million.

The film was re-released on August 28, 1987 in six cities to capitalize on the success of Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and other Vietnam War movies. New 70mm prints were shown Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, and Cincinnati - cities where the film did financially well in 1979. The film was given the same kind of release as the exclusive engagement in 1979 with no logo or credits and audiences were given a printed program.

In his original review, Roger Ebert wrote, "Apocalypse Now achieves greatness not by analyzing our 'experience in Vietnam', but by re-creating, in characters and images, something of that experience". In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Charles Champlin wrote, "as a noble use of the medium and as a tireless expression of national anguish, it towers over everything that has been attempted by an American filmmaker in a very long time".

Ebert added Coppola's film to his list of Great Movies, stated: "Apocalypse Now is the best Vietnam film, one of the greatest of all films, because it pushes beyond the others, into the dark places of the soul. It is not about war so much as about how war reveals truths we would be happy never to discover".

Today, the film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of the New Hollywood era. It is on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies list at number 28. Kilgore's quote "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" was number 12 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list. In 2002, Sight and Sound magazine polled several critics to name the best film of the last 25 years and Apocalypse Now was named number one. It was also listed as the second best war film by viewers on Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films, and ranked number 1 on Channel 4's 50 Films To See Before You Die. In a 2004 poll of UK film fans, Blockbuster listed Kilgore's eulogy to napalm as the best movie speech. The helicopter attack to the song of Ride of the Valkyries was chosen as the most memorable film scene ever by the Empire magazine.

In 2000, Apocalypse Now was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The first home video releases of Apocalypse Now were pan-and-scan versions of the original 35 mm Technovision anamorphic 2.35:1 print, and the closing credits, white on black background, were presented in compressed 1.33:1 full-frame format to allow all credit information to be seen on standard televisions. The first letterboxed appearance (on laserdisc on 12-29-1991) cropped the film to a 2:1 aspect ratio (conforming to the Univisium spec created by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro), featuring a small degree of pan-and-scan processing - notably in the opening shots in Willard's hotel room, featuring a composite montage - at the insistence of Coppola and Storaro. The end credits, from a videotape source rather than a film print, were still crushed for 1.33:1 and zoomed to fit the anamorphic video frame. All DVD releases have maintained this aspect ratio in anamorphic widescreen, but present the film without the end credits, which were treated as a separate feature. As a DVD extra, the footage of the explosion of the Kurtz compound was featured without text credits but included a commentary by director Coppola explaining the various endings based on how the film was screened. On the cover of the Redux DVD, Willard is erroneously listed as "Lieutenant Willard".

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The California Kid

Replica of a '57 Fury, typical of the film's interceptor.

The California Kid is a 1974 TV Movie starring Martin Sheen, Vic Morrow, Nick Nolte, Michelle Phillips, Gary Morgan, and Janit Baldwin.

The story takes place in 1958, and involves a town, Clarksburg, California, with a famous speed trap, in which a disturbed Sheriff Roy Childress (Vic Morrow), whose wife and daughter were killed by a speeder, turns bad, with a habit of deliberately punishing speeders by pushing their cars off the mountain highway in his 1957 Plymouth Belvedere.

Two Navy sailors on leave (one portrayed by Sheen's younger brother, Joe Estevez), speeding to get back to base on time in a 1951 Ford Custom, are pushed off to their deaths by the sheriff. Soon after, a stranger arrives, driving a hot rodded black 1934 Ford three-window coupe. He provokes Sheriff Childress into giving him a speeding ticket on purpose, establishes his credentials with the sheriff as a hot rodder and potential speed maniac, with an explicit reference to the 3-window's tested speed. He pays the ticket in front of Judge J.A. Hooker (Frederic Downs), and it is revealled he is Michael McCord (Martin Sheen), older brother of one of the sailors.

Believing his brother's death was no accident, he does his own investigating, with the help of Maggie (Michelle Phillips). He finds a stripped bumper from his brother's Ford at the impound yard, dented as if by pushbars. He checks out the lay of the land. Knowing how his brother was killed, he goes out to the Curve, testing its limits.

When the younger brother Lyle Stafford (Gary Morgan) of the town's auto mechanic Buzz Stafford (Nick Nolte) is killed and his girlfriend Sissy (Janit Baldwin) badly injured by the sheriff after the duo go for a drive in a 1955 Mercury, McCord sees the pushbars on the sheriff's car. When Buzz wants to kill the sheriff for revenge, McCord persuades him not to. Then the sheriff tries to run McCord out of town, and the stage is set for the climactic duel.

McCord then runs the speed trap, challenging the sheriff, who tries to run him off the road. McCord is ready, knowing his car's limits for the curve, and the sherriff is a victim of his own obsession, going too fast to make the deadly turn. He drives off the cliff, while McCord manages to stop in the sand.

Pete Chapouris customized a 1934 Ford three window coupe, selected on sight by the producers. The '34 would become legendary among customizers and hot rodders. Incidentally, the close-up shot of the car's engine in the movie is not in fact that of the '34 coupe featured, but is a masked shot of the engine in another legendary film car, the '32 Ford from "American Graffiti".

At the time Chapouris created the car, the customizing style he employed was at odds with most contemporary enthusiast thinking, and it was generally considered "old-fashioned" in a world where "resto-rodding" (a style of customizing which is sympathetic to the car's original design and specification) was the current trend. However, this old-time styling of the car made it perfect for its role in the movie, where--with a few tweaks (added dummy sidepipes and the substitution of '60's-era Halibrand wheels for more era-correct steel wheels and Ford hubcaps)--it provided the perfect example of a well-built '50s hot rod. Such was the impact of the car in its role in the movie, today the name "The California Kid" refers more to the car itself than the film among rodders.

For its role in the film, the words "The California Kid" were added just below the side windows on both sides in a script-type lettering, along with the flourish of an extra piece of small flame paintwork alongside it. The extra flames were quickly deleted after filming (they were rather unnatractive and not in keeping with the style of flames already applied to the car) though the script has remained ever since.

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Gospa (1995) is a religious drama starring Martin Sheen and Morgan Fairchild about events surrounding pilgrimages to a small village in Hercegovina where six school children claim Gospa (Croatian for the Virgin Mary) appeared in 1981 (see Our Lady of Međugorje). The movie highlights Communists preying on Catholics and Croatians who suffer at the hands of authorities. Martin Sheen plays Franciscan priest Zovko, who was tortured by the Yugoslavian regime and tried for treason by the Yugoslav government for refusing to betray his people.

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Terrence Malick

Terrence "Terry" Malick (born 30 November 1943, Ottawa, Illinois) is an Academy Award nominated American filmmaker and script writer. In a career spanning decades, Malick has directed one short film and four feature-length films.

Numerous critics consider Malick's films to be masterpieces, in particular Badlands and Days of Heaven. Malick was nominated for an Academy Award for both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for The Thin Red Line. His work is often characterized by naturalist cinematography and a meditative directorial and editing style; his films are full of rich, lingering, repetitive images of natural beauty. He makes extensive use of off-screen narration by his characters, as well as music, to illuminate, heighten and counterpoint the action on screen.

Although not otherwise in public life, friends such as actor Martin Sheen have always remarked that he is a very warm and humble man who prefers to work without media intrusion. His contracts stipulate that no current photographs of him are to be taken, and he routinely declines requests for interviews. His only known public appearance was in October 2007 for a conversation with film historians Antonio Monda and Mario Sesti as part of the Rome Film Festival.

Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His father was an oil company executive of Assyrian descent, and Malick grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, working on oil fields as a young man. He moved to Austin, Texas and graduated from St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Malick studied philosophy under Stanley Cavell at Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1965, and went on to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He had a disagreement with his advisor, Gilbert Ryle, over his thesis on the concept of the world in Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, and ultimately left Oxford without taking a doctorate. In 1969, Northwestern University Press published Malick's translation of Heidegger's Vom Wesen des Grundes as The Essence of Reasons. Moving back to the United States, he taught philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while freelancing as a journalist, writing articles for Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Life.

Malick married Michele Morette in 1985; they divorced in 1998. Michele Morette died in July 2008 from pancreatic cancer in Paris, France. Malick has been married to Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace since 1998, and currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Malick got his start in film after earning an MFA from the AFI Conservatory in 1969, directing Lanton Mills. It was at the AFI that he established contacts with people such as Jack Nicholson and agent Mike Medavoy, who found freelance script-doctoring work for him.

After working as a screenwriter and script doctor, Malick directed Badlands and Days of Heaven. Following the release of Days of Heaven, Malick moved to France and disappeared from public view for twenty years. He returned to film in 1998 with The Thin Red Line. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but did not win any of them.

For his fourth feature, Malick considered directing a biopic about Che Guevara, and wrote a screenplay for it, but later relinquished the project to director Steven Soderbergh. He chose to make The New World instead, the script of which he finished in the late 1970s. The film features a romantic interpretation of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, filmed in the usual transcendental Malickian style. The film was scheduled for limited release on December 25, 2005, and for general release in mid-January 2006; it was nominated for an Academy Award and received largely mixed reviews during its theatrical run. Over one million feet of film was shot during the isolated filming schedule, resulting in a final film which ran for 150 minutes before Malick decided to temporarily withdraw the film from release and re-edit it into a 135-minute version. On October 14th, 2008, a 172 minute version of The New World was released on DVD.

Malick is also credited with the screenplay for Pocket Money (1972), and he wrote early drafts of Great Balls of Fire! (1989) and Dirty Harry (1971).

Having previously been linked to a screen adaptation of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, rumors were reported in May 2006 linking Malick to a possible adaptation of J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, but neither of these projects have come to fruition.

Malick has completed shooting his next feature film The Tree of Life. The film is currently in post production and its US distributor is unknown.

It's been rumoured that Malick's next project is a film adaptation of the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with Malick's Thin Red Line star James Caviezel in the lead as Gawain.

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola(CannesPhotoCall) crop.jpg

Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and screenwriter. Away from showbusiness, Coppola is also a vintner, magazine publisher and hotelier. He is a graduate of Hofstra University where he studied theatre. He earned an M.F.A. in film directing from the UCLA Film School. He is most renowned for directing the highly regarded Godfather films, The Conversation, and the Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now.

Coppola was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family of Italian ancestry (his grandparents were immigrants from Bernalda, Basilicata). He received his middle name in honor of Henry Ford and because he was born at the Henry Ford Hospital. Coppola is son of Italia (née Pennino) and arranger/composer Carmine Coppola, who, at the time, was the first flautist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He was the second of three children (his sister is actress Talia Shire). Two years later, Carmine became the first flautist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the family moved to New York City, finding a home in Woodside, Queens, where Francis spent the remainder of his childhood.

Coppola had poliomyelitis, or polio, as a boy, leaving him bedridden for large periods of his childhood, and allowing him to indulge his imagination with homemade puppet theater productions. Using his father's 8mm movie camera, he began making movies when he was 10. He studied theatre at Hofstra University and graduated from the University in 1960, prior to earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in film direction from UCLA Film School. There, he made numerous short films. While in UCLA's Film Department, Francis met Jim Morrison, whose music was used later in Apocalypse Now.

Coppola has often worked with family members on his films. He cast his two sons in The Godfather as extras during the street fight scene and Don Corleone's funeral; his daughter, Sofia Coppola, appeared in all installments of the series (the first two movies with uncredited roles). His sister, Talia Shire, played Connie Corleone in all three Godfather films. His father Carmine, a composer and professional musician, co-wrote much of the music in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now. His nephew, Nicolas Cage, starred in Coppola's film Peggy Sue Got Married and was featured in Rumble Fish and The Cotton Club.

His eldest son, Gian-Carlo Coppola, was in the early stages of a film production career when he was killed on May 26, 1986 in a speedboat accident. Coppola's surviving son, Roman Coppola, is a filmmaker and music video director whose filmography includes the feature film CQ and music videos for The Strokes, as well as co-writing the Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited.

Coppola's daughter, Sofia Coppola, is an Academy Award-winning writer and nominated director. Her films include the critically acclaimed films The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. In 2004, she became the first American woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, for Lost in Translation.

Other famous members of Coppola's family include his nephews Jason Schwartzman and Robert Schwartzman. Jason Schwartzman has starred in several films, such as Rushmore and Slackers. He also co-wrote (along with director Wes Anderson and cousin Roman Coppola) and starred in the 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited. His brother, Robert Schwartzman, is the lead singer in the band Rooney and has made small appearances in several films, including his cousin's The Virgin Suicides.

Coppola, with his family, expanded his business ventures to include winemaking in California's Napa Valley at the Rubicon Estate Winery in Rutherford, California. He produced his first batch in 1977 with the help of his father, wife and children stomping the grapes barefoot. Every year the family has a harvest party to continue the tradition. His company, Francis Ford Coppola Presents, owns a winery in Geyserville, Sonoma County, California. The company also produces a line of pastas and pasta sauces, and it owns several cafes and resorts.

Coppola owns the Turtle Bay Hotel in Placencia, Belize. For 14 years he co-owned the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco along with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, the restaurant closed in August 2008.

Coppola serves as "Honorary Consul H. E. Ambassador Francis Ford Coppola." for the Central American nation of Belize in San Francisco, California. In November 2005, Coppola took part as a special guest at the 46th International Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece.

Coppola is currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also spends considerable time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is establishing a subsidiary of his production company. In San Francisco, Coppola owns a restaurant named Cafe Zoetrope, located in the Sentinel Building. It serves traditional Italian cuisine and wine from his personal vineyard and bottling company.

Over the years, Francis Coppola has given political contributions to several candidates of the Democratic Party, including Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi for the U.S. House of Representatives and Barbara Boxer and Alan Cranston for the U.S. Senate.

In the early 1960s, Coppola started his professional career making low-budget films with Roger Corman and writing screenplays. His first notable motion picture was made for Corman, the low-budget Dementia 13. After graduating to mainstream motion pictures with You're a Big Boy Now, Coppola was offered the reins of the movie version of the Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow, starring Petula Clark, in her first American film, and veteran Fred Astaire. Producer Jack Warner was nonplussed by Coppola's shaggy-haired, bearded, "hippie" appearance and generally left him to his own devices. He took his cast to the Napa Valley for much of the outdoor shooting, but these scenes were in sharp contrast to those obviously filmed on a Hollywood soundstage, resulting in a disjointed look to the film. Dealing with outdated material at a time when the popularity of film musicals was already on the downslide, Coppola's end result was only semi-successful, but his work with Clark no doubt contributed to her Golden Globe Best Actress nomination. During this period, Coppola lived for a time with his wife and growing family in Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood, California, according to author Peter Biskind in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (Touchstone Books, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1998).

In 1971, Coppola won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Patton. However, his name as a filmmaker was made as the co-writer and director of The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), and The Godfather Part II (1974). In between directing the Godfather films, Coppola wrote the screenplay for the critically and commercially unsuccessful 1974 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, which was directed by Jack Clayton and starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. While at Warner Brothers Coppola hired George Lucas as his assistant and eventually produced Lucas' breakthrough film, American Graffiti, which was released in 1973. Also during this period, Coppola invested in San Francisco's City Magazine, hired an all-new staff, including mob daughter and writer Susan Berman, and named himself publisher. Although critically acclaimed, the magazine was short lived. The magazine floundered until 1976 when Coppola published its last issue.

In 1972, The Godfather was released to critical acclaim and huge commercial success. Directed by Coppola (the first choice for director was Sergio Leone), and adapted by Coppola and Mario Puzo from Puzo's bestselling novel, The Godfather follows the story of the Corleone crime family under Don Vito Corleone during the 1940s and 50s. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Marlon Brando. Coppola himself was awarded Best Adapted Screenplay, along with Mario Puzo, and was nominated for Best Director.

In 1974, the highly anticipated sequel The Godfather Part II was released. Again directed and co-written by Coppola, the second film follows the story of the Corleones under Don Michael Corleone in the late 1950s, intercut with sequences depicting Vito as a young man in the early twentieth century (played by Robert De Niro) and his subsequent rise to power. The sequel was as commercially successful as the first film and received much critical praise. It became the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture; it also earned Coppola Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay while winning three other awards and earning five other nominations.

In the early 1970s Coppola also helped launch the career of George Lucas by producing his first two films, THX 1138 and American Graffiti. The latter film became a huge success at the box office and met to strong reviews, even earning Coppola a Best Picture nomination. Lucas would later go off to create the extremely successful Star Wars and Indiana Jones series.

In between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Coppola directed The Conversation, the story of a paranoid wiretapping and surveillance expert (played by Gene Hackman) who finds himself caught up in a possible murder plot. The Conversation was released to theaters in 1974 and was also nominated for Best Picture, competing against The Godfather Part II; Coppola became one of the few directors to have two films competing for the Best Picture Oscar since the annual number of nominees was reduced to five in 1945. While The Godfather Part II won the Oscar, The Conversation won the 1974 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Following the success of The Godfather, The Conversation and The Godfather Part II, Coppola began filming Apocalypse Now, an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness set in Cambodia during the Vietnam War (Coppola himself briefly appears as a TV news director). Before production of the film began, Coppola went to his mentor Roger Corman for advice about shooting in the Philippines, since Corman had filmed several pictures there. It was said that all the advice Corman offered Coppola was "Don't go." The production of the film was plagued by numerous problems, including typhoons, nervous breakdowns, the firing of Harvey Keitel, Martin Sheen's heart attack, extras from the Philippine military leaving in the middle of scenes to go fight rebels, and an unprepared Marlon Brando with a bloated appearance (which Coppola attempted to hide by shooting him in the shadows). It was delayed so often it was nicknamed Apocalypse When?. The film was equally lauded and hated by critics when it finally appeared in 1979, and the cost of production nearly bankrupted Coppola's nascent studio American Zoetrope. The film was selected at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme d'Or, along with The Tin Drum, directed by Volker Schlöndorff.

Like Citizen Kane, its reputation has grown in time and Apocalypse Now is regarded by many as a masterpiece of the New Hollywood era. Roger Ebert considers it to be the finest film on the Vietnam war and included it on his list for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll for the greatest movie of all time.

The 1991 documentary film Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, directed by Eleanor Coppola (Francis's wife), Fax Bahr, and George Hickenlooper, chronicles the difficulties the crew went through making Apocalypse Now, and features behind-the-scenes footage filmed by Eleanor.

In 2001, Coppola re-released Apocalypse Now as Apocalypse Now Redux, restoring several sequences lost from the original 1979 cut of the film, thereby expanding its length to 200 minutes.

The UK's 2008 Top Gear special episode, portraying the presenters' epic journey across Vietnam, prepended "Francis Ford" before each name in the rolling credits as a tribute to Coppola's work on this film.

Despite the setbacks during the making of Apocalypse Now, Coppola kept up with film projects, presenting in 1981 a restoration by the British film historian Kevin Brownlow of the celebrated 1927 Abel Gance film Napoléon that was released in the United States by American Zoetrope. Coppola's father scored a soundtrack for this cut of the film. However, more of the film has since been found and incorporated by Brownlow, and Carmine Coppola's soundtrack is written to match the film at a different frame speed from that at which Gance shot it. Coppola's insistence on his father's score (others do exist), and his claim to have worldwide rights on showings of the film (he purchased some rights from Claude Lelouch who in turn had purchased them from a penniless Gance), mean that this film is not presently screened, and its fullest form is unavailable on DVD.

Coppola returned to directing with the experimental musical One from the Heart (1982). The film was a financial failure.

Hammett is a 1982 homage to noir films and pulp fiction directed by Wim Wenders and completed by Francis Ford Coppola. The film is a fictionalized story about writer Dashiell Hammett, based on the novel of the same name by Joe Gores. German director Wenders was hired by Coppola to direct this film, which was to be his American debut feature. But by the time the final version was released in 1982, only 30 percent of Wenders' footage remained, and the rest had been completely reshot by Coppola. Wenders made a short film called Reverse Angle documenting his disputes with Coppola surrounding the making of Hammett.

In 1982, he directed The Outsiders, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. Coppola credited his inspiration for making the film to a suggestion from middle school students who had read the novel. The Outsiders is notable for being the breakout film for a number of young actors who would go on to become major stars. These included major roles for Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, and C. Thomas Howell. Others rising stars in the cast include Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, and Tom Cruise. Matt Dillon and several others also starred in Coppola's related film, Rumble Fish, which was also based on a S.E. Hinton novel and filmed at the same time as The Outsiders on-location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Carmine Coppola wrote and edited the musical score, including the title song "Stay Gold", which was based upon a famous Robert Frost poem and performed for the movie by Stevie Wonder.

In 1984 Coppola directed The Cotton Club. The film was produced by Robert Evans. It was a box-office failure, with a budget of $45 million and a gross revenue of only $25 million. Despite performing poorly at the box office, the film was nominated for several awards, including Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Picture (Drama) and the Oscar for best Film Editing.

In 1986 Coppola, working once again with George Lucas, also directed the Michael Jackson film for Disney theme parks, Captain Eo, which at the time was the most expensive film per minute ever made. In 1987 he directed an episode of Rip Van Winkle.

In 1987 Coppola reteamed with James Caan for Gardens of Stone but the film was overshadowed by the tragic death of Coppola's eldest son Gian-Carlo Coppola during the films production.

He followed this with Tucker: The Man and His Dream, a biopic based on the life of Preston Tucker and his attempt to produce and market the Tucker '48. Coppola had originally conceived the project as a musical with Marlon Brando in the lead role as his next project after the release of The Godfather Part II. Now, with Jeff Bridges in the role of Preston Tucker, the film received positive reviews, earning three nominations at the 62nd Academy Awards.

In 1989 Coppola teamed up with fellow Oscar-winning directors Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen for an anthology film called New York Stories. Coppola directed the Life without Zoe segment starring his sister Talia Shire, and also co-wrote the film with his daughter Sofia Coppola. Life Without Zoe was mostly panned by critics and was generally considered the segment that brought the films overall quality down.

In 1990, he released the third and final chapter of The Godfather series with The Godfather Part III. Coppola successfully managed to get Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, and Talia Shire to return to the franchise, but Robert Duvall refused to reprise his role as Tom Hagen over salary disagreements. While not as critically acclaimed as the first two films, it was still a box office success. Some reviewers criticized the casting of Coppola's daughter Sofia, who stepped into a role abandoned by Winona Ryder just as filming began. Despite this, The Godfather Part III went off to gather 7 Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture for Coppola himself. The film failed to win any of these awards, the only film in the trilogy to do so.

In 1992, Coppola released Bram Stoker's Dracula, an adaptation of Stoker's novel which tried to follow Stoker's novel more closely than previous film adaptations, although its closeness to the book is often debated. Coppola cast Gary Oldman in the films title role, along with Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins. The movie's box office success enabled Coppola to keep his vineyard. The film won Academy Awards for Costume Design, Makeup, and Sound Editing. Two years later Coppola produced, but did not direct an adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which featured Kenneth Branagh (who also directed the film) in the title role and Robert De Niro as the monster.

Coppola would only make two more films in the 1990s (Jack, starring Robin Williams, in 1996 and the ensemble, courtroom drama The Rainmaker in 1997). His next project would not be for another 10 years.

Youth Without Youth was released on December 14, 2007.It was made for about $19 million, and was given a limited release. As a result, Coppola announced his plans to produce his own films in order to avoid the marketing input that goes into most films (making them appeal to too-wide an audience). He is currently directing Tetro in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, for years, he has tried to make a movie called Megalopolis, a film about an architect in a futuristic New York who tries to create utopia through architecture.

In 1997, Coppola founded Zoetrope All-Story, a flashy literary magazine that publishes short stories. The magazine has published fiction by T.C. Boyle and Amy Bloom and essays by David Mamet, Steven Spielberg, and Salman Rushdie. Coppola serves as founding editor and publisher of All-Story.

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Cadence (film)


Cadence is a 1990 film directed by (and starring) Martin Sheen, in which Charlie Sheen plays an inmate in a United States Army stockade in West Germany during the 1960s. The film is based on a novel by Gordon Weaver.

Pfc. Franklin Bean (Charlie Sheen) gets drunk and goes AWOL upon the death of his father. As punishment, he is thrown into a stockade populated entirely by black inmates. But instead giving into racism, Bean joins forces with his fellow inmates and rises up against the bigoted prison warden, MSgt. Otis McKinney (Martin Sheen).

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Source : Wikipedia