A New Way of Looking at the Greatest Directors of All Time

Something between Art and Life

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Francis Ford Coppola is considered by many people to be among the greatest directors in film history. Certainly, parts I and II of The Godfather  are two of the greatest films ever made. Some would say that they are the two best. At a minimum, they are both top-10 films. Additionally, Apocalypse Now is possibly the best war movie ever made and could arguably be placed among the 20 best movies ever.

But beyond that, what has Coppola done? The Godfather: Part III was a good stand-alone film, but probably should never have been made in the context of the previous two films in the series. The Conversation is now highly regarded among film critics and historians, but is not widely appreciated. He wrote the Academy Award winning screenplay to Patton, but that’s not directing. Dracula was nonsense.

Rather than dispute Coppola’s inclusion into the pantheon of great directors, I…

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