Francis Ford Coppola “had lost everything” and risked bankruptcy before teenagers encouraged him to do “The Outsiders”

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Francis Ford Coppola had already led the indisputable classics The Godfather (1972), The conversation (1974), The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Apocalypse now (1979). But the disastrous release of a single film, the breathtaking romance of 1982 One from the heart, almost broke it.

“I was very depressed at the time [after One From the Heart], which broke my heart and involved some stupidity on my part, ”the 82-year-old Queens-raised movie titan tells us in a rare interview promoting the new 4K Ultra HD version of his favorite from the age of 1983 The foreigners (see above). “And I was very disheartened by the terrible reaction.”

With Frederic Forest and Teri Garr as a couple whose relationship hits the mark during a birthday getaway in Las Vegas, One from the heart is Coppola’s biggest flop by far, bringing in just $ 600,000 against a budget of $ 26 million. The filmmaker says he pulled the film out of its limited theatrical release after just a week, anticipating it would have a wider release later – not realizing that such a move would relegate it straight to home video.

American director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola on the set of his film One from the Heart.  (Photo by Nancy Moran / Sygma via Getty Images)
American director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola on the set of his film One from the heart. (Photo: Nancy Moran / Sygma via Getty Images)

“So it was stupid of me to do it, but I was still depressed and I had lost everything and I was facing bankruptcy,” he explains.

It was then that a large envelope arrived in the mail from the library class at Lone Star Elementary School in Fresno, California.

“These kids voted for me to take their favorite book and make it into a movie,” Coppola recalls of the package, which contained around 10 to 15 pages of signatures from seventh and eighth graders, courtesy of their librarian Jo Ellen Misakian. . “And the fact that these kids voted for me to make their movie sure meant that I was going to [at least] read the book… And I read it, and I was very touched by the book because it showed how young people really have such strong feelings. I was very moved by it.

This book was SE Hinton’s gang drama in 1967 The foreigners, that the native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, rightly started writing when she was only 15 years old.

American actors Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Thomas C. Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Patrick Swayze on the set of The Outsiders, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  (Photo by Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images)
Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Patrick Swayze on the set of The foreigners, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. (Photo: Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images)

The rest is history. Coppola started turning on cameras The foreigners, the film, in Tulsa in March 1982. The beloved film, which chronicles the exploits of working-class “oilers” and their wealthier rivals “The Socs”, has helped introduce some of the most popular young actors 1980s, including C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise. (The film, in fact, was Cruise’s last non-starring role in 16 years, until his Oscar nominated supporting round in 1999. Magnolia.)

It was a significant rebound for Coppola, earning great reviews (with Gene Siskel comparing him to Rebel without cause and American graffiti) and transportation of $ 33 million (on a budget of $ 10 million).

The legacy of the film has only grown over the years and children have continued to play a key role in it.

C. Thomas Howell, Francis Coppola and Rob Lowe on the set of
C. Thomas Howell, Francis Ford Coppola and Rob Lowe on the set of The foreigners. (Photo: Nancy Moran / Sygma via Getty Images)

After meeting young readers in her granddaughter’s class who wondered why certain scenes from Hinton’s source material weren’t included in her adaptation, Coppola pulled out her director’s cut, dubbed, The complete novel, in 2005.

It is this version that the filmmaker is restoring with the new 4K high definition version.

“Once again, I listened to the advice and opinions of young people,” Coppola says. “That’s what we should be doing in the world today, in my opinion.”

Strangers: The Complete Novel is now available on Ultra HD 4K.

– Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo

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