Francis Ford Coppola’s successes in the 70s put him in a place where he was able to help a good number of people get projects off the ground. One of those people was his friend from college, Carroll Ballard. Nearly broke, Coppola’s call came just in time and Ballard found himself on board to direct The Black Stallion. Another person was Melissa Mathison, a friend who started working as an assistant on The Godfather, Part II. Coppola suggested to her that she start writing and asked her to help with the script for The Black Stallion. Next thing you know, she and Ballard are working on it together. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Melissa Mathison series with 1979’s The Black Stallion

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It was billed the most anticipated film of the decade, yet Francis Ford Coppola had spent that entire decade turning down requests to make it. It was only his failing finances that finally drove Coppola to accept the job of writing and directing The Godfather, Part III, and for a lot of people, they probably wish he never bothered. But whatever issues they may have had getting it made, it was the casting of a key role with his own daughter Sofia that created ridiculous vitriol and hatred aimed for the writer/director. This element also ended up being a huge part of the reviews when the film finally came out. But did the film deserve this? Join us – Andy Nelson and Pete Wright – as we wrap up our Godfather trilogy series with Coppola’s epilogue to the Michael Corleone story, 1990’s The Godfather, Part III.

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While The Godfather, Part II didn’t perform nearly as well as its predecessor at the box office, Francis Ford Coppola’s sequel certainly made its money back and, more importantly, has gone on to become a film that’s often cited as one of the greatest films ever made. It even has its contingency of fans who feel it’s the stronger film of the pair. But Coppola went into it not really that excited by the prospect of making a sequel and really only jumped on board because of an idea he had that would blend the storylines of a father and of a son. Join us – Andy Nelson and Pete Wright – as we continue our Godfather trilogy series with Coppola’s 1974 film The Godfather, Part II.

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It was never a movie that was meant to be as big as it became. Robert Evans, Paramount head at the time, thought it would be a fun mobster movie designed to make a quick buck, capitalizing on the recent novel “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo. But Francis Ford Coppola saw something in Puzo’s novel; he saw a family chronicle that was a metaphor for capitalism in America. He saw a crime epic. And he set out to make that version of the book. In the end, despite the fights with the studio that he had while making it, he stuck to his guns and The Godfather still stands as arguably one of the greatest films of all time. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Godfather trilogy with the movie that started it all, Coppola’s 1972 film The Godfather.

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The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is an ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, cinematographer Paul Cameron joins us to talk about one of his favorite films, Apocalypse Now.

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