In 1968, Coppola received his first studio directorial assignment, "Finian's Rainbow". It was a flop. Not discouraged, he wrote and directed "The Rain People" in 1969, a small-budget film starring Shirley Knight as a distressed housewife who goes on to have an escapade on the roads. In 1970, he co-wrote with Edmund North the screenplay for "Patton", which brought him his first Oscar. In 1972, he was honoured with an Oscar again, this time with the cult-classic "The Godfather", which he adapted from a novel of the same title by Mario Puzo and directed for Paramount Pictures. Coppola was nominated as the Best Director for it too.
The film created a huge following, and won many ardent fans for Coppola. He went on to do two more sequels, the second one being a hit again, while the third flopped. "The Godfather Part II" (1974) won 6 Oscars, including 2 for Coppola as Best Producer, Best Director.
Another famous Coppola film is , "The Conversation" (1974), which he wrote the screenplay and directed. It brought him two Oscar nominations and the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Coppola faced many problems during
the filming of "Apocalypse Now" (1979), an on-screen adaptation of
writer Joseph Conrad's book "Heart of Darkness. It was delayed time and
time again, and was way off the budget ($30 million dollars). Fortunately,
all the work paid off for Coppola yet again - he won Palme d'Or at Cannes
again and the film
went on to garner 2 Oscars.
Things started to turn bad for Coppola. He became more and more temperamental and was extremely egoistic of the awards under his belt. His film "One From The Heart" in 1982 costed $26 million to make, which was off budget, mainly due to costly computer-added effects he wanted to try. It flopped at the box-office, and he was at the brink of bankruptcy.
He earned his money back with "The Godfather III" in 1990, although it was criticised badly by film critics all over the world.
Coppola's more recent films are Jack(1996), and "The Rainmaker"(1997). "The Rainmaker" is hailed to be one of Coppola's better works in recent times.