Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  6 December 1991 (UK)
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Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Francis Coppola)
Eleanor Coppola ...
Himself - from 1938 radio broadcast (voice) (archive footage)
Tom Sternberg ...
Himself (as Fred Forrest)
Himself (as Larry Fishburne)
Herself (as Gia)
Himself (as Roman)
Herself (as Sofia)
Dean Tavoularis ...
Fred Roos ...


Documents the sensational events surrounding the making of 'Apocalypse Now' and Francis Ford Coppola's struggle with nature, governments, actors, and self-doubt. Includes footage and sound secretly recorded by Elanor Coppola, wife of Francis. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The magic and madness of making "Apocalypse Now"



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 December 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Aux coeurs des ténèbres - l'apocalypse d'un metteur en scène  »

Box Office


$1,318,449 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Feature directorial debut for Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper. See more »


In the end credits for musical listings under the Doors song The End, Elektra (Records) is misspelled (as "Electra.") See more »


Francis Ford Coppola: First of all, I call this whole movie the Idiodyssey. None of my tools, none of my tricks, none of my ways of doing things works for this ending. I have tried so many times that I know I can't do it. It might be a big victory to know that I can't do it. I can't write the ending to this movie.
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User Reviews

Maybe the best behind-the-scenes documentary ever made.
14 October 1999 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

I agree with the most positive reviews of this film. It's probably THE best documentary about the making of a movie, about the emotions and tensions behind the scenes, about the psychic terror of a director/creator trying desperately to not merely hold on to his artistic dream, but to survive! A must-see for any cinemaphile, and every Coppola enthusiast.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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