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.
Marlow, an idealistic seaman, captains a leaky steamboat up the River Congo in search of a mysterious figure named Kurtz who has carved out a brutal kingdom in which he has power of life and death over his native subjects.
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
Fragments of Orson Welles' radio broadcast of "Hearts of Darkness" are used as a narrative device. 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:
I'm sure I have missed a whole bunch of opportunities and I am going to miss others, but I caught a lot of them too. In the end it's about how many I catch, not how many I lose.
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Hurricanes, Bickering Egos, heart ailments, and even war were all obstacles that Mr. Coppola had to overcome in making one of the most pivotal movies of the 1970's, and possibly the best film about the war, no, the experience in Vietnam, Apocalypse Now. Hearts of Darkness details the emotional distress and utter insanity of Francis Ford Coppola as he worked for three years to put the massive project on screen. Along the way, budgets spiraled, heat insued, and rumors of failure were abound, as Francis Ford Coppola tried to finish the nightmare that was Apocalypse Now. As the story begins, we see that Orsen Welles attempted the Heart of Darkness Story, and did not succeed, and how 30 years later, it turned into Apocalypse Now. The ambition of Francis turns to dread and near suicidal tendencies as the first film of his movie studio, American Zoetrope, is plagues with problems: typhoons wreck most of the sets, Martin Sheen has a Heart Attack, The film goes 15 million overbudget, Marlon Brando is unprepared, and a Phillilpino war against communism causes many shots to be ruined. Interviews and retrospectives give shed light on the hectic shoot that lasted 238 days.
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