IMDb > Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
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Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Release Date:
6 December 1991 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The magic and madness of making "Apocalypse Now"
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Legends Have Blossomed See more (42 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Francis Ford Coppola ... Himself (as Francis Coppola)
Eleanor Coppola ... Herself

Orson Welles ... Himself - from 1938 radio broadcast (archive footage) (voice)

John Milius ... Himself

George Lucas ... Himself
Tom Sternberg ... Himself

Sam Bottoms ... Himself

Albert Hall ... Himself

Frederic Forrest ... Himself (as Fred Forrest)

Laurence Fishburne ... Himself (as Larry Fishburne)

Gia Coppola ... Herself (as Gia)

Roman Coppola ... Himself (as Roman)

Sofia Coppola ... Herself (as Sofia)
Dean Tavoularis ... Himself
Fred Roos ... Himself

Martin Sheen ... Himself

Vittorio Storaro ... Himself

Robert Duvall ... Himself
Rona Barrett ... Herself (archive footage)
Tom Snyder ... Himself (archive footage)
Monty Cox ... Himself

Doug Claybourne ... Himself

Dennis Hopper ... Himself

Marlon Brando ... Himself

Directed by
Fax Bahr 
George Hickenlooper 
Eleanor Coppola (documentary footage)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Fax Bahr 
George Hickenlooper 

Produced by
Doug Claybourne .... executive producer
Michael Doqui .... supervising producer
Les Mayfield .... producer
Fred Roos .... executive producer
George Zaloom .... producer
 
Original Music by
Todd Boekelheide 
 
Cinematography by
Larry Carney 
Shana Hagan 
Igor Meglic 
Steven Wacks 
 
Film Editing by
Michael Greer 
Jay Miracle 
 
Production Management
Steven Hewitt .... executive in charge of production
 
Sound Department
Robert Gravenor .... sound mixer
George R. Groves Jr. .... sound re-recording mixer
Craig M. Otte .... sound effects editor
Tim Philben .... sound re-recording mixer
Troy Porter .... sound re-recording mixer
Brian Risner .... sound editor
Richard Hymns .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ron Bahara .... assistant camera
Les Blank .... camera operator
Andrew Parke .... assistant camera
Douglas Ryan .... camera operator
 
Music Department
Brian Risner .... music prelay mixer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Canada:R (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Portugal:M/12 | UK:15 | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Francis Ford Coppola initially had no desire to release the documentary on DVD, due to him disagreeing with the way he is depicted. It was finally released on DVD in 2007, albeit with an optional Coppola commentary track that clears many things up. In 2010, it was even released in the "Full Disclosure" Blu-ray edition of Apocalypse Now (1979).See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: In the end credits for musical listings under the Doors song The End, Elektra (Records) is misspelled (as "Electra.")See more »
Quotes:
[last lines]
Francis Ford Coppola:To me, the great hope is that now these little 8mm video recorders and stuff have come out, and some... just people who normally wouldn't make movies are going to be making them. And you know, suddenly, one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart, you know, and make a beautiful film with her little father's camera recorder. And for once, the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed, forever. And it will really become an art form. That's my opinion.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Ride of the ValkyriesSee more »

FAQ

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Legends Have Blossomed, 30 January 2009
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

The making of a movie has never been documented with more power to discern the true nature of what is happening behind the scenes than in this account of the torment and the passion of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. That is because no other behind-the- scenes piece has ever had entrée of materials that are usually prohibited like shots that were never used, abandoned scenes, suppressed conflicts between the director and his actors, divulging of disheartenment and misery, including even arguments between Coppola and his secretly, patiently ambitious wife that she secretly recorded. I've always wondered how he felt about that.

The film may not be as mind-blowing as I expected, but it bares Coppola of all resistance or argument and still exposes him as a bold and daring filmmaker. It also exposes the chaos through which he put his cast and crew on location in the Philippines, and likewise what he suffered by them. Coppola, outraged that Martin Sheen's heart attack made its way to the media and the news could kill the production: "Even if he dies, I don't want to hear anything but good news until it comes from me." Dennis Hopper, his mind adrift on drugs, is unable to remember his lines and yet somehow improvises well what we see in the film. I love seeing authentic drug scenes in movies. Marlon Brando, at a cool million a week, finally shows up, yet unprepared and unexpectedly fat, and endlessly argues with Coppola about a character in a half-existent script he's barely read. Brando begins one scene and then walks away while the camera is still rolling. And Apocalypse Now premiered years after production had begun, shared the Palme d'Or, and went on to become one of the great mythic productions in film history.

Legends have blossomed from it. Coppola confessed he did not think the ending worked. Now we see what he was talking about. Originally set to be directed by the comparatively anemic George Lucas and scripted by Conan the Barbarian writer John Milius, the project went through so many changes that finally Coppola was writing it as he shot it, and actors were improvising. The production is harassed, plagued and badgered by rainstorms, morbidly obese budget overruns, health scares, and logistical horrors, as when the Philippine government rents Coppola the same helicopters it's using to fight rebels ten miles away.

Coppola shouted in despair to his wife, Eleanor: "I tell you from the bottom of my heart that I am making a bad film." And again, "We are all lost. I have no idea where to go with this." Yet Coppola's vision somehow remained secure. Milius, flown to the Philippines by a desperate studio to bring sanity back to the script, remembers that he walked in prepared to convince Coppola that the war was lost and they had to salvage what they could. When he left, Coppola had him convinced it would be the first film to win the Nobel Prize. That is what Francis Ford Coppola is made of, and why the film is so sad. It's like a dirge in that his glory days are long, long gone. Did he only have a handful of remarkable cinematic achievements in him? What has happened?

In the 1970s, he made the first two Godfathers and Apocalypse Now, assaulted with grave personal, political, and creative resistance that, as is evidenced here, almost dismantled him. The Conversation was made straight from his two bare hands. These films are masterstrokes. After Apocalypse Now, his work took a serious nosedive---The Outsiders? New York Stories? ---and even now, as he has returned to the helm with Youth Without Youth, he cannot seem to repossess his course. He had to fight for those masterpieces and that agony and ecstasy is what made them so unsurpassable. Though he at one point denies it in this documentary, Coppola must run on hectic despair and obstruction to make a great film. And that's what we see him do here. It's a curse.

Hearts of Darkness is based on footage that Eleanor Coppola shot at the time, and on recent interviews with both Coppolas, plus Milius, Lucas and the cast, including Larry Fishburne, whose appearance is fascinating because we see him as a naive, restless 14-year-old on a gigantic multi-million-dollar movie shoot and at the present, where he has changed and learned so much. We feel for once we are witnessing the true story of how a movie got made rather than a series of interviews about how brilliant person A is and what a beautiful soul person B is.

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