22nd Academy Awards (1949) – Part II

(Part I.)


Despite knowing nothing about the story going in, I had very high hopes for The Heiress, what with it being directed by William Wyler (his first film since The Best Years of Our Lives [1946]), and featuring one of the best casts of this or any surrounding year. And brother, did this movie exceed even my lofty expectations. The Heiress–a taut, exquisitely acted, mellifluously shot chamber piece, the true Best Picture of 1949–earned Olivia de Havilland her second Best Actress award, and was William Wyler’s fifth consecutive film to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

De Havilland plays the titular heiress, Catherine Sloper, whose drab, socially isolated existence in 1840s New York is upended by the romantic overtures of an alluring young rogue named Morris (played by alluring young rogue Montgomery Clift)–she falls in love with him in about as long as it takes you to read this sentence, but her father suspects Morris is just out for her money (she stands to inherit an income of $40,000 a year upon his death–I checked it out, that would be over $1,200,000 a year today). He can’t be swayed from this opinion no matter what Morris or Catherine say, because he knows Catherine is so plain, uninteresting, and simple that no man would want her if a fortune were not involved.

Her father, Dr. Austin Sloper, is played by venerable British actor Ralph Richardson, and he plays the part to perfection, toeing a tricky line between showing his daughter utter contempt and doing everything he can to keep her from being taken for a ride. For my money, Richardson deserved the Best Supporting Actor award over Dean Jagger’s just-decent performance in Twelve O’Clock High. He is austere, unforgiving, arrogant, and stiff…everything an overbearing father should be.

It should have gone like this.

The best scene in the film is between Richardson and de Havilland, as Dr. Sloper finally reveals the depth of his scorn for his daughter, angrily telling her that it is impossible that any man could love her for anything but her money. Within hours, he is proven right–Morris flakes on their planned elopement upon finding out that Catherine is to be disinherited, and therefore live on only $15,000 a year (a paltry $462,803 in today’s world)–but soon discovers how wrong he was about Catherine.

I don’t want to give too much away, since this is a film everyone should watch, but I’ll just say that Catherine is a fast learner. Having seen how little her own father and the man she thought she loved care for her, she grows up fast and turns the tables on them in a deliciously satisfying way. Even when her father reveals he hasn’t long to live, she continues to taunt him by promising to return to Morris and allow him to squander her entire fortune, just to spite him. And when he does die, there is no cheesy tears, no Hollywood deathbed reconciliation. Just this:

Olivia-de-Havilland-Heiress-1949.JPGNo joke here. This is her reaction upon hearing the news that her father is going to die.

A character going from young and naïve to tough and resourceful is similar to de Havilland’s previous Oscar-winning performance in 1946’s To Each His Own, in which she learns to cope with the pain of having to give up her child after the father is killed in the war. The difference in this film, of course, is that her character sheds not only her naïveté but also her compassion and trust. It’s hard to fault this transformation, given what she’s gone through, and her final ascent (brilliantly staged as such by Wyler…it truly is a victory, if a pessimistic one) is just a thrill to watch. The sight of Morris pounding impotently against her door as she walks away like a goddamned badass is one of the few cinematic endings for which I actually cheered.

theheiress3.jpgending-the-heiress.jpgHahaha…eat shit, you loser.

It would have been very easy to stick them together as the credits rolled, implying that love will truly conquer all (or, even more insidious, that it’s better for a lady to marry a man who doesn’t love her than face the world as a weak, fragile woman). Either of those would have been a “happy ending” in 1949, and probably would have thrilled the Hays office. I was actually very fearful, coming down to the final sequence, that they would do exactly that, but I should have had more faith in Mr. Wyler to do the right thing.

Amazingly, Montgomery Clift went un-nominated for his tantalizingly ambiguous role as Morris. He keeps you guessing, almost for the entire story, about whether he is truly in love with Catherine or merely, as her father suspects, a gold digger. He acts the role with an easy grace and charm, his eyes as sincere as eyes can be…which is, of course, the whole point, and Clift seduces us right along with Catherine. Even after the façade begins to crack, you’re not sure…and because it’s Montgomery Clift–and because Catherine is Olivia de Havilland and nobody screws over Olivia de Havilland–you want him to be virtuous and true. (This was a deliberate and, it turns out, inspired bit of studio intervention, as they requested that Morris’ character be made less overtly evil than in the stage play, to capitalize on Clift’s budding leading-man status.)

In the end, his true colors are flown for all to see. The final, irrefutable proof of Morris’ duplicity comes very late in the film, and it is a devastating moment…

No, no! He grew a villainous 1940s mustache! He IS evil! WHY, MONTGOMERY? WHY???

It is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect film. How Wyler was denied his third Best Director award in favor of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “point the camera at actors” approach in A Letter to Three Wives is mindboggling. De Havilland decisively earned her Best Actress Oscar, and the film picked up three more in technical categories, making it the biggest winner of the night. However, it was denied Best Picture by…


Having stepped away from overt commentary the previous year in favor of some quiet Shakespeare, the Academy brought the former back with a vengeance by awarding Best Picture to All the King’s Men, a “vital, very great” movie about corruption in politics and how the only way to stop it is by gunning it down. Which makes it just about the most American American film of the 1940s. While I did enjoy the movie and was intrigued by the way it was edited and acted, it isn’t much more complex than that (admittedly snarky) summation, and I think it was the wrong choice for the top Oscar.

The best way to describe the film is that it is the exact opposite of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939): instead of a young, idealistic progressive fighting to keep his wits and his integrity against the realpolitik of the Washington machine, All the King’s Men tells the story of an old, cynical reactionary who starts corrupt and fights to become even more corrupt, shocking his corrupt corroborators with the sheer depth of his corrupting corruption.

All-the-Kings-Men-2.jpgThough to its credit, the film fools you at the beginning by dressing him in grandpa pants and a very honest hat.

I suppose the film is trying to make a point about American politics, not about how power corrupts but rather how easy it is for such a nakedly power-mad individual to rise to power. Unfortunately, this makes for a static narrative and a terribly boring protagonist…while Willie Stark’s journey from country bumpkin to state governor might be what drives the plot, he himself doesn’t do a great deal to move the story forward, and nothing about him changes from beginning to end except that he loses his oxygen habit. Part of this might be the fact that he is played by Broderick Crawford, who I have trouble picturing as anything but a loudmouthed, brash, uneducated blowhard.

The role was originally offered to John Wayne, and man what an amazing performance that would have been. Despite his reputation nowadays (which he himself carefully cultivated), Wayne was a good actor before he realized there was more money in just stepping in front of the camera and being himself. And because he had that all-American, patriotic, beatnik-thumping persona, it would have been very interesting to see him in the role of Willie Stark. Watching Crawford bluster through the film, one simply accepts that he is evil and is just impatient for the supporting characters to figure it out…if it had been John “not-Sands-of-Iwo-Jima-because-he-would-have-been-in-this-film-instead” Wayne, the film could have been far more subtle, Stark would have been a far more dynamic character, and we the audience would have been right with the other characters, trying desperately to hold onto our idealized image despite the mounting evidence against it.

176452-004-7242C6DD.jpgUltimately, he elected to be simply John “Sands-of-Iwo-Jima-because-he-found-the-script-for-All-the-King’s-Men-unpatriotic” Wayne, which was much catchier on a marquee.

The film becomes a little better if one considers the supporting cast, the ones who aid and abet Stark’s machine, to be the true main characters. After all, it is a corrupt politician’s retinue of corroborators, bulldogs, and hangers-on that drives them to, and keeps them in, power, and in this respect the movie is very realistic and unforgiving. I’m thinking particularly of John Ireland as Jack Burden, the journalist who sells Stark to the people and quickly becomes his hatchetman–he’s the only character in the movie who changes (albeit only a little) by the end, and the only one to finally realize that Stark’s obviously immoral actions weren’t in pursuit of some nobler, populist end, but were simply a means to more power.

Beyond Burden, the rest of the film offers little in terms of character development, which was surprising for me, considering two of its performers won Academy Awards. If 1949 had an award for Most Badly Written Character, all five nominees would be from All the King’s Men. Don’t get me wrong, Broderick Crawford is wonderfully obnoxious and slimy as Willie Stark, but since, as I said, his character is never anything but obnoxious and slimy, his performance is terribly one-note. Stark goes through the whole film solving every problem by shouting at it or threatening it until finally he kills it, or it kills itself. Compare this to Gregory Peck’s Frank Savage in Twelve O’Clock High–a character with an actual arc and more than one type of reaction to a given situation–and Crawford’s Best Actor award makes very little sense.

Same goes for Mercedes McCambridge, whose character goes from jaded, faux-sassy politician’s moll to jaded, faux-sassy politician’s ex-moll. Clearly the acting challenge of a lifetime. It becomes even weirder when her character pretty much vanishes from the narrative halfway through and does absolutely nothing of consequence for the plot.

All-the-Kings-Men-3.jpgThat empty coffee cup turned out to be a more intriguing character…where’s its Oscar?

But the highest honor in the Badly Written Character category must also go to Joanne Dru as Anne Stanton, whose sole purpose in the film is to be Stark’s fawning, disturbingly loyal and naïve mistress. Her character literally has no agency or higher brain function, as she willingly and unthinkingly helps Stark drive her beloved uncle to suicide. She ends the film still in love with him, firmly believing that he is a moral, misunderstood champion of the people.

a5eddd9269909a48b8a64e07714b3de6--ireland-robert-richard.jpg“Oh, please, as if Abraham Lincoln never murdered a judge. Get off your high horse.”

If the film was innovative in any area, it was in the editing. The original cut of the film ran far too long–director Robert Rossen, despite his best efforts, just couldn’t seem to get it under four hours. So he instructed his editor to take each scene, find what he considered to be the emotional and/or narrative “center” of the scene, and chop off everything outside one hundred feet of film before and after that point. This resulted in short, sweet scenes with abrupt transitions, giving the film a nervous energy that imbues it with far more tension than does its script. The style–even though done out of necessity rather than artistic curiosity–anticipated the experimental jump cuts of the French New Wave a decade later, particularly Godard’s Breathless.

And that’s 1949…personally, I think of the nominated films, The Heiress would have been a far better Best Picture winner; perhaps it doesn’t have the political and social punch of All the King’s Men, but it, like almost all Wyler films, features fully-formed, impeccably-acted characters and a rich story that, despite being set in the 19th century, does not feel dated. Now it’s time to move ahead and give Joseph L. Mankiewicz a chance to redeem himself in 1950!


22nd Academy Awards (1949) – Part I


  • All the King’s Men, Robert Rossen
  • Battleground, William A. Wellman
  • The Heiress, William Wyler
  • A Letter to Three Wives, Joseph L. Mankiewicz*
  • Twelve O’Clock High, Henry King

Well lo and behold, with the 1949 awards the Academy managed to put two strong years together in a row, though this year was marred by the inclusion of one desperately boring film and a Best Picture winner that, while a scathing and sporadically brilliant indictment of American politics, suffers from a weak script and weaker characters. However, the weak script is given a boost by some clever and experimental editing, and the very weak characters are given a leg up by some very strong performances…two of which won Oscars. It is one of only two films to win Best Picture and two acting Oscars, but not Best Director, and the other is…

Because not all trivia is fun.

Best Director, meanwhile, went to one of the most needless films ever made. But I’ll get to that. Even taking into account that waste of 105 minutes, strong performances were the real theme of 1949; it was the first of only eight years in the five-nominee/supporting acting era where every acting winner was from a Best Picture nominee.

This year’s crop is also notable for including the first postwar-era World War II nominees, Battleground and Twelve O’Clock High. Unlike the propagandistic fare we saw between 1939 and 1944, these two films each make use of the intervening years to cast an appraising, humanistic eye on the conflict, just as La Grande Illusion did for World War I in 1937. That said, they are not morally ambiguous by any means, but they both dug a bit deeper than films were willing (or permitted) to go when the war was still going on.

There’s plenty to say about these movies, so let’s not waste any more time…


A Letter to Three Wives is a movie about…well, that. The letter, sent by one of their cattier friends, informs them that said “friend” has skipped town and absconded with one of their husbands…but neglects to tell them which. Which is absolutely something a real human with a functioning brain would do, even if she wasn’t an unseen character in the world’s dumbest screenplay. As fate would have it, our titular wives are on a day trip with a youth organization, so they are left to quietly panic and have flashbacks to why the letter could only be referring to their hubby. What a mystery for the ages…what a high-stakes thrill ride that definitely kept me interested and invested in which bland, caricatured housewives would lose which bland, caricatured husband. You won’t believe the surprise ending…but only because it is even stupider than anything you are possibly imagining right now.

ab70800ac6c9f4de62290c884e1d8e32--a-letter-academy-awards.jpg“Uh…and then they find $20!” –Joseph L. Mankiewicz in the pitch meeting, probably

Kirk Douglas is mostly tolerable as an impossibly easygoing high school teacher, but nothing else about this production has any merit and one can almost feel the brain cells dying as the film lurches from one cliché to the next with an almost gleeful abandon. I only watched it a few days ago, so it’s too soon to fully assess the damage it’s done.

It’s been a while on this project since I had to write a review of a movie I absolutely despised—that would be The Human Comedy at the 16th Academy Awards—and since I’m still in an era when I can mostly get away with it, I’m simply going to declare A Letter to Three Wives one of the worst films of the 1940s and move on. All’s I can say is, Mankiewicz better get his act together for All About Eve, next year’s winner.


Based on the above poster, I’m guessing that at the initial studio meeting, Battleground was pitched as an extravagant MGM musical comedy about a bunch of kooks and knuckleheads fighting the Battle of the Bulge. Then, some new personnel were hired, producers added and removed some ideas, the script went through some rewrites, backs were patted and heads rolled, and eventually they landed on the quiet, almost philosophical, study of the stresses of combat that is the finished film…but no one told the art department, and they never revised their original concept.

I was very pleased to find this film among the nominees, because it’s one of the first movies I have a memory of watching, way back in the mid-1990s, while I was preparing a school project about the experiences of the 101st Airborne at Bastogne in 1944. Battleground was a favorite of my grandfather, a WWII veteran who was able to confirm, in realtime, all of the tiny details the movie got right–as well as fill us in on a few that got left out (for instance, there were a lot more f-bombs amongst soldiers than Code movies would have us believe). Just about every scene in the movie reminded me of his stories, and of him.

Upon returning to the movie twenty years on, all I remembered was a pair of scenes involving a soldier who refused to sleep with his boots on, and the consequences of his boot-hubris.

Spoiler: they’re not good.

Battleground was directed by William A. Wellman, who, devotees will remember, directed the very first Best Picture winner, Wings. The film dramatizes the events of the Siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, wherein the 101st Airborne Division held the Belgian town for just over a week before being relieved by the Third Army under Patton. However, the film shows almost none of those “big” events, focusing entirely on the day-to-day lives and struggles of a single regiment as they try to cope with the weather (the Germans had worked out the timing of the offensive specifically for the bad weather that would prevent the Allies defending from the air), short supplies of food and matériel, and the constant threat of sneak attack from the dense, claustrophobic forest.

Here they are, enjoying the “gags and glory” promised by the poster.

One of the things I really like about the movie’s structure is that, since it never leaves the soldiers’ sides, the audience experiences the same disorientation, uncertainty, and disappointments that they do. We open on the regiment as they are ready to ship out to Paris for some well-deserved R&R…only to be sent to a tiny Belgian town they’ve never heard of, told to defend it at all costs, and soon find themselves surrounded by an unseen, ghostly enemy hiding in the foggy woods. Along the way, sporadic and often confusing news trickles in, which often only serves to isolate the troops more…just like it did for the real 101st.

Unlike most of the propaganda films made during the war, in which the soldier characters were merely moving scenery through which Western audiences could cheer the inevitable defeat of the Nazis, Battleground does the opposite: the war itself, its causes and outcomes, and even its purpose are unimportant next to the lives and minds of the participants. With the benefit of hindsight (and victory), the film was able to portray the human gripes, foibles, and even cowardice that the soldiers faced, and show that these were not only perfectly normal, but perfectly alright. In the heat of battle, any faults are secondary, and are quickly forgotten…even for Khan himself.

Years later, he would find Lt. Frank Drebin far less forgiving, but that’s another story.

Of course, as I said in the opening, the film is not morally ambiguous, nor does it resist the temptation for an upbeat ending, as we finish with all of the soldiers (the ones who survive, anyway) marching and singing in unison as fresh troops arrive to relieve them. The ending is reminiscent of that of Grand Hotel, as the protagonists leave and are replaced by new ones with just as many stories to tell. In the end, like La Grande Illusion before it, the film is hopeful without bathos, celebratory without propaganda, and tender without sacrificing objectivity. Nostalgia aside, it’s my favorite of the nominees.


Twelve O’Clock High, like Battleground, is a war film that barely shows any war, and, again like Battleground, features a very odd poster that I’m certain could have been improved with a little less (or maybe a little more) drinking. The tagline definitely could have been workshopped a bit more, and the copywriters must have been kicking themselves eight years later when they couldn’t use it for the gay porn parody 12 Horny Men.

Film_591w_12AngryMen_original.jpgWhich was notable for reuniting all of the original cast.

Anyway, Twelve O’Clock High tells the story of a ragtag group of aviation misfits in the early days of American involvement in the war, the Eighth Bomber Command carrying out daytime precision strikes on Luftwaffe airfields and munitions factories from their base in Surrey, England. They are becoming undisciplined and careless, and it’s up to General Gregory Peck to whip them into shape. The unit is so undermanned and short of supplies that he is quickly forced to fly missions with them, improving their performance but earning himself some pretty severe PTSD in the process.

It’s an extremely well-made film, if a bit overlong (more on that later); the script is lean and the editing brisk, as befits a movie in this genre. We’ve seen quite a bit of Henry King amongst the Best Picture nominees–In Old Chicago (1937), Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), and The Song of Bernadette (1943)–and his strong eye for mise en scène serves the story well. One scene in particular is a masterclass in lighting, blocking, writing, and acting, a five-minute unbroken take of Peck mercilessly dressing down an errant officer. The fluid movements of both the camera and Gregory Peck raise and lower the tension perfectly.

Since this is a 1940s WWII movie, you’ve probably already guessed that, by the film’s end, this officer is the bravest, most capable pilot in the entire war.

As professionally made as the film is, it does run longer than it should, mainly because of an extended air battle sequence late in the film. The scene is partly comprised of actual aerial combat footage filmed by Allied and Luftwaffe planes during the war, though as far as I know they stopped short of having Gregory Peck fly missions (after all, the film was directed by Henry King, not Howard Hughes). However, the whole thing takes place well into the third act, and though I understand why it’s there, it feels jarring and out of place within the human drama we have been watching and which picks up again immediately afterwards. Because of this, I lost the tension and excitement of what should have been a pulse-pounding spectacle, which wouldn’t have happened if it took place earlier in the film’s runtime.

Although I enjoyed Twelve O’Clock High, and although it features great performances and more than a few classic scenes, I don’t think it succeeded in portraying the physical and mental toll of war as successfully as did Battleground. Aside from the opening scene, the tribulations of the men flying the missions are largely ignored, instead focusing on those of the General and his command staff. When the men are shown to be at their breaking point, the commanders–and, since we are seeing the men through their eyes, the film itself–treat them as cowards and slackers who need to be pushed even further, and this is never really resolved in the end. In fact, the moral of the story seems to be that, while it may tax the emotional stability of the commanding officers, pushing soldiers beyond their limit is what makes them good soldiers.

876d4a0f81b04b7c788fdf30dfd27680--stanley-kubrick-movies-arliss-howard.jpgFuture war films would disagree.

The film very briefly makes a halfhearted attempt at a better moral late in the film, as the squadron’s studious adjutant, Major Stovall–whose flashbacks from present day England bookend the film–remarks that he has dreams of all the men of the unit who have died, and how their faces all blend together, “and it’s a very young face.” It’s a powerful, understated moment…which is immediately laughed away by Peck and the others present, who brush it off as maudlin ramblings brought on by whisky–which, the film makes clear, it is. When Peck does finally snap in the next scene, it gives a little bit of weight to Stovall’s words, but he snaps back pretty quickly, so not a lot.

On the whole, Twelve O’Clock High is a good film, if not a great one. Dean Jagger won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role, though it was more of a “thanks for a great career” Oscar and for my money it should have been Ralph Richardson. In fact, aside from Battleground,  there’s only one film this year that I would describe as “great”…and I’ll be covering that, and the year’s winner, next week in Part II!


Trivial Matters #30 – Oscar Siblings

If the Internet is to be believed, today is Sibling(s) Day (a.k.a. Parents’ Poor Financial Decisions Day). Coming from a family of four, this is a particularly meaningful day for me, and also for my three sisters; when I called my oldest sister and told her about this article, before hanging up she allowed me to post the photo below, albeit begrudgingly and with the caveat that I do not use her name.

My youngest sister, R., responded with “How did you get this number?”, so at least she’s interested in hearing about my life.

So in further honor of this occasion, I thought I’d take the time to consider the achievements of brothers and sisters at the Academy Awards through the years. Lately Joel and Ethan Coen have held the spotlight in this regard, winning for producing, directing, writing Best Picture No Country for Old Men in 2007, and writing Fargo in 1996, but siblings have been vying for and winning Oscars almost since the beginning.

It only took until 1929/1930, the 3rd Academy Awards, for the first set of siblings to take home Oscars (perhaps unsurprisingly, given that there were only about 25 people in the Academy at that time). That year, Norma Shearer won Best Actress for The Divorcee, and her brother, sound pioneer Douglas Shearer, took home the inaugural award for Best Sound Recording for The Big House, the first of his fourteen Oscars.

features-02bBy 1940 he was using them to fix wobbly tables.

These two were, to my mind, the most successful sibling pair at the Oscars, with Douglas being the first person to win consecutive Oscars (for Naughty Marietta in 1935 and San Francisco in 1936), and Norma getting to play Leslie Howard‘s romantic partner three timesBut they were only the beginning.

Probably the most famous sibling rivalry at the Oscars was between Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, intensely competitive actresses who are, to date, the only siblings to each win Oscars for acting in leading categories. Their disparate surnames neatly sum up the sisters’ troubled relationship: elder sister Olivia was the first to pursue an acting career, and when Joan tried to follow her lead, their mother Lilian wouldn’t allow her to use the family name, for fear it would detract from Olivia’s career.

abcwalter61She was used to it, though, after trying to break into professional Go after her father.

Between the two of them, they won three Best Actress statuettes in the 1940s–the first was Fontaine for Suspicion (1941), with de Havilland also nominated for her role in the hard-to-find melodrama Hold Back the Dawn. According to legend, de Havilland refused to congratulate Fontaine, and their mother’s manipulation was so extreme that Fontaine actually felt guilty for winning over her sister. De Havilland, of course, went on to win two Oscars herself, for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), but their relationship continued to deteriorate and they allegedly did not speak to one another from 1975 until Fontaine’s death in late 2013.

Aside from them, the only sister duo to be nominated for Best Actress in the same year are Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave (in 1966, both lost to Elizabeth Taylor for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

As far as brother-sister teams go, the only other acting duo were Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, who respectively won Best Supporting Actress for None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and Best Actor for A Free Soul (1931). Years later, Shirley MacLaine won Best Actress in 1983 for Terms of Endearment, two years after her younger brother Warren Beatty was named Best Director for Reds (1981), for which he was also nominated for Best Actor.

Other, less well known sibling winners include:

  • Twins Julius and Philip Epstein, who won for their screenplay for Casablanca (1943).
  • James Goldman won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Lion in Winter (1968); the next year, younger brother William Goldman took Best Original Screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (and would later win Adapted Screenplay himself for All the President’s Men [1976]).
  • Joseph L. Mankiewicz got his own back for elder brother Herman J.’s Best Original Screenplay win for Citizen Kane (1941) by winning Best Screenplay and Best Director two years in a row (A Letter to Three Wives [1949] and All About Eve [1950]).
  • Composers Alfred Newman and Lionel Newman between them received 56 nominations and 10 Oscars for their film music (though I’m sure Alfred, who won 9 of them from 45 nominations, always qualified that statement at parties).

Finally, the Coppolas, one of only two families with three generations of Oscar winners, have two sets of Oscar-winning/nominated siblings:

  • Francis Ford Coppola (multiple wins, including three for Best Screenplay) and sister Talia Shire (nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Godfather Part II [1974] and Best Actress for Rocky [1976]).
  • Francis’ children Sofia Coppola (winner of Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation [2003]) and Roman Coppola (nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom [2012]).