With ‘The Godfather’ set for re-release, Francis Ford Coppola says only Oscars count

A day before the re-release of the iconic Hollywood classic, ‘The Godfather’, in a limited number of screens across the United States, the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, has said he is not a huge fan of the many award functions that have emerged over the past few years.

Coppola still prefers the Oscars, that too with certain reservations over its grand scale, he told ‘Variety’. “There are too many award shows now. I liked it when it was just the Oscars,” he said.

‘The Godfather’ won three Oscars, including Best Picture, after plucking eight nominations at the 45th Academy Awards, which was watched by 85 television viewers across the United States in 1973.

Marlon Brando, who played Vito Corleone in the film adapted for the silver screen by Coppola from Mario Puzo’s eponymous novel, got the Best Actor Oscar, but he did not receive it in person. Instead, he sent the Native American actress, model and civil rights activist Sacheen Lightfoot to accept the statuette on his behalf.

In his conversation with ‘Variety’, Coppola, who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1973, said he looked back fondly at the time when the ceremony was simpler. “I don’t like it so much as a big razzle-dazzle production. I like it more intimate, when they had a gentle quality that I think was nice.”

When asked about his opinion on the announcement by the Academy to present eight technical awards off air to streamline the telecast, he responded by saying: “All those (categories) are important. It seems odd, but I guess they have their reasons.”

Coppola won his first Oscar in 1971 for the original screenplay for the epic biographical war film ‘Patton’ (1970), based on the U.S. World War II General George Patton.

Recalling the reception ‘The Godfather’ got, Coppola said he wasn’t really sure of the film’s success on such a scale and was left surprised when the film clinched coveted awards.

“There were so many negative thoughts about the picture at the time that I was very unsure and, quite honestly, astonished that it had this success,” Coppola said.

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