Tag: Robert Duvall

What Kind of Old Man Will I Be?


A couple of weeks ago, I was texting with my son, and he mentioned that he and the stand-up dame he’s been dating the last couple of years were thinking about settling down and having kids. He wanted to know what I wanted them to call me. “Grandpa, pee-paw, grandpappy? What?”

And that got me to thinking, I’m going to be an old man. The signs of the twilight that lies just beyond my horizon are already beginning to show. I sometimes watch reruns of 20+-year-old TV shows (Stargate SG-1, to be specific)  I frequently launch the wrong app on my phone. And just this last week, I had a chatty conversation with a bank teller!

ACF#40: Apocalypse Now


John Presnall and I offer you a conversation on Francis Ford Coppola’s most ambitious movie, Apocalypse Now. It was shot over most of a year in the bicentennial year 1976, and needed some three years of work to make into a movie, ready for release only in 1979, whereupon it won the Palme D’Or at Cannes and a couple of Oscars and other awards and made a lot of money–and was also a great scandal from every point of view. We think it’s great, that it teaches very important things about “horror and moral terror,” and that its reflections on America and the Vietnam War are both insightful and unusual. Listen and share, friends–and let’s talk about the movie in the comments below!

ACF#22: Godfather Part II


Today, John Presnall and I complete our discussion of The Godfather. We look at how Part II reverses the structure of the original–we move from a young Michael and adult Vito to the reverse. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola thus complete the portrayals of the two generations. Then we also discuss the all-American story of the immigrant Corleone family, of making it in New York, moving out West, and going international in Cuba. The Corleones rehearse American history and this changes the non-American Sicilian principle of “True Friendship” Vito tries to adapt to the New World.

ACF#21 The Godfather


Happy New Year! Here at the ACF, we decided to give you a great American family story for the season of feasts! Join us in exploring the exciting Corleone family, much-beloved of Democrats, because they’re immigrants, and of Republicans, because they’re business men, job creators, and family men.

“The Worst Actors Get the Parts”


Fans Gene Hackman and Dustin HoffmanI don’t know how many are interested in such things, but among those who follow the careers of the best American actors, there is a well-known bit of lore about the pre-fame friendship of Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and Robert Duvall.

Well, it’s not lore, it’s true. You can read about it here. The trio banged around New York for a solid 10 years before finally finding their footing in the film business.

Every young actor in New York or Hollywood feasts on such stories because they make the impossible seem real. You and your buddies—as hungry and invisible as you are now—could one day find yourselves on top. It could happen. It has.