“We were broke”: Francis Ford Coppola admits making ‘The Godfather: Part III’ for money

"I really started to feel that I owed it to my wife to make some money"

A recently resurfaced interview was revealed how Francis Ford Coppola directed The Godfather: Part III as a financial necessity for his family.

The film, released in 1990, is considered to be the weakest of Coppola’s acclaimed trilogy – despite boasting multiple Academy Award nominations and a solid 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

But in a 2001 interview on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton, Coppola admits how he returned to the crime saga in order to achieve financial security.


“We were broke. You gotta realise that some of these movies you talk about: Apocalypse, and even the Godfather films, are regarded well – but in their time it was not so much”, he admitted.


“Some people liked them and some people didn’t. At that time, I didn’t know where to turn. I’d been through so many adventures and finally [former Paramount Studios boss] Frank Mancuso came to me and said ‘Would you make The Godfather Part III’?”

“I thought about it and realised I could make a deal that would get us going again. I really started to feel that I owed it to my wife to make some money and put it away for her and to preserve her home and I chose to do it.”

Last year, the cast of The Godfather reunited to celebrate the film’s 45th anniversary.

The reunion took place at Radio City Music Hall, as part of Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival.

 Director Francis Ford Coppola was joined by Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and James Caan, as well as Robert De Niro himself, who appeared in the 1974 sequel.