I had a heartbreaking experience when I was 9. I always wanted to be a guard. The most wonderful girl in the world was a guard. When I got polio and then went back to school, they made me a guard. A teacher took away my guard button.
It's ironic that at age 32, at probably the greatest moment of my career, with The Godfather having such an enormous success, I wasn't even aware of it, because I was somewhere else under the deadline again.
Frank Capra was a prop man, I think. John Ford was a prop man. It was a little bit of a father and son thing, and you kind of worked your way up.
I landed a job with Roger Corman. The job was to write the English dialogue for a Russian science fiction picture. I didn't speak any Russian. He didn't care whether I could understand what they were saying; he wanted me to make up dialogue.
My film is not a movie; it's not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam.
I had an older brother who was very interested in literature, so I had an early exposure to literature, and and theater. My father sometimes would work in musical comedies.
I liked to work in a shop down in the basement and invent things and build gadgets.
The stuff that I got in trouble for, the casting for The Godfather or the flag scene in Patton, was the stuff that was remembered, and was considered the good work.
Usually, the stuff that's your best idea or work is going to be attacked the most.
We were raised in an Italian-American household, although we didn't speak Italian in the house. We were very proud of being Italian, and had Italian music, ate Italian food.
I was the kind of kid that had some talents or ability, but it never came out in school.
I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing.
A number of images put together a certain way become something quite above and beyond what any of them are individually.
I had a number of teachers who hated me. I didn't do well in school.
I wrote the script of Patton. I had this very bizarre opening where he stands up in front of an American flag and gives this speech. Ultimately, I was fired. When the script was done, they hired another writer and that script was forgotten.