Francis Ford Coppola originally conceived One from the Heart as an antidote to the enormous cost, pressures and production setbacks of Apocalypse Now (1979).
Coppola, however, has always been inseparable from turmoil, and production costs ballooned from $2 million to $25 million after he insisted on constructing artificial sets on the sound stages of his own Zoetrope studios.
That artificiality, however unwise it proved financially, was crucial to Coppola’s vision of Las Vegas as a world of instant spectacle and private gratification.
One From The Heart tells the simple tale of Hank (Frederic Forrest) and Frannie (Teri Garr), who decide to split up on their fifth anniversary so they can broaden their horizons by seeing other people.
They have parallel affairs with a circus performer (a radiant Nastassja Kinski) and singing waiter (Raul Julia) respectively while intoxicated by one neon-lit Las Vegas night.
Hank regrets the decision and tries to persuade his former lover to return to him.
The film alternates between fantastical musical numbers – accompanied by a soundtrack written and performed by Tom Waits – and heavily staged personal encounters, creating parallels with Hollywood itself in this tale of the modest romance between Hank and Frannie.
Harry Dean Stanton
Francis Ford Coppola