Despite the fact that One from the Heart was a box office failure, it is still an enjoyable and fascinating film. In the spirit of the Golden Age musicals of the late 1930s and early 1940s, Francis Ford Coppola created a movie that mixes the magic of Hollywood with the gritty realism of a contemporary noir thriller. The film was originally supposed to be financed by MGM but Coppola turned down the offer. Instead, he self-financed the project. He used a loan from Chase Manhattan Bank and foreign pre-sales to pay off the bill.
As for the film, it is worth checking out for the cinematography. The aforementioned one-two-three punch of a tango in the piano room, a swoony dance number in a lavish setting that evokes Bora Bora, and a montage of a Vegas strip transformed into a disco dancefloor, is not to be missed. One from the Heart is also worth checking out for its original soundtrack, which owes its existence to such luminaries as Bobby Vega, Mickey Hart, and Tom Waits.
The most expensive item in the budget was the film’s original soundtrack, which reportedly cost around $26 million. This was a huge increase from the original’s $12 million budget. A large part of the cost was the elaborate set construction, which took up all available sound-stage space at American Zoetrope Studios. One From the Heart was also the first film to be shot using a computer as a filming source. The effects were a feat of engineering, and the result was one of the most impressive movies ever made. One from the Heart remains one of the best examples of the Golden Age of cinema.
The film’s one-two-three punch of a “swoony dance number,” a Vegas strip transformed into a disco ball, and a montage of’saved’ Vegas strip footage were the defining ingredients of one from the Heart. There were even a few references to Elvis. The movie’s sexiest scene features Frannie and Ray, played by Mickey Hart and Bobby Vega, dancing with extras. This scene, which was one of the most impressive sequences in the film, is still a reminder of the film’s cult status.
The movie may have been the biggest flop of its time, but it still remains one of the most engaging films of its kind. The fact that Coppola was able to self-finance the project, as opposed to relying on MGM, is an impressive feat in itself. One from the Heart is a masterpiece that deserves to be viewed and savored for years to come. It was a true test of a director’s wits and a true sign of good ol’ fashion Hollywood brass.
One from the Heart is a film that has captivated audiences for forty years. Its dazzling set construction, its original soundtrack, and its homage to the Golden Age of cinema are worth checking out, even today. While the story may be a bit too obvious, the film’s musical numbers are still entertaining.