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For the soundtrack recorded by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle see One from the Heart

One from the Heart is a musical film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is set entirely in Las Vegasmarker, on the Las Vegas Stripmarker and the desert surrounding the city. Though the film realistically evokes the feeling of being on the busy Las Vegas Strip, there were no location shot used in the film. Rather, it was shot on studio sound stages, with the single exception of one space on the back lot for a "Las Vegas junkyard" set, described by a character in the film as being "the garden of the Taj Mahalmarker".


Hank and Frannie don't seem to be able to live together anymore. Hank is a "stick-in-the-mud" and Frannie is a "flake." After a five-year relationship, lustful and dreamy Frannie leaves down-to-earth Hank on the anniversary of their relationship. Each one of them meets their dream mate: a suave singer-waiter for Frannie, and a lovely circus performer for Hank.


The extraordinary cost of the production of this film would lead to Coppola's declaring bankruptcy. Originally intended as a small film after the enormous cost, pressures and production problems of Apocalypse Now, One from the Heart rapidly ballooned from a projected budget of $2 million to over $25 million. Rather than shooting on location, Coppola insisted on building sets, to add to the artificiality of the proscenium.

Set construction proceeded to such an extent that a replica of Las Vegas' McCarran Airport - complete with a jetway and jet airliner (built from the nose section of a crashed plane) - was built and used for the penultimate scene. The sets for the film consumed the entirety of sound stage space at Coppola's recently-acquired American Zoetrope studio. Because of the maze of wiring and flammable scrims, backdrops and other materials, Dean Tavoularis half-jokingly referred to the Vegas Strip set - the centerpiece of the film - as a "firetrap", saying it caused him to have "nightmares about fires" during the film's production.

In terms of his career, Coppola has stated that the films he made during the rest of the 1980s and most of the 1990s, such as The Outsiders, The Cotton Club, The Godfather, Part III, Jack and The Rainmaker, were done to pay off the debts incurred by the production of One from the Heart.

One from the Heart features an original soundtrack from Crystal Gayle and Tom Waits. Waits received an Academy Award nomination for Best Musical Score. Dean Tavoularis, whose art department was next door to the musical rehearsal space, used Tom Waits' music as tonal inspiration which was incorporated into the film's highly-stylized 'look'. Mickey Hart, drummer for The Grateful Dead, and musician Bobby Vega were also credited for their contributions to the production.


The movie received modestly negative reviews. As of January 2009, it has a 50% "fresh" rating on At the time the film opened, Janet Maslin's review in the New York Times called it an "innovative, audacious effort," but continued that the film lacks story and tension, and that "the sets are invariably more interesting than the people who inhabit them."

Box office

The movie grossed $389,249 on its first weekend on 41 theaters to a disastrous total gross of only $636,796 against a US$26 million budget.

A DVD of "One From the Heart" has been released. The DVD contains many extras, including an alternate version of the theatrical trailer.


Cast notes:


  1. One From The Heart page at Rotten Tomatoes website
  2. "Preview of One From The Heart," Janet Maslin, New York Times, January 17, 1982

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