What is an author? And what is an author in the context of filmmaking, where teamwork is everything? How do actors influence the film maker? This course will raise questions about authorship with regard to cinema. More specifically, we will explore the work of these influential auteurs and actors of American cinema who emerged in the early 1970s with unconventional ideas that challenged contemporary filmmaking. We will look at how Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola approach similar subjects in dramatically different ways. We will examine the storytelling techniques and stylistic approaches they utilize as well as the social questions they address in their work. These directors and actors have and continue to define American cinematic style starting with major changes in independent cinema of the 1970s and continuing into the twenty-first century with new works that move the cinematic art form forward. By examining selected early, middle, and recent works of these film auteurs, we will attempt to understand their unique contributions to the art of cinema.