Director Francis Ford Coppola was unlucky at casinos in Reno, Nev., while working on the script for "Godfather Part II" and isn't ready to bet his latest movie will capture an Oscar for best picture.

"You really never think of these things," Coppola said during a recent vacation. "It's like gambling: You have no idea.""Godfather Part III" is the closing chapter in the Mafia trilogy chroncling the Corleone family's bloody empire-building. Coppola's two earlier "Godfather" films won best picture Oscars.

During his vacation, Coppola stayed at the Peppermill, the same hotel-casino where he and writer Mario Puzo spent two weeks in 1989 finalizing the movie script.

Coppola said a hotel-casino is a perfect place to write.

While working on the latest script, Coppola lost $30,000 the first week playing craps and blackjack. Puzo dropped $10,000 at roulette.

"We felt so terrible that we lost that we went up and worked twice as hard," he said.