Coppola was among a small group who revitalised American film-making in the 1970’s. Corman gave the young graduate his first break, later advising against shooting in the Philippines. He established a production company with his lifelong friend Lucas, and directed Brando in two of the three films that rescued his reputation. Among the ‘masters’ he honoured and met were Kurosawa and Polanski; he also championed Wenders, though their collaboration proved a fraught one. Vidal, who wrote a script with him, described him as post-Gutenberg — the first writer he’d met for whom it was all about film.