Director Brian De Palma has credited cult classic Easy Rider with paving the way for maverick movie-makers like himself, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese to revitalise an ailing Hollywood film industry. The Scarface director admits the studio system was on the verge of collapse before Dennis Hopper's 1969 classic restored film bosses' faith in the finance-generating power of movies. And De Palma is convinced he - along with fellow directors Spielberg, Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola - would have been resigned to a career in independent movie-making if Easy Rider hadn't scored such unexpected box office success. He tells Britain's Empire magazine, "The whole studio system was breaking down then. We were making these independent movies that got us some recognition. And then Easy Rider came out and made a lot of money, and the people in the system thought that we knew something that nobody else did, and then we got the opportunity to make movies within the system."