The 1973 story of young fairground worker Jim (David Essex) making it as a pop star on the cusp of the '60s captures the very smell of small-time rock'n'roll dreaming. It ekes real pathos from the bloating of Jim's ego. Keith Moon's his drummer. In the sequel, Jim turns Lizard King, forgets his roots, shags around and gives manager Adam Faith headaches. Great.
Two vintage Alastair Sim comedies released as a double-pack. In 1956's The Green Man he plays a political assassin whose plans are interrupted by the arrival of bumbling vacuum cleaner salesman George Cole; in 1960's School For Scoundrels—based on Stephen Potter's One-Upmanship books—he teaches downtrodden nice chap Ian Carmichael how to get the better of dastardly cad Terry-Thomas.
A double header, featuring two of David Lean's finest directorial efforts. Hobson's Choice (1954) sees Charles Laughton's magnificently overbearing Lancastrian patriarch butt heads with his equally stubborn daughter Brenda de Banzie, while John Mills is splendid as her husband, the worm who turns. The Sound Barrier (1952), in which Ralph Richardson attempts to devise the first faster-than-sound plane, sees stiff upper lips wobble as his efforts come to grief. It's also notable for some fine aerial sequences. Bravo, chaps!
Sterling 1949 comedy from the Ealing stable, directed by Henry Cornelius (Genevieve) and featuring Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford and Charles Hawtrey among others. A London community demonstrate typical British verve and spunk in establishing their right to devolve from Britain altogether, asserting their ancient right to be part of the duchy of Burgundy, thereby avoiding the miseries of post-war Britain like rationing and licensing laws. Lots of "We'll soon see about that!" and harrumphing civil servants. Marvellous.
Set in grunge-era Seattle, Cameron Crowe's quick-off-the-mark 1992 romantic ensemble comedy managed to corral members of Pearl Jam into the mix alongside Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick and Campbell Scott. Crowe falls short of his masterful memoir Almost Famous, partly as Scott and Sedgwick are too stiff for the central rock'n'romance plot, but this is still a charming historical snapshot.
If not, as it's perennially voted, one of the 10 greatest films ever made, 1952's Singin' In The Rain is at the very least the sharpest Hollywood musical bar none. Fifty years on, it's still as gooey a plot as they come but with a lethal dose of feel-good factor as sumptuous as its kaleidoscopic colours and Gene Kelly's ingenious choreography, who's complaining?