50 Greatest Movies About Movies

The Bad And The Beautiful (1952)

Lights! Camera! Action! Ruthless producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) tries to make it to the top, no matter what.

Trouble On Set: Mostly caused by Shields, as he uses director Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan), star Georgia Lorrison (Lana Turner) and writer James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell) to prop up his ambition.

Chances Of An Oscar: Shields is his own worst enemy, so he'll botch the job long before the Academy votes.

Get Shorty (1995)

Lights! Camera! Action! Loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) gets a taste for Tinseltown when he pitches a movie to Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), the producer whose debt Chili has to collect.

Trouble On Set: Chili has a rival - drug dealer Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo) also fancies himself as a wannabe Hollywood hotshot.

Chances Of An Oscar: 50/50 - it depends how much dirt Chili has on the voters.

Hugo (2011)

Lights! Camera! Action! Orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) realises that the grumpy toy shop owner in the railway station where he lives is none other than forgotten film director George Melies (Ben Kingsley).

Trouble On Set: Melies recounts the glory days when he made hundreds of films more or less by hand... but also the dark days when he had to let his films be melted down in order to make enough money to survive.

Chances Of An Oscar: America is too far away for Melies; he'll settle for rehabilitation as a pioneer of French cinema.

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Lights! Camera! Action! Friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) grow up in Texan town Anarene and idle away the hours in the cinema run by Sam The Lion (Ben Johnson).

Trouble On Set: Never mind Sonny and Duane's various romantic entanglements. When Sam dies, there's a chance the movie theater will close for good.

Chances Of An Oscar: Anarene is about as far away as Americans can get from Hollywood glamour.

Swimming With Sharks (1994)

Lights! Camera! Action! Studio whipping boy Guy (Frank Whaley) bites back after too much abuse from bullying exec Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey).

Trouble On Set: Guy kidnaps Buddy, ties him to a chair and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

Chances Of An Oscar: It'll be a miracle if these two actually get any work done.

Adaptation (2002)

Lights! Camera! Action! Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) gets a case of writer's block trying to pen an adaptation of Susan Orlean's The Orchard Thief .

Trouble On Set: Kaufman isn't helped by the fact that twin brother Donald (also Cage) is living the high life after writing thriller The 3 with no trouble whatsoever.

Chances Of An Oscar: Impossible to separate fact from fiction here; the fact is, they did make a film about Kaufman's difficulties… and it did win an Oscar (Chris Cooper for Best Supporting Actor).

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood cops Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce), Bud White (Russell Crowe) and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) investigate a case with an unusual Tinseltown connection.

Trouble On Set: The clues point to Fleur-de-Lis, an elite club where "everything you desire" becomes possible because it employs hookers who are lookalikes of Hollywood stars, like Veronica Lake-a-like Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger).

Chances Of An Oscar: For girls like Bracken who made the move to L.A., this is the closest they'll ever get to stardom.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Lights! Camera! Action! Toontown icon Roger Rabbit, star of hits like Something's Cooking , is framed for murder.

Trouble On Set: Can toon-hating P.I. Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) put aside his prejudice to reunite the worlds of live-action and animation?

Chances Of An Oscar: If Toontown awarded Oscars, it'd bag every gong going.

Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Lights! Camera! Action! Comedy director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is determined to do a stylistic U-turn by making social realist drama, O Brother Where Art Thou?

Trouble On Set: Since Sullivan has no experience of hardship, he hits the road disguised as a hobo... and ends up in a labour camp.

Chances Of An Oscar: Sullivan gives up the pretence of serious drama - and any likelihood of awards - when he realises that comedy is his calling.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Lights! Camera! Action! Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) reinvents himself as 'Dirk Diggler' to become the star of porn auteur Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds).

Trouble On Set: During the free-love, shoot-on-film 1970s, everything's great. But the 1980s, cocaine and videotape are lurking in wait...

Chances Of An Oscar: In a word, no.