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50 Greatest Movies About Movies

The Purple Rose Of Cairo (1985)

Lights! Camera! Action! Fangirl Cecilia (Mia Farrow) is so besotted with romantic comedy The Purple Rose Of Cairo - and specifically its hero, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) - she goes back to the cinema to see it over and over again.

Trouble On Set: Tom notices Cecilia and walks out of the film to talk to he, leaving his fellow characters twiddling their thumbs.

Chances Of An Oscar: It's unlikely the studio will be promoting a film that even its lead character isn't interested in.

Living In Oblivion (1995)

Lights! Camera! Action! Aspiring indie filmmaker Nick Reve (Steve Buscemi) is trying to shoot his low-budget relationship drama.

Trouble On Set: A preening star (James LeGros) and a dwarf (Peter Dinklage) unhappy about being typecast - "Do you know anyone who's had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don't even have dreams with dwarves in them."

Chances Of An Oscar: Slim. Reve's film is at the spit-and-sawdust level of indie cinema.

A Star Is Born (1954)

Lights! Camera! Action! Faded star Norman Maine (James Mason) gets a shot at redemption when he falls in love with up-and-comer Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland).

Trouble On Set: A tale of two stars - Esther, renamed Vicki Lester, hits the big time; while Norman becomes an unemployed alcoholic.

Chances Of An Oscar: A win for Vicki Lester… even if drunken Norman derails the ceremony.

Peeping Tom (1960)

Lights! Camera! Action! Londoner Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) gets into home movie-making after being constantly filmed in a variety of experiments by his psychiatrist father.

Trouble On Set: Mark has an unusual filming technique - he fits a bayonet to the camera so he can kill helpless women and record their dying screams.

Chances Of An Oscar: Well, it'd make a change from Merchant Ivory films as ambassadors of British culture.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Lights! Camera! Action! Amateur filmmakers Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams head into the woods on the trail of the mythical Blair Witch.

Trouble On Set: Weird tree sculptures, bundles of teeth and hair, and a very creepy abandoned house. Maybe the Blair Witch isn't so mythical, after all?

Chances Of An Oscar: A long-shot for Best Documentary... but who would pick up the award?

Super 8 (2011)

Lights! Camera! Action! Adolescent auteur Charles Kaznyk (Riley Griffiths) enlists the help of his classmates to make amateur zombie epic The Case .

Trouble On Set: An attempt to add production values by shooting in a railway station goes awry when the camera accidentally films an alien escaping from a train smash.

Chances Of An Oscar: On the strength of The Case , probably not, but it's early days. Give Kaznyk a sequel!

The Artist (2011)

Lights! Camera! Action! When sound arrives in Hollywood, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) bucks the trend by filming another silent movie, jungle adventure Tears Of Love .

Trouble On Set: Nobody wants to see Valentin when they can hear other stars… notably the object of Valentin's affection, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), now a major star.

Chances Of An Oscar: For Tears Of Love ? Zero. Fortunately, Peppy persuades Hollywood to give Valentin another shot, this time making a musical.

King Kong (1933)

Lights! Camera! Action! Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) hires Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) to play the love interest in his latest adventure documentary.

Trouble On Set: Denham probably hadn't counted on just how single-minded the island's giant ape was when it came to falling in love.

Chances Of An Oscar: Denham gives up on the idea of completing his film and decides to make his money by parading Kong on the New York stage. Bad idea.

Sherlock, Jr (1924)

Lights! Camera! Action! A daydreaming projectionist (Buster Keaton) must play detective when he's framed for theft.

Trouble On Set: Keaton dreams that he 'walks' into a film, only to find he's in various difficulties when each shot cuts to the next.

Chances Of An Oscar: It's all in Buster's head. He'll have to make do with clearing his name and winning the girl.

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Lights! Camera! Action! Aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) stuns with an audition piece for director Adam Kesher's (Justin Theroux) latest film, The Sylvia North Story .

Trouble On Set: It's likely that 'Betty' is the construct for failed wannabe Diane Selwyn (also Watts), facing a bleak future after too many professional and romantic rejections.

Chances Of An Oscar: None whatsoever for Diane... but somewhere Betty is winning Best Actress.