In a time of pandemic, reading a book entitled Cheer Up! about films which were themselves produced during the Depression and then the second world war is oddly uplifting. Wright’s deep knowledge of and obvious affection for his subject does not blind him to the shortcomings of some of what was on offer, and one of the chief pleasures here is his deadpan dismissal of those found wanting: the duo Flotsam and Jetsam (‘it’s like a Masonic evening with songs’); the romantic leading man Barry MacKay (‘his movement to music isn’t dancing — more like semaphore’); or the teenage Hughie Green doing impressions (‘a more grisly encounter with the incipient host of television’s Opportunity Knocks is difficult to imagine’). Above all, a solid measure of his success is that he consistently makes you want to see the films themselves. If you do search for them, don’t miss the remarkable exploding goat at the finale of the 1940 Arthur Askey picture Band Wagon. Eat your heart out, Top Gun.