Next to the magisterial 'Kes', 'Raining Stones' is the ideal introduction to the work of Ken Loach, being a perfect example of his distinctive blend of warm human comedy and rueful reflection on the state of the nation - in this case, exploring the devastating effects of unemployment on a working-class family living in an unnamed town in the north of England. They just about make ends meet, their dole income supplemented by the odd (and mostly disastrous) bit of entrepreneurship, but when Bob decides that his young daughter must have a new dress for her communion, this sets in motion a disastrous chain of events involving a gang of notoriously vicious loansharks. It's a quiet, understated and often unexpectedly powerful piece of work, with sterling performances by Bruce Jones and the ever-reliable Ricky Tomlinson, and it's admirably balanced politically; Labour's failings are blamed just as much as the Tory policies that led to their plight in the first place. The DVD is fairly bare-bones, but it's not the kind of film where you need more than a competent transfer, and you certainly get that here. Highly recommended for Loach beginners - existing fans will almost certainly have seen it anyway.