Disclaimer: I'm no crochet expert, but I am entirely self-taught and have been crocheting for about six months now.
This video taught me how to make my very first crochet project, a simple blanket. I've watched dozens of other YouTube crochet videos, but this is still the best I've ever found for a beginner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfFRoZxeNrU
His other videos are great too: http://www.youtube.com/user/mikeyssmail
I think the best way to learn is just to start doing it. Trial and error is a great way to figure out the basics.
The other thing that has really really helped me is this little book: The Crochet Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask
It's this little indexed handbook that helps you figure things out as you go. Like, why won't this project lay flat? How do I make a granny square? Instead of wading through long explanatory chapters, you get a quick and dirty explanation on one or two short pages. It's like having a very patient teacher sitting next to you, ready to answer your common questions.
I used it constantly at first, and still reference it occasionally. One of these days I'm going to crochet a little protective cover for it.