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BIC Excellence Award

Cinema on the Front Line
British Soldiers and Cinema in the First World War

By Chris Grosvenor

Cinema on the Front Line
This edition is not available yet.
Hardback, 256 pages £75.00
Published: 2021
ISBN: 9781905816736
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book

This edition is not available yet.
EPUB, 256 pages £75.00
Published: 2021
ISBN: 9781905816743
Buy this Book

Subjects: British History, Film History, Military History
Series: Exeter Studies in Film History

Cinema on the Front Line offers the first comprehensive history and analysis of how the medium of cinema intersected with the lives of British soldiers during the First World War. Documenting the use of cinema from domestic recruitment drives to make-shift theatrical venues established on the front line, and then in convalescent hospitals and camps, the book provides evidence of the previously unacknowledged importance of cinema as recreational support and entertainment for soldiers living through the trauma of the First World War. Chris Grosvenor makes extensive use of war diaries and other military records to foreground the voices and perspectives of British soldiers themselves. The book includes discussion of over 70 films.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47788/LAML7430

List of Illustrations



Chapter 1: Cinema, Recruitment Campaigns and the Outbreak of War

Chapter 2: The BEF and Film Exhibition on the Western Front

Chapter 3: Soldier Cinema Audiences on the Front Line

Chapter 4: A War of Representation: Soldiers and Topical Films

Chapter 5: The Cinema, Recovery and Rehabilitation





This is an important contribution. Work on cinema tends to privilege official views and opinions on cinema, and analyse it in a very top-down manner. This work shows the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how cinema was delivered to soldiers and what soldiers made of cinema. 

- Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British History, University of Kent

Chris Grosvenor has a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Exeter and has published in several journals including Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. His research has been featured on ITV News and BBC Radio Devon.

Winner of the Philip M. Taylor IAMHIST-Routledge Prize for the Best Article by a New Scholar.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 256 pages
 234mm x 156mm

 EPUB , 256 pages

BIC Code:
  ART023000, ART057000, HIS027090, PER004030, SOC052000
 University of Exeter Press


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Exeter Studies in Film History