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Theater Arts of the Allies in the Great War (March 2013): Cinema

By Felicia Hardison Londré

Cinema

Cinema was a fledgling during the Great War.  The First World War and Popular Cinema: 1914 to the Present, edited by Michael Paris, includes five essays on various film genres (documentary, propaganda, feature film treatments of the war from the end of the war through the 1990s) from the United Kingdom.  The remaining seven chapters treat, respectively, French, American, Italian, Russian/Soviet, Polish, German, and Austrian cinema.  British Silent Cinema and the Great War, edited by Michael Hammond and Michael Williams, collects essays on period practice in documenting combat and on retrospective interpretations of those visual records.  In War on Film: The American Cinema and World War I, 1914-1941, Michael Isenberg promotes the motion picture as a form of access to the mind-set of the past.  Leslie Midkiff DeBauche’s Reel Patriotism: The Movies and World War I focuses on the American film industry of the war years.  Hollywood’s World War I: Motion Picture Images, edited by Peter Rollins and John O’Connor, uses individual films as case studies for understanding of the war through film.  And George Creel’s previously mentioned How We Advertised America documents the use of film to promote the war effort in the United States.