100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme sees digitally remastered screening of one of the most popular films in British Cinema. With an evocative new musical score composed by Laura Rossi.
Throughout the autumn of 1916, 20 million people flocked to see a silent film, The Battle of the Somme. This was nearly half the population of Britain at the time. The film remains one of the most watched in British cinema history, even bigger than Star Wars.
While cinema audiences had been shown newsreel footage for many years, it was never a major attraction – they were drawn in by the comedies of Charlie Chaplin, serials such as The Perils of Pauline or sweeping dramas from Hollywood like Intolerance.
The Battle of the Somme was different. It took real life footage and turned it into a main feature with mass appeal. The film showed images of the first week of the ‘Big Push’, the joint offensive which began in July 1916 where British and French armies hoped to break through the German lines and achieve victory on the Western Front.
Running time: 74 mins
Please note this is Wednesday 5th July and not Friday 7th July as printed in our programme.