The Great War played an instrumental role in the development of cinema, so necessary was it to the mobilization efforts of the combatant nations. In turn, after the war, as memory began to fade, cinema continued to shape the war's legacy and eventually to determine the ways in which all warfare is imagined.
The First World War and Popular Cinema provides fresh insight into the role of film as an historical and cultural tool. Through a comparative approach, essays by contributors from Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States enrich our understanding of cinematic depictions of the Great War in particular and combat in general. New historical research on both the uses of propaganda and the development of national cinemas make this collection one of the first to show the ways in which film history can contribute to our study of national histories. The contributors to the volume monitor popular perceptions of the war, the reshaping of the war's legacy, and the evolution of cinematic clichés that are perpetuated in filmmaking through the century. Some of the films they discuss are All Quiet on the Western Front, Gallipoli, The Grand Illusion, The Big Parade, Battle of the Somme, J'Accuse, Regeneration, and many more. The First World War and Popular Cinema is a vital addition to film studies and history, two fields only recently united in a productive way.