The Mass Observation social research organisation (1937 to early 1950s), a pioneering independent effort aimed at education, specialised in material about everyday life in Britain and recorded material through a panel of around 500 volunteer observers who maintained diaries or replied to open-ended questionnaires known as directives.
The collection of papers on film is one of the largest collections on a single theme produced by Mass-Observation but before this book was originally published in 1987 very little of the film material had been put into print. This anthology presents a selection from the Mass-Observation archive which offers unique insights into cinema-going trends, particularly in the years of the Second World War. This is a great reference work on the role of the cinema in national morale and other social effects during the war years with details of people’s behaviour at the cinema and their opinions of the films and the newsreels they saw at the movies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: Cinema-going in Worktown 1. Research Programme for the Investigation of Cinema-going in Bolton 2. The Cinema Manager Speaks 3. Replies to the Boston Questionnaire Part 2: Cinema-going in Wartime 4. The Cinema in the First Three Months of the War 5. Letter and First Report from a Volunteer Film Reviewer 6. Report on Audience Preference in Film Themes 7. Report on Cinema Queue 8. Analysis of Joke Competition 9. ‘Fade-out’ Competition Report 10. Social Research and the Film 11. The Hazards of Mass-Observing 12. Notes on the Effect of the War (January-September 1941) on the Film Industry 13. 1943 Directive Replies on Favourite Films 14. The Film and Family Life 15. The Lion Has Wings 16. Let George Do It 17. The Great Dictator 18. Ships with Wings 19. Newsreel Content (28 January 1940) 20. Newsreel Report 2 (26 May 1940) 21. Newsreels (June 1940) 22. Newsreel Report 3 (6 October 1940) 23. The Faking of Newsreels 24. Interview with Kenneth Gordon 25. Fifteen Ministry of Information Shorts 26. You’re Telling Me Film Report 27. Preliminary Report on Opinion about Ministry of Information Shorts 28. Report on Ministry of Information Shorts. General Index. Index of Film Titles