The Battle of the Somme (1916) is one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated that more then 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was di...展开stributed worldwide to prove Britain's commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of the conflict's most iconic images.
The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight onto the realities of the trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It show scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive, including massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle - the bloodiest single day in the British Army's history - and depictions of the small gains and huge costs of the attack.
As a pioneering battlefield documentary, the very concept of The Battle Of The Somme outraged commentators on its release, inaugurating a debate about the on-screen depiction of combat that continues to this day. Its use of a staged sequence to represent the opening of the assault also set the scene for continuing controversy about the 'truth' of the documentary format.
The film's importance was recognised in 2005 by its formal inscriptions in the UNESCO 'Memory of the World' register - the first British document of any kind to be included.
The film has been digitally restored, offering a startling improvement on previously released video versions.
These words of welcome are by David Lloyd George, Secretary of State for War and where read at the film's first screening on 10 August 1916. This was barely a month after the events it showed. To its original audience the film was not history but a dispatch from the front. This film was shot between 26 June and 7 or 9 July 1916 at the Somme front by Geoffrey Malins (29th Division of VIII Corps) and J.B. McDowell (7th Division of XV Corps) and had it's première at the Scala Theatre in Clapham on 10 August. Geoffrey Malins filmed the offensive from positions near Beaumont Hamel in the northern parts of the battlefield, J.B. McDowell was based further south near Fricourt.