Mass-Observation at the Movies by Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster University, UK.University of Lancaster, UK.)
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.