The Battle of the Somme (1916) Documentary, History, War (DVD)
Directed by: Geoffrey Malins.
Starring: Undocumented (N/A).
The Battle of the Somme (US title, Kitchener's Great Army in the Battle of the Somme), is a 1916 British documentary and propaganda war film, shot by two official cinematographers, Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. The film depicts the British Army in the preliminaries and early days of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916). The film had its premiere in London on 10 August 1916 and was released generally on 21 August. The film depicts trench warfare, showing marching infantry, artillery firing on German positions, British troops waiting to attack on 1 July, treatment of wounded British and German soldiers, British and German dead and captured German equipment and positions. A scene during which British troops crouch in a ditch then "go over the top" was staged for the camera behind the lines.
The film was a great success, watched by about 20 million people in Britain in the first six weeks of exhibition and distributed in eighteen other countries. A second film, covering a later phase of the battle, was released in 1917 as The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks.