The period between the two world wars is often named 'the golden age of the cinema' in Britain. This definitive and entertaining book on the cinema and cinema-goers of the era is herewith reissued with a new Introduction. Jeffrey Richards, described by Philip French as 'a shrewd critic, a compulsive moviegoer, and a professional historian', tells the absorbing story of the cinema during the decade that produced Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers, the musicals of Jessie Matthews and Alexander Korda's epics. He examines the role of going to the pictures in people's lives during a tough period when, in the sumptuous buildings that housed local cinemas, people regularly spent a few pence to purchase ready-made dreams watching Gracie Fields, Robert Donat and the other stars of the day. He scrutinizes the film industry, censorship, cinema's influence, the nature of the star system and its images, as well as the films themselves, including the visions of Britain, British history and society that they created and represented.
Jeffrey Richards is Professor of Cultural History, University of Lancaster. His fine books on Cinema include 'The Unknown 1930s' and, with Anthony Aldgate, 'Britain Can Take It: British Cinema in the Second World War'. Tauris. He is General Editor of Tauris' 'Cinema and Society series'.