British Universities Film & Video Council

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Gaumont Mirror

Dates
1927 - 1932
Category
Cinemagazine - Entertainment
History
Gaumont Mirror began in January 1927 as a partner to the well established newsreel Gaumont Graphic, although it had a weekly rather than bi-weekly release. It was described by Gaumont as a Screen Periodical advertised with the slogan, ‘Reflects Everything New and Novel.' Novelty, however, was not the Gaumont Mirror’s sole preoccupation. Women were their prime target audience and many of the subjects covered were intended to be of ‘special interest to women,' for example, women in sport, fashions and hints for the home. Gaumont seem to have intended the Gaumont Mirror as direct competition for both of Pathe’s popular cinemagazines - Pathe Pictorial and Eve’s Film Review. Not only was the series aimed at women, but it was also advertised as a Pictorial Review (in The Bioscope, 29 December 1927), a title that suggests similar appeal to the Pathe Pictorial.

R. S. Howard, Gaumont Mirror’s editor had moved sideways from Gaumont Graphic and in November 1930 became editor of all Gaumont periodicals. Although the cinemagazine and newsreel were frequently advertised together, they were different products and there is no indication that cinema exhibitors were obliged to take both. Indeed, one advert in The Bioscope, 31 December 1930, suggests just the contrary.

Very early in the series, Gaumont Mirror launched its animated star, Dismal Desmond. He was already an established character ‘seen in every toy shop and ... extensively advertised in the press’ (Kinematograph Weekly, 4 November 1926) and thus a tried and tested investment. These cartoons were shown at the end of the reel, and intended to please both children and adults. In addition, they provided Gaumont with plenty of opportunity for merchandising, with toys and novelty items available from the cinemas as well as toy shops. In 1928, the Mirror ran a competition to establish the relative popularity of the various items of interest included in the reel each week but unfortunately the results have not survived.
Full history
http://media.bufvc.ac.uk/newsonscreen2/newsreel/histories/gaumontmirrorhistory.pdf
Provenance
This database is an attempt to reconstruct the output of Gaumont Mirror from details published in contemporary trade journals, particularly the Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly and the Bioscope. Several issue records were also compiled from viewing notes.
Other Information
See also Gaumont Sound Mirror

Films in this series can be obtained from:

Film Archive

Name
British Film Institute (BFI)
Email
For BFI National Archive enquiries: nonfictioncurators@bfi.org.uk For commercial/footage reuse enquiries: footage.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://collections-search.bfi.org.uk/web
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7580 7503
Address
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN
Notes
The BFI National Archive also preserves the original nitrate film copies of British Movietone News, British Paramount News, Empire News Bulletin, Gaumont British News, Gaumont Graphic, Gaumont Sound News and Universal News (the World War II years are covered by the Imperial War Museum).
Series held
View all series held by British Film Institute (BFI)

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