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Dr Sheldon Hall BA, MA, PhD

Reader in Film and Television


I have been teaching film at Sheffield Hallam since 1997. Before that I was a freelance film journalist and lecturer based in the North East of England. My particular interests are in American and British film history. There have been a number of recurrent themes in my research to date: the history of the Hollywood film industry, particularly in the postwar era; widescreen technologies and aesthetics; the phenomenon of the ‘blockbuster’; the historical epic and the ‘heritage’ film; the British cinema and British film criticism; film distribution, exhibition and promotion as industrial practices; and the complex relationships between cinema as an industry and film as an aesthetic form. I am currently researching the historical relationship between television and the film industry through a study of the showing of feature films on British television.



Authored Books
- Hall, S (2014) Zulu: With Some Guts Behind It – The Making of the Epic Movie. Expanded and Revised 2nd Edition (1st Edition: 2005). Sheffield: Tomahawk Press.
- Hall, S and Neale, S (2010) Epics, Spectacles and Blockbusters: A Hollywood History. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Edited Books
- Belton, J, Hall, S and Neale, S, eds (2010) Widescreen Worldwide. New Barnet: John Libbey Publishing.

Chapters in Books
- Hall, S (2020) ‘Not the First: Myths of Jaws’, in IQ Hunter and M Melia (eds), The Jaws Book: New Perspectives on the Classic Summer Blockbuster. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
- Hall, S (2020) ‘The Tramp, the Dictator and the Knight: United Artists and the Roadshowing of Prestige Pictures in the 1930s and 1940s’, in P Krämer, G Needham, Y Tzioumakis and T Balio (eds), United Artists (Routledge Hollywood Centenary). New York: Routledge.
- Hall, S (2019) ‘British Cinema and Authorship’, in J Hill (ed), A Companion to British and Irish Cinema (Wiley Blackwell Companions to National Cinemas). London: Wiley Blackwell.
- Hall, S (2017) ‘Good of Its Kind? British Film Journalism’, in IQ Hunter, L Porter and J Smith (eds), The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History. London: Routledge.
- Hall, S (2014) ‘Pass the Ammunition: a Short Etymology of “Blockbuster”‘, in ABR Elliott (ed), The Return of the Epic Film: Genre, Aesthetics and History in the 21st Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Hall, S (2012) ‘Ozoners, Roadshows and Blitz Exhibitionism: Postwar Developments in Distribution and Exhibition’, in S Neale (ed), The Classical Hollywood Reader. London: Routledge.
- Hall, S (2010) ‘Alternative Versions in the Early Years of CinemaScope’, in J Belton, S Hall and S Neale (eds), Widescreen Worldwide [as above].
- Hall, S (2009) ‘The Wrong Sort of Cinema: Refashioning the Heritage Film Debate', in R Murphy (ed), The British Cinema Book 3rd Edition. Basingstoke: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hall, S (2008) ‘Under Siege: The Double Rape of Straw Dogs’, in R Shail (ed), Seventies British Cinema. Basingstoke: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hall, S (2004) ‘Carpenter’s Widescreen Style’, in I Conrich and D Woods (eds), The Cinema of John Carpenter: The Technique of Terror. London: Wallflower Press.
- Hall, S (2002) ‘Monkey Feathers: Defending Zulu’, in C Monk and A Sargeant (eds), British Historical Cinema. London: Routledge.
- Hall, S (2002) ‘Tall Revenue Features: The Genealogy of the Contemporary Blockbuster’, in S Neale (ed), Genre and Contemporary Hollywood. London: BFI Publishing.
- Hall, S (1996) ‘How the West Was Won: History, Spectacle and the American Mountains’, in I Cameron and D Pye (eds), The Movie Book of the Western. London: Studio Vista

Articles (selected)
- Hall, S (2017) ‘Going to the Gaumont: Programming and Audience Response at the Gaumont Sheffield, 1947-58’, Picture House 42.
- Hall, S (2014) ‘Nigel Green’ and ‘Geoffrey Unsworth’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Hall, S (2014) ‘African Adventures: Film Finances Ltd and Actor-Producers on Safari’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 34:4.
- Hall, S (2014) ‘Zulu at 50’, The Independent on Sunday, 19 January.
- Hall, S (2013) ‘Changing Times’, BBC History Magazine, October.
- Hall, S (2013) ‘Jerry Pickman: “The Picture Worked.” Reminiscences of a Hollywood publicist’, InMedia 3,
- Hall, S (2012) ‘Carry on, Cowboy: Roast Beef Westerns’, Iluminace: The Journal of Film History, Theory, and Aesthetics 25:3.
- Hall, S (2011) ‘Blockbusters’, Oxford Bibliographies Online,
- Hall, S (2005) ‘The Hills Are Alive in East Anglia: The Sound of Music Comes to Norwich’, Picture House 30.
- Hall, S (2004) ‘Dial M for Murder’, Film History 16:2.
- Hall, S (2004) ‘Rodslovlje modernog blockustera’, Hrvatski filmski Ljetopis 40 [Croatian translation of Tall Revenue Features].
- Hall, S (2002) ‘Selling religion: how to market a Biblical epic’, Film History 14:2.

Specialist areas of interest

American, British and international film history
Film criticism, textual analysis and aesthetics
Widescreen cinema
Film distribution and exhibition
Films on television


Department of Humanities

Social Sciences and Arts

I am currently writing a monograph, Armchair Cinema: Feature Films on British Television, and developing an online database of films shown on British television from 1936 to 2016.

Subject Area

Stage & Screen


BA Film Studies; BA Screenwriting & Film


In 2020-21: Cinema and Genre, Film Consumption, Hollywood Cinema, Professional Film Writing.


Work in progress: monograph, 'Armchair Cinema: Feature Films on British Television'; TVFilms, an online database of feature films shown on British television since 1937; edited collection, 'Film Critics and British Film Culture: New Shots in the Dark'.

Collaborators and Sponsors

I have been working with the British Film Institute on developing the TVFilms database and will be co-editing 'Film Critics and British Film Culture: New Shots in the Dark' with Robert Shail (Leeds Beckett University).


Hall, S. (2012). Carry On, Cowboy: roast beef Westerns. Iluminace: Journal of Film History, Theory, and Aesthetics, 24 (3), 102.

Hall, S. (2004). Dial M for murder. Film History: An International Journal, 16 (3), 243-255.

Hall, S. (2002). Selling religion: How to market a Biblical epic. Film History: An International Journal, 14 (2), 170-185.

Hall, S. (n.d.). Figures in Focus. A study of returns from the Focus Cinemas Sevenoaks, 1977-79. Picture House.

Conference papers

Hall, S. (2014). Sex, spies and Shirley Temple : feature films on British television. In Film History seminars, Institute of Historical Research, 23 October 2014.

Hall, S. (2014). African adventures : Film Finances Ltd. and actor-producers on safari. In Film and History seminar series, Centre for World Cinemas, 13 March 2014.

Hall, S. (2012). Channel Four and the rediscovery of old movies on television. In Channel Four and UK Film Culture, BFI Southbank, 1 November 2012 - 2 November 2012.

Hall, S. (2011). Pass the ammunition : a short etymology of "Blockbuster". In Rethinking Epic, University of Lincoln, 1 July 2011.

Hall, S. (2010). Streamlining the roadshow : the distribution and exhibition of "Gone with the Wind". In Film History Seminars, Institute of Historical Research, 28 January 2010.

Book chapters

Hall, S. (2020). Not the first: myths of jaws. In Hunter, I.Q., & Melia, M. (Eds.) The jaws book: new perspectives on the classic summer blockbuster. Bloomsbury academic:

Hall, S. (2020). The tramp, the dictator and the knight: United Artists and the roadshowing of prestige pictures in the 1930s and 1940s. In Kramer, P., Needham, G., Tzioumakis, Y., & Balio, T. (Eds.) United Artists. (pp. 75-93). Abingdon: Routledge:

Hall, S. (2017). Good of its kind? British film journalism. In Hunter, I.Q., Porter, L., & Smith, J. (Eds.) The Routledge History of British Cinema. (pp. 271-281). London: Routledge:

Hall, S. (2015). Monkey feathers: Defending zulu (1964). In British Historical Cinema. (pp. 110-128).

Hall, S. (2014). The wrong sort of cinema : refashioning the heritage film debate. In Murphy, R. (Ed.) British Cinema. (pp. 46-56). London: Routledge

Hall, S. (2014). Green, Nigel McGown (1924–1972). In Curthoys, M. (Ed.) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press: doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/94147

Hall, S. (2014). Pass the ammunition : a short etymology of “Blockbuster". In Elliott, A.B.R. (Ed.) The Return of the Epic Film. (pp. 147-166). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press:

Hall, S. (2012). Ozoners, roadshows and blitz exhibitionism: postwar developments in distribution and exhibition. In Neale, S. (Ed.) The classical Hollywood reader. (pp. 343-354). London and New York: Routledge

Hall, S. (2010). Alternative versions in the early years of CinemaScope. In Belton, J., Hall, S., & Neale, S. (Eds.) Widescreen worldwide. (pp. 113-131). New Barnet, Herts: John Libbey Publishing

Hall, S. (2009). The wrong sort of cinema : refashioning the heritage film debate. In Murphy, R. (Ed.) The British cinema book, 3rd ed. (pp. 46-56). Basingstoke: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan

Hall, S. (2008). Under siege : the double rape of Straw Dogs. In Shail, R. (Ed.) Seventies British cinema. (pp. 129-138). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Hall, S. (n.d.). Unsworth, Geoffrey Gilyard (1914-1978). In Goldman, L. (Ed.) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press:


Hall, S. (2014). Zulu : with some guts behind it (expanded and revised 50th anniversary edition). Tomahawk Press.

Hall, S., & Neale, S. (2010). Epics, spectacles and blockbusters : a Hollywood history. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press.

Belton, J., Hall, S., & Neale, S. (2010). Widescreen worldwide. New Barnet: John Libbey Publishing.

Belton, J., Hall, S., & Neale, S. (2010). Widescreen worldwide. New Barnet: John Libbey Publishing.

Theses / Dissertations

Dixon, E.E. (2017). Done to death? Re-evaluating narrative construction in slasher sequels. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hall, S., & O'Brien, S.

Other publications

Hall, S. (2011). Blockbusters. New York: Oxford University Press:

Other activities

I am copy editor for and a regular contributor to 'Cinema Retro' magazine. I am a member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising doctoral research projects on the ethics of digital film restoration and on horror and folklore on 1970s British television.

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