The History of Motion Pictures

By Maurice Bardèche; Robert Brasillach et al. | Go to book overview

Léonce Perret were to dominate the scene, were thus all ready prepared. Actually the sum total of the French wartime film is rather a sorry one. There was neither development nor originality to be found; only the old Film d'Art on the one hand and the serials on the other. In between these there occurred no genuine contribution to the art of the film, now stemming rather from Chaplin and Ince and Griffith in America. There was in France only a film industry and the desire to exploit popular taste. The war was doubtless to blame, but so were the producers, and the writers who lacked courage, and the absolute lack of any standards, and the prevailing bad taste. The prophetic words of Louis Delluc might appropriately be repeated here, for though they were written in 1919 they remain true to this day: "I should like to believe that we shall eventually make good films. It would be very surprising, for the cinema is not in our blood. There are few nations which nurture all of the arts, and France, which has so much to pride herself on in poetry and the drama, in painting and the dance yet has no feeling, no understanding and no love for music. I prophesy--we shall see in the future if I am right--that France has no more aptitude for the cinema than for music."


4. The German Film and the Danish Film

AT THE outbreak of war the firm of Nordisk of Copenhagen still dominated the German market absolutely. Then, at first, the Germans did exactly the same as the French--they sat back and waited. When the fighting settled down along more or less permanently established lines of trenches, a number of new firms were launched in the hope of making a lot of money. Sentimental and heroic films about nurses and soldiers were turned out by the score, but with the Iron Cross playing the part that the Légion d'honneur played in France. Nordisk, with a shrewd grasp of the situation, also began producing pictures about the defense of one's country and so forth, for the German market, and as this firm was by far the most powerful and best equipped, it quickly obliterated or ab

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The History of Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword xi
  • Translator's Note *
  • Part One - The Birth of the Film 1895-1908 1
  • Part Two - The Prewar Film 1908-1914 37
  • Part Three - The Cinema during the World War 1914-1918 91
  • 1 - The Italian Film 95
  • 2 - The American Film 98
  • 3 - The French Film 127
  • 4 - The German Film and the Danish Film 134
  • 5 - The Swedish Film 136
  • 6 - The Russian Film 140
  • Part Four - The Emergence of an Art 1919-1923 145
  • 1 - The French Film 147
  • 2 - The Russian Film 168
  • 4 - The German Film 187
  • 5 - The Italian Film 196
  • 6 - The American Film 199
  • Part Five - The Classic Era of the Silent Film 1923-1929 223
  • 1 - The French Film 225
  • 2 - The German Film 251
  • 3 - The Scandinavian Film 263
  • 4 - The Russian Film 266
  • 5 - The American Film 283
  • 6 - The Death of Art 300
  • Part Six - The Talking Films 1929-1935 303
  • 1 - The American Film 305
  • 3 - The German Film 341
  • 4 - The Russian Film 353
  • 5 - A World Industry 361
  • Part Seven - Forty Years of Film 367
  • Editorial Postscript: 1935-1938 381
  • Index of Film Titles 391
  • General Index 405
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