ADDITIONS TO FILM ART
THE international supremacy and financial success of the American movie in 1918 hid its inadequacies; constant physical refinements diverted attention from its lack of taste. But as conditions became more settled during the early post-war years, motion pictures began to rise to a higher level of development. Once again, as in the early days, the new developmental impulse came from Europe. It took the form of a wave of films from Germany, Sweden, France, and finally Russia. Just as Porter had been roused by the films of the Frenchman Melies, as Griffith had been impressed by the spectacles of the Italians, so American directors were now spurred to meet the competition presented by the foreign productions.
The post-war tidal wave of foreign films reached American shores suddenly and unexpectedly, for European studios had been thought virtually dead. Even more surprising than the unanticipated appearance of these films was their high merit, their sure and profound conception. The foreign producers' keen awareness of the medium's possibilities and their skill in executing their stories startled and frightened Hollywood. Recognizing the superiority of the foreign products, American companies imported foreign talent as soon as it appeared. The invasion of Hollywood by European movie makers and the freshened ambition of American producers led to important innovations in film technique and to an improvement of American films generally.
The greatest number of importations came first from Germany; in fact, the preponderance of German films made the "foreign invasion" really the "German invasion." The reason for the sudden