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."
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-