THE Shakespeare films produced in the United States between 1908 and 1911 inclusive were essentially a part of the vast business of popular entertainment. They were that too in England, but with a difference in that they tended to reproduce and record the stage performances of actors of the theatre, whereas the American companies used their own motion picture players. On the Continent, however, there was a definite and conscious movement, however disappointing, toward the 'art film.' It was to be concerned with authors as well as stage actors, literature as well as theatre. Its aim, no longer casual but based on serious critical theory, was to use what it called noble subjects and the most distinguished actors it could employ to interpret those subjects in a form, not so much theatrical as cinematic. That it rather badly failed to achieve its objectives was partly the fault of the theory, partly its failure to realize it in the relatively new medium.