Advertised as being "direct from Europe," On the Battle Line was one of an abundance of combat dramas which glutted the American market in the first months of WWI. Audiences could not have been satisfied with the fact that the film didn't come anywhere near a "battle line" until its second reel, when a skirmish between an English regiment and a band of Sudanese (miles from the front in France) played across the screen. It was at this point that filmgoers learned to their chagrin that On the Battle Line was not a WWI picture at all, but instead a "British India" melodrama in the tradition of The Four Feathers. Even worse, the battle scenes were so patently phony that even the youngest and dullest of the movie fans could see through the artifice.
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