Despite America's neutral stance in the first months of WWI, Yankee filmgoers couldn't get enough of newsreel footage "from the front." Released by Sawyer Films, the three-reel The War in Europe was actually a reissue of the earlier documentary The Balkan War, with a handful of new, up-to-date scenes added. While much of the footage was authentic, some was not, and audiences were quick to spot such fabricated moments as a toy-model battle in the air. Whoever wrote the subtitles for the film was evidently aware of its shortcomings, periodically apologizing for the substandard photography and the painful necessity of reenactments. Even so, moviegoers and critics alike reasoned that any war film was better than no war film at all.
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