Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Part two of Pioneers of the French Cinema (see entry 38205 for details on part one) concentrates on the early film entrepreneurs who followed in the wake of the Lumiere brothers and Georges Melies. Special emphasis is given the output of the prolific Ferdinand Zecca. This indefatigable producer's most productive period were the years between 1905 and 1910. Examples of his work during this period include Vendetta (1905), Whence Does He Come? (1905) and Mutiny in Odessa (1907). While celebrating Zecca for his achievements, the narration does not gloss over his reputation as a plagiarist, nor his taste for the overly sensational. Pioneers of the French Cinema concludes around 1908, the year that the art of filmmaking in France truly became a mass-production industry.