“Why is it that motion pictures are so popular? Why are they able to compete side by side with our best plays? It is difficult indeed to hold the interest of a metropolitan audience through three acts of a drama when the plot can be anticipated in the first act. Modernism calls for abbreviated action; and photoplays are stories told more or less in synopsis form. The plot is unfolded in the least possible time. Thus, if a stage play requires three hours, in the photoplay it is pictorially told in one hour, and just as effectively. The only exception is to be found in those plays that depend for their success on clever volleys of dialogue.”
—Scientific American, January 1917
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