Cast & Crew
After demonstrating their cruelty through a number of incidents, including one in which a German officer kills a lame shoemaker in Zabern, Germany, the German troops invade Belgium. As World War I progresses, the United States ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard, witnesses many instances of German intrigue and cruelty, although he successfully defends the Allies' philosophy in arguments with Kaiser Wilhelm II. In the end, the U.S. joins the Allies in their struggle to defend the cause of freedom.
Arthur C. Duvel
A. B. Conkwright
James W. Gerard, the author of the book on which this film was based, was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1913 to 1917. Gerard assisted director William Nigh with the filming, and according to a modern source, had a clause in his contract stating that the film could not be changed without his consent. The producing company My Four Years in Germany, Inc., was financed by Mark M. Dintenfass and Harry M. Warner. Battle scenes were shot at Camp Upton, Long Island, according to news items, and newsreel footage of military scenes and officials were used in the film. Reel length given in reviews varies. The film had its premiere in New York on March 10, 1918. First National Exhibitors' Circuit acquired the national distribution rights a few weeks later.
After Major Metellus Lucullus Cicero Funkhouser, Chicago's Second Deputy Superintendent of Police and head of the city's censor board, ordered scenes of the film cut that showed extreme cruelty by the Germans, George Creel, Chairman of the U.S. Government Committee on Public Information, requested that Funkhouser be asked to resign. His replacement ordered the restoring of the expurgated material.