A title card of a Donald Duck short film; the design is typical of those used in Disney shorts during the studio's partnership with RKO Radio Pictures (1937–1954).
In films, an intertitle (also known as a title card) is a piece of filmed, printed text edited into the midst of (i.e. inter-) the photographed action at various points. Intertitles used to convey character dialogue are referred to as "dialogue intertitles", and those used to provide related descriptive/narrative material are referred to as "expository intertitles". In modern usage, the terms refer to similar text and logo material inserted at or near the start of films and television shows.
In this era intertitles were always called "subtitles" and often had Art Deco motifs. They were a mainstay of silent films once the films became of sufficient length and detail to necessitate dialogue and/or narration to make sense of the enacted or documented events. The British Film Catalogue credits the 1898 film Our New General Servant by Robert W. Paul as the first British film to use intertitles. Film scholar Kamilla Elliott identifies another early use of intertitles in the 1901 British film Scrooge, or, Marley's Ghost. The first Academy Awards presentation in 1929 included an award for "Best Title Writing" that went to Joseph W. Farnham for no specific film. The award was never given again, as intertitles went out of common use due to the introduction of "talkies".