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Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment | 1 comment

The Glories of Early Technicolor and Colorization

It’s always fascinating to see how color makes early film seem much more…recent. Here are several examples of early Technicolor.

1. Jesus Christ Rises From The Dead in DeMille’s King of Kings (1927):

2. Technicolor Fashion Parade (1927):

3. Early technicolor of Al Jolson (America’s first major superstar) from the 1930 film “Mammy” (there is one slightly 21st century un-PC shot here). Volume needs to be TURNED UP on this one.

[FOOTNOTE: I’ve always been fascinated with watching videos of famous performers in their prime and in their final years. If you are, too, then you should watch the video below – a very rare video of Jolson singing live in New York a little more than a year before his heart-attack death:

Which gets us to colorization. I have NO PROBLEM with colorization. In fact, I think in some ways it is a good concept. For instance, Laurel and Hardy’s Oscar winning 1932 short “The Music Box” looks great colorized. Here five minutes of it:

I also think the original Three Stooges are great colorized and more accessible to modern audiences. Here’s part of a colorized Stooges segment featuring the under-appreciated Shemp Howard (Samuel Horowitz) taking over from his sick brother Curley in The Brideless Groom. I love the music lesson sequence:

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • The_Ohioan

    I, too, like the colorization especially the gentle colors. But some black and white films are better that way, especially tense scenes. Color seems to soften too much and distract, then.

    There was a reason Spielberg chose black and white for ‘Schindler’s List’ beyond reinforcing the time line.

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