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From: "D Smyth"
Subject: Re: Smile
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 00:32:11 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 00:32:19 EST
Organization: WorldCom Canada Ltd. News Reader Service
Very interesting thread about colour and black and white.
Somebody wrote in the introduction to a book of colour shots from World War
II that it had been fought in black and white. The great majority of the
stills and newsreels from WW2 were black and white but there is still a
sizeable collection of colour work on both sides. Remember too that the
colour emulsions of the day were very slow --- about 20 or 40 ISO and that
newspapers didn't print colour as they do now. Also the processing was slow
There were a lot of colour home movies. I have seen home movies taken from
the D Day landings by a sailor on one of the landing craft. Even Hitler and
Eva Braun shot home movies at Bertchesgaden. Home movie clubs were popular
in the thirties in both Europe and North America. I have seen some
fascinating colour footage of a Nazi art festival in Munich in the mid
thirties, It was shot by an amateur and is a totally non political insight
into everyday life in the Third Reich.
As far as feature films go, there was a full length colour movie shot about
1931. It was shown on Turner Classic Movies and I kick myself for not
keeping my tape of it. I've forgotten the name of it, but it was a pioneer
in both sound and colour, featuring people likle Paul Whiteman and even Bing
Crosby making his film debut in a vocal trio. (Rhythm Boys?)
As for colourization of the old B W films, I've often wondered why it isn't
done anymore. I know it is expensive and time consuming. But also many film
people resent tampering with classics. Ted Turner had been one of those
advocating colourization. "The Pawnbroker" is one film often cited as an
example of a movie that simply has to be in black and white because of its
dark and sombre theme. Another is Citizen Kane. I find it impossible to
visualize it in colour. And many of the old thirties films were
magnificently done. The lighting is often superb with wonderful shadows,
highlights and texturing.
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