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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » You mean they had color in the 40's?

   
Author Topic: You mean they had color in the 40's?
TheHumanTarget
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Library of Congress show

Something about seeing these photos in color just throws me off. I mean, I knew that they had color back then, but you just never expect to see it...

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Lyrhawn
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It's really not that surprising. There's "Color of War" footage on the History channel all the time of things going back to even World War I, and movies from around that area (though not many) have been show in colored form recently.
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TheHumanTarget
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Who are you to say what's suprising?

I'm suprised...so there. [Taunt]

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Stephan
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Wizard of Oz came out in the 30s
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TheHumanTarget
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It's not so much that nothing was in color i.e. the movies (which you expect to a degree because of the more stationary equipment), but the fact that most people have seen similiar photos in black and white, and never expect to see the same images in color.
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
Wizard of Oz came out in the 30s

Right. There was color in OZ for years before it came to Kansas. Everyone knows that. [Roll Eyes]
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Noemon
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Great archive! Thanks for sharing it.
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Lisa
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Yeah, but didn't they shoot the whole thing in B&W and essentially colorize all the frames in the middle section one by one?
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Uprooted
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quote:
Who are you to say what's suprising?

I'm suprised...so there.

LOL, reminds me of my reaction to a supervisor I used to have at work--I always avoided asking him questions because his response would invariably begin, "Well, obviously . . ." Grrr. Ain't obvious to me or I wouldn't be asking, Mr. Condescending.

(note to Lyrhawn--not comparing this guy w/ you. Just a memory brought up by HT's reaction.)

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
Yeah, but didn't they shoot the whole thing in B&W and essentially colorize all the frames in the middle section one by one?

Hmmm, sounds plausible, I might have to look that up.
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Stephan
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Found it:

The vast majority of The Movie was originally shot in color, and those were all of the Oz scenes. They were not shot in black and white and later colorized. The Kansas scenes were filmed in black and white, but processed so that they appeared in sepia tones -- essentially brown-and-white. For a time, the sepia tones were dropped, and Kansas was shown on television, in theaters, and on videotape in black and white, and the only sepia in The Movie was Aunt Em's appearance in the Witch's crystal ball. For The Movie's fiftieth anniversary in 1989, the sepia was restored, and has been there ever since.

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Valentine014
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Gone With the Wind came out the same year as The Wizard of Oz (1939) and was in color.
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Teshi
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The pictures are bizarre. Almost like stills from a movie.

We've had these linked to before, haven't we?

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Glenn Arnold
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I saw some pictures from World War ONE Germany and France that were in color. Were they here?

BTW, the Technicolor process was sort of a colorization process. The movie was shot on three reels of Black and White film through color filters. The art department then colorizes each reel and merges them together.

The colors are your basic RGB, but the art director and the film colorizers worked together to decide what hues to use. This is why many Technicolor films have colors that are more brilliant than real life. Vincente Minelli was considered to be the great master of technicolor, because he took such great care to design the colorization process into the whole production.

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aretee
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Snow White and the Seven Dwarves came out in '39 as well.
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aretee
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Rosie the Riveter!!

I mean, I knew women worked in the war, and I own the Rosie the Riveter Head Nodder but the picture has brought reality to my psyche.

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jd2cly60
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Snow White came out in 1937, Adventures of Robin Hood (with Errol Flynn) came out in 1938. Disney shorts started in color in 32. Becky Sharp was one of the first feature length films shot on Technicolor stage III process I and it came out in 1935. Technicolor films released in the thirties actually were very muted and brown/earth toned. This was deliberate because the studios feared that the intense color would be too much for audiences to handle for a feature length. They gradually figured out throughout the forties that they could go for really intense color and audiences loved it, it didn't cause seizures, severe eye-strain or complaints, which was the prevailing fear.

Color has been around since the dawn of film, it started out with hand tinting, or even coloring onto clear celluloid stock, drawing on the negative itself. Various processes were tried throughout the first twenty years of theatrical motion pictures (1896-1916) that pretty much failed and were just hard or even nauseous to watch. so Tinting and Toning remained dominant.

Most silent films used some form of tinting and toning, tinting selectively colors a portion of the print and had to be done for every single print by hand. Toning colors the whole print and could be done in a chemical bath, multiple prints at once. Toning generally meant a red tone for fires or dawn/dusk, a blue tone for nighttime, a sepia tone for outdoors daylight and untoned for interiors, Griffith's films are good examples of this. Other tones like purple and green were also used for various reasons, Les Vampires uses a whole gamut of tones throughout it's 9 hour runtime.

But real photo accurate color was not possible until technicolor.

check out widescreen museum for a full rundown of the history of technicolor, along with examples of how it was done and what each process looked like.

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/oldcolor/technicolor1.htm

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TomDavidson
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But, yes, the WWI color photos were indeed linked here. And they're astonishing.
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Teshi
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Ah, yes it was the WWI pictures that were here. They were indeed even more incredible and unbelievable. I think we had a big discussion on whether they were real or not.

Here are some WWI coloured photographs. Different site but same photographs.

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Stephan
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If definitely makes the past look so much more real.
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Raia
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quote:
Originally posted by aretee:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves came out in '39 as well.

1937, actually. It was before The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.
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