Colorizing, Hollywood’s New Vandalism (1986)

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SitOnPickle (3 years ago)
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I’m starting to wonder if I should have watched A Christmas Carol in black and white rather then the colored version. Every scene looked very fady. I think Gene was being too harsh though about colors giving too much information. I have no problem watching films in black and white, but colors can add as much atmosphere as black and white can nowadays.
Adam (3 years ago)
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Adding colour to every black and white movie is ridiculous, sure real life is in colour, but in real life you never get to zoom in or get arial shots of the street. Or while we’re at it, why not make everything 3-D? Real life is in 3-D right?
KevinKlawitter (3 years ago)
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Ted Turner actually DID colorize some of Citizen Kane. He had already converted the final reel of the picture by the time it was discovered that Orson Welles’ contract stipulated that the film must be in Black and White. You can see a brief glimpse of it on this video, and it looks just as terrible as you might imagine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjxkXoZ0Ah4&feature=player_embedded
WrongTurn (3 years ago)
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Not only do I prefer B&W to color, but I sometimes will drain the color from my set and convert certain films I admire to B&W.
gordytheghoul (2 years ago)
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I love how passionate Gene and Roger were about this subject, as I am, I’m glad this process isn’t very popular today ("they" didn’t win). Ted Turner did his best to make up for this terrible idea of his with TCM.

I liked Roger saying that we should teach our children that black and white movies are a part of our cultural heritage.

For those who do like colorization, shame on you, if the artists behind these films were against it, who are today to want color in it’s place. However, I do think turning color films into b&w is also wrong, unless that is how they were intended.
Deeh (6 months ago)
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I agree with them, but I think Gene takes it too far and says color is not important. As a filmmaker myself (my first being a black and white film), I think color in a film is REALLY important if you shoot it with color in mind. Black and white is beautiful, but not all films look better in black and white.
Deeh (2 years ago)
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I agree with them, but I think Gene takes it too far and says color is not important. As a filmmaker myself (my first being a black and white film), I think color in a film is REALLY important if you shoot it with color in mind. Black and white is beautiful, but not all films look better in black and white.
gradepoint (2 years ago)
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Don’t sugarcoat it, Rog and Gene. Tell us how you really feel about colorization ;) But seriously, I remember watching this episode. They make a compelling case especially with the Lional Barrymore example.
AdamFoidart (6 months ago)
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Gene is going too far by saying that colour adds too much information. Would Wizard of Oz have been as magical if the real world and the world of Oz both been in Black and White? What about Sin City, where shades of colour are added to certain characters? The trick is to use colour wisely, consider it when you’re making your film.
QuoteUnquoteSir (2 years ago)
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I recently saw my first colorized movie - "Stowaway", starring Shirley Temple. I was horrified by how fake it looked. I actually learned how to remove color from Windows Media Player so I could watch it in black and white on my computer.

Ebert once wrote an article with a funny anecdote he heard about Orson Welles reacting to the idea of colorizing. Apparently, shortly before his death, Orson Welles said to a director friend, "Keep Ted Turner and his goddamned Crayolas away from my movie!". I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s hilarious and if it is true, I totally understand where Mr. Welles was coming from.
achol980 (1 year ago)
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This reminds me in spring 1985 ATM did an X-ray segment introducing colorization (along with a review of the Breakfast Club) Do you have it?
MrNoCal (1 year ago)
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I totally agree with S&E about colorization. I remember at the time thinking how lame colorized movies looked. These were films shot in B&W, whether intentionally or for budget reasons...but they were lighted for B&W, staged for B&W, art directed for B&W, etc. Colorizing only made them look cartoonish IMO, stripping away the artistic image and the strength of that image.
As far as "young people" expecting color in order to be entertained, well explain the success of the Little Rascals, The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Twilight Zone, and yes even Night of the Living Dead. "Young people" accept B&W if that’s the way it originally was without blinking an eye.
swatch71 (6 months ago)
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Yes, I agree that it is too much to say color is never important. What the criterion should be is what was the film made for. Any serious filmmaker will use the tools he or she has to best advantage, and choose as many of them as possible. A lot of old B&W films were that way because color was too expensive, and they would have been made in color if the could have been. However, once the B&W was determined, they were designed for it, and shoving color then on top of it is wrongheaded. Just like leaching the color out of a color film would be.

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nikosvault
3 years ago
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A special episode, addressing colorization as Hollywood’s new vandalism.

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