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Best and worst colorized movies


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Since I had recently made mention of the syndicated " Laurel and Hardy Show", I had been thinking about movies that had been colorized, and would like to know what others think are the best and the worst colorized versions of classic movies.   There have been colorized versions of Laurel and Hardy films shown on that syndicated show, and I think the colorized version of "WAY OUT WEST" is REALLY pitiful-looking.  Everything looks brown and grey!  I think "BABES IN TOYLAND", which I've seen on local TV, looks pretty convincing, though.  It looks almost as if it was really filmed in three-strip Technicolor.  Since that film is from 1934, it would've been great if they waited a few years later, and filmed it in color when MGM would have the budget to make a lengthy film in that process.   And of course, those John Wayne B-Westerns I've brought up before with the re-dubbed audio do HAVE pleasant and VERY realistic-looking color.  I honestly thought when I first saw one of those, that it was really filmed in color, until I saw a young Duke, that's what told me it was just colorized.

What films do you think look good, or at least half-way decent, in color, and which ones are just hard to look at, based off the very unappealing color choices used?

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11 hours ago, SummerStars said:

I think "BABES IN TOYLAND", which I've seen on local TV, looks pretty convincing, though.  It looks almost as if it was really filmed in three-strip Technicolor. 

I agree this one is the best, one of the actors, Henry Brandon (he played Barnaby) said that the set was very bright and colorful but the B&W film was drab looking. He said he wanted it to be colorized, I don't know if he ever saw it. 

The worst was The Big Sleep (1946) I couldn't finish watching it. 

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  • 4 months later...

I don't really have a choice at the moment. I just wanted to say that I was working at MGM studio in Culver City when Turner bought MGM mainly for the purpose of getting the film library and ultimately colorizing so many of the black and white classics. I remember us workers were outraged for the disrespect in altering "works of art" for Ted Turner's fancy.

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I've seen only a few colorized black and white movies but one that I thought really stunning was the colorized KING KONG from 1933. The hues and tones and shadows were breath-taking. This version also had a golden tint to it throughout. There were stunning reds and emerald and blues throughout. Of course it can't replace the original black and white but it would make a nice double-feature for a movie party and let the guests voice their opinion.

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Some movies that were in color (e.g., the fashion show in The Women) don't look right to me.  However, while I've seen some colorized movies, the only things I can think of that they shouldn't have been colorized are TV shows... When CBS shows old I Love Lucy Shows or The Dick Van Dyke Show, they colorize them and you lose something by doing that.  Really, some TV and movie programmers need to realize that the viewers aren't as dumb as they think we are or that we are unwilling to watch shows in B&W.

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If I decided I was going to watch Reefer Madness for a third time, I would opt to watch the colorized version again. They made the smoke different colors, and I thought it was kind of fun. I would rather not watch it again at all, but it's the only movie other than Babes in Toyland that I think I would prefer to watch in color.

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