Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Not often in Technicolor


Recommended Posts

After reading reviews, I decided to rent COPPER CANYON thru Netflix. I am glad I did. It's an above-average western directed by John Farrow for Paramount. It has a very interesting and very good cast: Ray Milland, Hedy Lamarr and Macdonald Carey (playing a great villain).

 

It occurred to me that this is Hedy's only western and the only other film she did in Technicolor, aside from SAMSON AND DELILAH. All of her MGM vehicles were in black and white. She's gorgeous in COPPER CANYON.

 

hedy.jpg

 

Not counting silent film stars, were there sound era stars who never made a film in color?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Westerns usually aren't my thing, but that cast is interesting especially MacDonald Carey as a villain. He is most recognizable to me as Dr. Tom Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and definitely not a villain there.

 

Anyway, back to your question. I need more time to think on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

More than half the reviews I read about COPPER CANYON gush with praise about Macdonald Carey. In the Universal western CAVE OF OUTLAWS, he plays another bad guy. Also, he is Claudette Colbert's calculating ex-husband in the comedy LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL for Fox. He was a diverse performer.

 

COPPER CANYON is must-see on many levels. Hedy is fabulous as a saloon madame (what else). And the story has a lot of action and great cinematography. I believe it's considered a noir-western.

 

Desfiladero-del-Cobre-Copper-Canyon-tt00

Link to post
Share on other sites

MacDonald Carey also provided a excellent villian in 1949's "Streets Of Laredo" with William Holden and William Bendix. A remake of King Vidor's 1936 "Texas Rangers", Carey proved he was very adept as the bad guy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In answer to your qestion, perhaps the most famous was Greta Garbo. She never appeared in any sort of color motion picture. This includes news reels and film shorts. There are only early color stills of of Garbo taken on the sets of whatever film she was working on at the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=thistledown wrote:}{quote}

> I recently saw the bacony scene in Romeo and Juliet shot in early two-strip Technicolor

>

> with Miss Shearer wearing long hair....I think Romeo was Leslie Howard...

I think Norma was already married to Irving Thalberg, so I don't think that there was much bacon involved in the scene! ;):D

All kidding aside, the balcony scene is from THE HOLLYWOOD REVIEW OF 1929, and it was John Gilbert who played Romeo to Shearer's Juliette. I don't think that Marie Dressler ever appeared in Technicolor (Two color or three strip). In Lon Chaney's only color appearance, he has a mask on and his face is not recognizable, does that count?

Link to post
Share on other sites

there is, however, a color screen test from the late 40s--pretty sure it's on youtube & she looks beautiful!

MY ERROR--IT IS B/W--BUT STILL GLORIOUS!

 

Edited by: cee on Oct 28, 2010 8:44 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fredb: I'll second that. He was very versatile as a film star. This served him well as Dr. Horton in DOOL. I was impressed when he admitted his heavy drinking is what killed his movie career and family life early on. That he was finally able to beat the bottle was a blessing for him and those of us who loved Days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that some of these people went back to silent days, but did Laurel and Hardy ever make a film in color? How about the Marx brothers, or Wheeler and Woolsey? William Boyd played Hopalong Cassidy for about twenty years. Did he ever do a movie in color? Did producer Val Lewton ever do a color film?

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the very least The Three Marx Brothers appear seperately in the color film - The Story of Mankind (1957)

 

Wheeler and Woolsey appear in techincolor sequences in three films -

Rio Rita (1929)

The Cuckoos (1930) - 2 Strip

Dixiana (1930) - 2 Strip

 

Laurel and Hardy -

The Rogue Song (1930) - The film is not complete but Laurel and Hardy sequences survive and are in color.

The Tree in a Test Tube (1943) (documentary short)

Babes in Toyland (1934) filmed in black and white was colorized during the colorization craze!

 

One of Val Lewton's last produced films, Apache Drums (1951) was shot in technicolor.

 

William Boyd has a cameo in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) but I don't know if he ever starred in any features in color.

 

Yancey

Link to post
Share on other sites

We should have a separate thread for Mac Carey! :)

 

But when you look at how diverse his roles were and just how good he was in films of the 40s and 50s, you can see that the writers of Days did not utilize his talent well at all. They gave him such a one-note character to play on the soap. He was wonderful as Dr. Tom Horton...but I think they could've shown some of the more complex aspects of the character and Mac would've been more than up to the task.

 

He appeared on the hit soap from 1965 to 1994. And before his death he wrote an autobiography of his time on the show as well as his early experiences in Hollywood: 'The Days of My Life.'

Link to post
Share on other sites

>>In Lon Chaney's only color appearance, he has a mask on and his face is not recognizable, does that count?

The OP asked for sound actors. Chaney only made one sound film.

But portions of PHANTOM are in color (including, originally, scenes in which he was not masked)...

 

>>Babes in Toyland (1934) filmed in black and white was colorized during the colorization craze!

Just me, but I don;t think we should count anything colored after the fact.

And colorizing sure isn't Technicolor, either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked about sound actors, because I was sure that there were plenty of silent actors who did not make the transition to sound, let alone to color.

 

Norma Shearer is a great example of someone who was successful for many years...but considering all that MGM build-up and being married to Irving Thalberg, I am surprised she was not in a Technicolor feature. MARIE ANTOINETTE seems like the obvious choice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

*MARIE ANTOINETTE seems like the obvious choice.*

It does, doesn't it? But - and this is my impression more than anything else - MGM seems not to have embraced 3-strip Technicolor, even for its more lavish productions, until the every end of the 1930s. I wonder of this was the result of some enmity between Mayer & Selznick (who held a substantial share of the Technicolor company)... either Mayer refused to use it or Selznick wouldn't let him have the cameras?? (Pure speculation on my part, btw) Or did MGM think their films so lavish they didn't need color (I can't even recall any MacDonald/Eddy operettas in color, offhand, though those, too, would be obvious choices.[And I readily concede my lack of expertise in M/E films.])

 

Edited by: HarryLong on Oct 29, 2010 2:34 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites

SWEETHEARTS (1938) was the first MacDonald-Eddy collaboration in Technicolor. They made one other Technicolor project, BITTER SWEET in 1940.

 

She had a few solo projects in Technicolor like SMILIN' THROUGH, THREE DARING DAUGHTERS and THE SUN COMES UP.

 

These musical extravaganzas were costly and Technicolor would obviously inflate the budget.

 

Warners seems to 'go cheap' with SHINE ON HARVEST MOON. Only the final number of that film, featuring the signature song, is done in Technicolor. But really, the entire film should've been in color. I'm surprised they didn't redo it with Doris Day in the 50s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

*SWEETHEARTS (1938) was the first MacDonald-Eddy collaboration in Technicolor. They made one other Technicolor project, BITTER SWEET in 1940.*

Which fits in with my suspicion that MGM was not much into Technicolor until the late 1930s.

 

*These musical extravaganzas were costly and Technicolor would obviously inflate the budget.*

 

*Warners seems to 'go cheap' with SHINE ON HARVEST MOON. Only the final number of that film, featuring the signature song, is done in Technicolor. But really, the entire film should've been in color. I'm surprised they didn't redo it with Doris Day in the 50s.*

It was felt during the silent era that an netire film in color would put unendurable strain on the eyes. This feeling lasted into the sound era, but I'm not exactly certain how long. It may have varied from studio to studio, but as you note, color sequences within otherwise b&w films was the rule for quite awhile. The main reason that the entirety of DR X and MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM (for instance) were in color had to do with contracts expiring - the studio needed to use up their allottment or lose it - than with artistic decisions. Selznick used it for films that would never have received color treatment at other studios (NOTHING SACRED and A STAR IS BORN) because he had a stake in the company.

Also, aside from the expense of color - mostly the additional lighting, I think - studioes each scheduled only a few Technicolor films a year because there were only so many cameras to go around... all of them owned by the Technicolor company. Some productions, such as SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, were planned as color films but ended up as b&ws because the cameras weren't available.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...