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Wasn't Dial M for Murder originally shot in black and white?


ClassicFanBella
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Hmm. Perhaps, but I usually watch them on my regular television, color and all. I just thought someone might be able to fill me in. I know it is becoming popular to "color-in" black and white films, which I HATE, so I wanted to make sure they haven't started doing that to Hitchcock classics! Anyways, I don't think TCM would accept something that wasn't in its original form...

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> {quote:title=ClassicFanBella wrote:}{quote} Am I crazy??!

 

Welcome to the boards ClassicFanBella, No you're not crazy. It's just that the brains of us film buffs like to play tricks on us sometimes.

 

Actually though, if you saw it on TV in the 1960's, even with a color set, you might have seen it in black & white.TV stations sometimes ran black & white prints of color films because they were cheaper. Back then, it was common for the studios to add on a $400 "color print surcharge" to the lease fee to recoup the costly color prints. Eventually, as more stations started transmitting in color the studios dropped the practice of making b/w prints of color films available.

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> markfp2 . . . No Doubt About It!

 

I remember years back, when many old Technicolor films of the 30's, 40's and 50's could only be shown on television in standard black & white, due to the techicalites of most stations not having the facilities to broadcast in color. Throughout the late 1950's and into early 1960's, stations that didn't broadcast in color were issued prints of films with edited opening credits of having any reference to Technicolor and its personnel deleted by "black bars" over the information. The most famous was for "The Wizard of Oz" that for seven years, the CBS network refused to broadcast the movie in color. This was because the first accepted and adapted color system was regularly utilized by rival network NBC! It wouldn't be until NBC acquried the rights to "Oz" that the Technicolor portions of the film were finally broadcast for anyone with a color television set to enjoy. The basic problem here was that for a long time, only NBC affiliated television stations were the first to add color programing. CBS and the ABC network were slow to adapt. Adding to this situation was that most television markets, especially those outside of large metropolitan areas, wouldn't see color programing. The big turning point began for the 1961 season, when NBC struck two enormous deals for color broadcasting. The first was with 20th Century-Fox studios and the acquisition of their color movies of the 1950's that had many widescreen versions to be pan-scanned for broadcasting. The second was Walt Disney and the magnificent "The Wonderful World of Color" Sunday night program that really opened the door wide towards color television and its future.

 

I've sometimes wondered whatever happened to many of those converted color prints to black & white for television? Perhaps these prints are stored somewhere or in the hands of private collectors.

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> {quote:title=MovieProfessor wrote:}{quote} I've sometimes wondered whatever happened to many of those converted color prints to black & white for television? Perhaps these prints are stored somewhere or in the hands of private collectors.

 

No doubt some have ended up in collector's hands, but I would guess that the studios destroyed most of them, if for no other reason than they weren't making them available to stations anymore so there was no point in taking up warehouse space or having to pay for storage.

 

In the mid-1960's I worked in the film department of a station in Albany, New York and even though it had the ability to telecast films in color, most of the year it ran b/w prints strictly for economy sake. As I mentioned, the studios charged a color print surcharge of $400, the b/w print surcharge was only $10 so except for the weeks during the ratings "sweeps", when they ran nothing but color prints, the rest of the year it was almost all b/w.

 

For a smaller station that $400 charge was a killer. A lot of times that was four times more than the station was actually paying to show the film. Back then, it wasn't uncommon for stations to run two or three movies a day and even more on weekends so it could add up quickly.

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This thread is strange to me, for a few reasons. One, the opening credits of the film say "in Warnercolor", negating any possibility that the film was done in black and white. I believe those words appear immediately after the title. Second, the key business is completely plausible if you follow the plot. Milland's character instructs the killer to return the key, "after" he kills his wife. As he was killed instead, the logical conclusion is that he didn't return the key, making Milland's actions true and believable. "Releasing" the prisoner was done under complete police supervision.

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> {quote:title=johnm_001 wrote:}{quote} This thread is strange to me, for a few reasons. One, the opening credits of the film say "in Warnercolor", negating any possibility that the film was done in black and white.

 

When the studios made b/w TV prints of color movies, it was rather common for them to delete references to color from the credits. Sometimes it would actually be cut from the b/w copy negative or more often they would optically put a black or sometimes gray box over the credit so it couldn't be read. I don't recall if that was standard for Warner Bros. films.

 

So if somebody had only seen a black and white print of say DIAL M FOR MURDER, which had the color credit deleted, I could understand how they might think the film was made in b/w.

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

>

> When the studios made b/w TV prints of color movies, it was rather common for them to delete references to color from the credits. Sometimes it would actually be cut from the b/w copy negative or more often they would optically put a black or sometimes gray box over the credit so it couldn't be read. I don't recall if that was standard for Warner Bros. films.

>

> So if somebody had only seen a black and white print of say DIAL M FOR MURDER, which had the color credit deleted, I could understand how they might think the film was made in b/w.

 

 

Except the OP was questioning the TCM showing, which indicates "in Warnercolor" as being colorized. Whatever. :)

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I think if old Raymundo had it to do all over again, he would have gone with

the entry through the garden window scenario. No keys to worry about. Swann

could have brought a little glass cutter and opened them, which would have

made it look more like a burglary. Something to consider to wile away the

hours in his lonely jail cell.

 

I liked the long scene between Ray and Anthony Dawson planning the murder.

Two old operators trying to get the upper hand. In a slightly ironic note, Ray was

the one to suggest that Grace get out the scissors to work on the scrapbook. She

likely would have gotten them out anyway, but it's a nice little touch.

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There is also the fact that Grace was cheating on Ray with granola boy.

If she did it once, she could do it again. That would mean bumping off a

new boyfriend every year or so. I will give Ray props for being smarter than

the average movie wife killer. Close, but no cigar.

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  • 8 years later...

I know this is almost 9 years later, but after watching Dial M for Murder last night I found myself wondering the same thing. I knew, I just KNEW I watched this movie in black and white years ago, except the main character was NOT Grace Kelly. After a few minutes of Google searching I realized I was mixing up Dial M for Muder and Sorry, Wrong Number!!! Both movies have similar plots but different actors and Sorry, Wrong Number is definitely in black and white. 

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