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Cagney colorized classics


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That choice should certainly be left up to the individual !

 

I have always prefered MIRACLE ON 34 ST colourized. If any of Cagney's movies turn out like Miracle, I am sure I will prefer them too! Just to see his Red Hair and piercing blue/green eyes alone would be well worth it ! :)

 

Twink

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I'm not a fan of colorized movies but I have a question;

 

Say a director that shot a black and white movie during the Studio Era was alive today (yea not likely but play along), and decided to have the movie colorized. This director would supervise the project and have total control.

 

Would that version be something you would be interested in? I only ask since you say 'the way they were shot'.

 

Well to me there is an open question if a director's cut is more true to 'the way they were shot' if the initial released version is more ture. one.

 

I have seen some say that directors cuts are the true version. I understand the reasoning here but a director's cut is still an altered version created after the initial release.

 

My POV here; any talk about a 'true' or 'pure' version is folly. There are just mulitple versions and each stand (or fall), on their own merit.

 

(of course you say the way they were shot, how about the way they were edited!).

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Being a fan of Robert Montgomery and to some extent to James Cagney, whilst VHS was the dominant format, I bought a colourised version of "They Were Expendable"

 

I watched it a few times, love the film, not a fan of colourised movies, but I do not get on my soap box if anyone prefers them that way.

 

Now upgraded to dvd, I enjoy it more in its original black & white format, as originally intended.

 

So, this one is out there somewhere colourised as well.

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I've commented elsewhere (don't ask me where) that if the director, or perhaps the cinematographer, now that I think of it, were involved in the process, it would be alright with me, as they were involved in the original production. I also noted the only instance of that I was aware of is Ray Harryhousen's amenability to the colorization of his b/w movies.

 

What I object to is some hack coming along, looking at these old movies, saying to her/him-self, "Gosh, these are all so out of date. Just drab black and white. Let's improve them, brighten them up with color so they can look like regular movies." This ignores and destroys the look the directors and cinematographers put into these movies. This is especially true for the work of the great ones. These were made as b/w movies, not color movies that had the unfortunate handicap of being forced to be shot without it. All, repeat, all the efforts at colorization I have seen (including the colorized Three Stooges shorts) look cheap, gaudy and artificial.

 

Don't take this as antagonistic, but I find that when people pull out the words 'pure' and 'true' in their debates with others, their intent is usually to characterize others as rigid, narrow-minded and elitist, the easier to defeat their arguments. I don't kneel down and make obeisance before some sacred and immutable Ur version of a movie. I know that especially for movies of the studio era, once they got past the shooting, movies were largely out of the control of the director. And that over the years, different versions of the same movie can crop up. And that even the best director's work can benefit from a judicious independent viewpoint.

 

But the differences in the versions of movies, or even between original releases and the relatively recent phenomenon of 'director's cuts', is minor in comparison to the obliteration of the look of a movie with an entirely foreign aspect. Think of the movies that thrill you with their cinematography. Think of Out of the Past, The Lady From Shanghai, The Third Man. These movies were shot with the understanding they were in black and white, and their effect was calculated on it.

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I remember how during the colorized version of Yankee Doodle Dandy, there was a black maid character. But the colorization people didn't bother to colorize her. They left her in black and white. We just laughed and laughed at that. Perhaps they've fixed that since the 1980's.

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kev, I noticed that too. Certain scenes she was brown and then other scenes she was black. And how come they didn't color peoples eyes back then? Cagney had Blue eyes. They should colorize the movie again with the new and better technique. In the past few years the colorizing of movies has got so much better.

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< Cagney had blue eyes. They should colourise the movie again with new and better technique. >

 

Cagney had piercing blue eyes and yet , I have often heard him referred to as having had red hair and 'Green' eyes. Lets hope when they colourise his movies, his eyes won't be green !

 

Twink

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Twink, In Cagney's autobiography he mentions his eyes being blue. In another book they are described as Delft Blue and hair Titan Red. In some color movies they look blue. Yet, some people still say he had green eyes. I know my eyes are blue but when I wear certain colors they look green, maybe it was the same with Cagney.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree ! It would certainly be nice to see Cagney's movies in colour, given his red hair and gorgeous, piercing blue eyes. As you mentioned, given today's newest and latest technology , anything is possible !

 

After watching CAPTAINS IN THE CLOUDS and seeing him in colour for the first time ever (in a movie), it would be absolutely awesome to see more of his movies in colour ! :)

 

 

Twinks :)

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