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Just finished watching the new FOX DVD of DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK. All I can say is that I was blown away by this color print. I haven't seen this film in years, which has always been a favorite of mine, and the film never looked better. FOX did a splendid job in its restoration of this classic. Other examples of splendid three-strip Technicolor DVD releases are LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN and HEAVEN CAN WAIT. If only for the color prints of these movies they are a must for collectors. I only hope FOX is considering releasing some more of their Technicolor classics on DVD including WITH A SONG IN MY HEART and Betty Grable and Alice Faye musicals. These are long overdue for release.

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Edge, what a great heads-up on Fox's Technicolor delights such as "Drums Along the Mohawk" and "Leave Her to Heaven." I've always thought 20th Century Fox was unfairly overlooked for its unique use of three-strip color. MGM is always cited as the champ but 20th Century had a genius, especially in delightful musicals like "Moon Over Miami," in making its colors glow like feverish rubies, cobalts, turquoises and gold. "Leave Her to Heaven" is a stunning movie, not only for its colors,but for its set designs. How'd you like that lake house? It looked like castle. And you're sooooo right about getting at least a few of Betty Grable's box office smashes out on disc--especially her greatest, "Moon Over Miami," as well as 'The Dolly Sisters" and "Pin-Up Girl."

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In addition to the ones you guys mention, I'd also love to see "Weekend in Havana," "The Gang's All Here," and "Springtime in the Rockies" released. Although I always thought that "Rockies" looked a little more drab then their other Technicolor movies. Or maybe it just needs some restoration.

 

I'll never forget the first time I saw "Havana," with the opening credits in yellow with that bright, royal blue backround. And Paty, you're right, I would LOVE to live in ANY of the houses seen in "Leave Her to Heaven." The house in Maine and the one in Arizona were as equally impressive as the getaway house on the lake. That whole movie just blows me away. But getting back to Fox and Technicolor, they BETTER start releasing some of Betty Grable and Alice Faye's movies, because at this point they must realize that there is an audience for them. Hopefully they're restoring them, and will release them all at once in box sets as well as individually. They also need to get on the ball with Shirley Temple's movies.

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  • 6 years later...

These Betty Grable Technicolor movies have been wonderful. Beautiful color.

 

Compare these to modern "color" films and notice the difference. In these original Technicolor 3-strip films, there are colors like red, blue, yellow, pink, lime green, leaf green, gold, and brilliant white colors. Color like in real life.

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THE GANG'S ALL HERE is my favorite...I chanced to see it theatrically a few times back in the 70's, and own the restored version on DVD. IMHO, that movie sums up everything about Fox Technicolor.

 

Carmen Miranda should have been a Technicolor poster girl. :)

 

gangs-all-here.jpg

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I was told a while back that Fox wasn't as "cooperative" as the other studios when it came to dealing with Natalie Kalmus or the other Technicolor consultants. This was cited to me when I made a post on the IMDb about how I considered that studio to have the most consistently gorgeous uses of color as compared to the other majors.

 

Apparently the in-house technicians at Fox had their own ideas and that as long as Kalmus or one of the consultants were credited, they didn't care as they were learning about the capabilities of color film that they were unaware of previously.

 

 

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I'd like to know what the disagreement was about.

 

This current film is a combination of natural colors and vivid bright colors in some of the ladies clothes. So it is a mix of natural colors (horses, houses, cars, buildings, street scenes, grass, trees, water, etc.) and the very bright vivid blues, reds, yellows, greens and purples of the ladies clothes.

 

Purple is a rare color in modern films. Most modern color films are sort of orange. Orange or yellowish, not much difference in the other colors. But with Technicolor from the late '30s through the early '50s captured real natural colors and the vivid colors of the dyes in the cloth fabrics.

 

You can't see a full vivid red, and a blue, and green, and yellow, and white in modern films. White in modern films is almost always orange, yellow, or bluish.

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This is probably a color still photo, but it looks like a typical scene from the Godfather, notice the overall orange color. No blues, no greens, no purples, no yellows, and look at how the whites are yellowish, and the green of the shrubs are dark and not very green.

 

http://movieimage5.tripod.com/godfather/godfather10.jpg

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For good color in more recent films, I'd refer to films by Carroll Ballard (The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf), and Bernardo Bertolucchi. Also, The Road Home, by Yimou Zhang, has marvelous warm golden tones in the flashback segment.

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> {quote:title=kriegerg69 wrote:

> }{quote}I read somewhere or saw somewhere that Kalmus was reportedly difficult to work with and was considered very interfering insofar as telling how certain things should be done in a film.

Yes . . . This is true. Kalmus was the estranged wife of the Technicolor company founder, Herbert T. Kalmus. While technically separated from her husband, she did have enough equity in the company to have the board at Technicolor, allow her a position as an administorator. Her status as the designated "color consultant" is now believed to have simply been a ploy by her husband to keep her away from him. She really had no authority or experience as a specialist for the company. She did play her role energetically to the point of creating a personification of a fashionable sophisticated lady, mixed in with an imposing amount of opinions to the studios that rented the Technicolor cameras. Miss Kalmus actually didn't spend a lot of time on a movie set, preferring to stay more in tune with the various studio front offices, where she exhorted to what most everybody knew was an illusion of influence and command. However, when she did arrive at the scene of a movie set, sometimes it was a bothersome situation, even for the Technicolor cameramen, who knew she had little, if any, knowledge to the business at hand. What she did know was to refer many times to classicial art work, as she was beautifully dressed and refined as possible to add something of a colorful appeal to what she wanted to believe best represented the Technicolor company. Once Technicolor lost its dominance over color filming, so did Miss Kalmus have to fade away.

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I'd like to know what the disagreement was about.

 

As far as I know, it was a fairly simple matter. Kalmus was of a mind that certain things shouldn't be done, or worse, said that they couldn't be done. Whether it would be low-light scenes, or color coordination based on what the art department would suggest, it seems that Kalmus wasn't as willing to test Technicolor's capabilities. Maybe in her mind, it was protecting the process or perhaps just trying to assert her supposed knowledge of what could and couldn't be done.

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That may very well be, but she wasn't the first one in Hollywood to be given a position of importance and yet have no hands-on experience. While she did come with the deal to utilize Technicolor's services, she was more of a handicap than a help.

 

She actually seemed to prefer muted color schemes which would seem to be contrary to what the company was in business to do. Despite her inabilities, it would appear that for a while she had some clout.

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I must admit the purple dress that Betty Grable wore in Sweet Rosey O'Grady was eye catching. I don't know if any color of a dress has caught my attention for as long as that one did. I kept looking at all the different shades of purple. Whatever process was used to restore and preserve that movie, they know what they are doing. I found myself checking out the costumes - they were beautiful.

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Love the set design on Fox movies. Just look at the interiors in THE GANGS ALL HERE...there are hues on those walls I dont even have a name for (and I'm an interior designer). I think that adds to the distinct look of their films...I dont think a can of nuetral eggshell paint was ever carried across that 1940s lot.

 

The most spectacular example I've seen of Fox Technicolor is HEAVEN CAN WAIT...if you watch the Criterion DVD on a Blu-ray player the colors are simply astonishing...even THE WIZARD OF OZ never looked this good!

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> {quote:title=MaryLyn2 you mention:

> }{quote}I must admit the purple dress that Betty Grable wore in Sweet Rosey O'Grady was eye catching.

{font:Arial}One of the main aspects to all of the Technicolor films at 20^th^ Century-Fox, during the 1940’s was to have the costumer or designer, consult with the Technicolor crew. This meant an understanding of what colors could be beautifully transposed onto the film and be as bright and ornate as possible. This idea does in many ways come from the “live stage,” where a constant attempt to exhort glamour was consistent. When this method was shifted to color film, just about everything the movie star wears, be it simple or not, had an alluring affect. Naturally, besides the star of the picture, the studio was also selling the whole Technicolor process.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}The Swiss-French Costume designer, Rene’ Hubert, who created the outfits for Betty in “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” are among the finest ever made for a Technicolor film. Rene' came under the movie spotlight, when producer Alexander Korda hired him in 1935. By 1940, his career in Hollywood took off in a big way. During that time, he became one of the major desingers for 20th Century-Fox. Some of his other noted works include, “Heaven Can Wait,” “Buffalo Bill,” “Pin Up Girl,” “Diamond Horseshoe,” “State Fair,” “Forever Amber,” “That Lady in Ermine” and my all time favorite designs of his for a Technicolor film, the musical “Nob Hill.” Rene’ was truly a master of what Technicolor sometimes termed as “color awareness.” His last two great designs were for two historical dramas, the 1954 “Desiree’” and in 1956 “Anastasia,” fulfilling a career dream of his to finally dress the immortal Ingrid Bergman. His very last design work would once again be with Bergman in 1964 on the drama, “The Visit.” I believe that Rene’ was in so many ways responsible for the success of Technicolor at 20th Century-Fox. He is one of those forgotten, unsung or lesser known heroes of old {font}{font:Arial}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial}.{font}

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Thank you, MovieProfessor. I always thought Jeanne Crain's dresses in State Fair were far too nice to fit into any suitcase. I would look at the dresses and think that they would have taken up the entire trailer the family took to the State Fair. They were certainly attractive and visually drew you in.

 

Thank you for all the information. I will have to check out the other films too. Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate the information and learning more about all the work that went into making the movies that we enjoy watching over and over again.

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I'll take Natalie Kalmus Technicolor films over any modern color films. As we see the newly restored versions on TCM, they certainly are the best color films ever made. The vibrant colors in the Betty Grable films last night were outstanding.

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All you need to do to make a vintage color film look modern is wear either a pair of amber or blue sunglasses. In the case of war movies, substitute a green pair.

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Yes, color films today tend to be mostly one color. We'll never see good separate colors shown in the same scene in a modern film as we saw last night, such as light blue, dark blue, leaf green, lime green, red, rose, pink, yellow, yellow-green, purple, solid black and solid white, and so many other colors I couldn't name them all.

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A few years ago, Fox released some boxsets of Faye and Grable musicals, also one of Carmen Miranda's (which can double as one for the titular star-Vivian Blaine), but of course, there are still many more films that need to be out there.

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