Color didn’t start with “The Wizard of Oz”

     Everyone knows the first “talkie” was Al Jolson’s 1927 “The Jazz Singer” (well . . . we’ll get to that in the next post), but the first color movie?  Not so simple. Turns out, it depends on your definition of “color” and of “movie,” and even then, there are disagreements.

      In 1908, a process called Kinemacolor was invented in England and an 8-minute film called “A Visit to the Seaside” is believed to have been the first film shown using that process. I couldn’t find a snippet of that film  but did come across this 1912 Kinemacolor movie of Venice that is worth watching, especially if you’ve ever been to Venice! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_JaM2vgOJU

     But before 1908, black and white films were often tinted, either by hand or by being shot through colored filters, so the Kinemacolor films were not really the first. Check out this astonishing 1900 film of Joan of Arc, hand tinted, with a floating angel for special effects. It’s only 9 minutes but it must have knocked the socks off the audience of its day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq_7T5IHsgA

     The invention of Technicolor—a process that used two (1917), and later three (1928), separate colored film strips and blended them, made better, more realistic colors.  “The Wizard of Oz,” a Technicolor marvel released in 1939, was far from the first color movie, but it has that reputation, probably because it was the first color movie that many Depression-era children saw, and it made a huge impression on the entire generation. 

 

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://marymiley.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/color-didn%e2%80%99t-start-with-the-wizard-of-oz/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: