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Glorious Technicolor (1998)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | History  -  7 December 1998 (USA)
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The history of color photography in motion pictures, in particular the Technicolor company's work.



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Title: Glorious Technicolor (TV Movie 1998)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
John Alton ...
Himself - Cinematographer (archive footage)
Himself - Cinematographer
Himself - Cinematographer
Eugen Sandow ...
Himself (archive footage)
Annabelle Moore ...
Herself - Dancer (archive footage) (as Annabelle)
Cammie King Conlon ...
Herself - Step-daughter of Dr. Herbert Kalmus
Richard J. Goldberg ...
Himself - Dr., Technicolor research scientist 1953-65
Robert Gitt ...
Himself - Preservationist, UCLA Film and Television Archive (voice)
Fred Basten ...
Himself - Author of 'Glorious Technicolor'
Himself (archive footage)
Ron Jarvis ...
Himself - President, Technicolor Worldwide Filmgroup


The history of color photography in motion pictures, in particular the Technicolor company's work.

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Release Date:

7 December 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Released on the 2003 DVD of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). See more »


The documentation completely ignores the earlier German system "Agfacolor" which is the mother of all modern multi-layer color systems. See more »


Features Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

Glorious Technicolor -- films, but not all the clips they show here are so glorious
28 November 2007 | by (Washington DC) – See all my reviews

This is an interesting but pretty worshipful account of the company and some of the films made in the process. It mostly ignores the competition, especially that of the 1920s when Technicolor wasn't really all that good. It also slights the hand-painted features of the Silent era, which were often far more beautiful (and far more expensive) than the early color films. It's also hard on Natalie Kalmus, the meddling company "consultant". But for better or worse, Kalmus had something to do with what people like about some of these films.

The best parts are the backstage bits some of which I've never seen anywhere else. There's a stunning wardrobe test of Vivien Leigh and some color snippets of the Marx Brothers. They give time to "La Cucaracha", an early feature, which many accounts of color skip right past to "Becky Sharp". Also good are the excerpts of interviews with cinematographers. It would be nice if we got to hear more from these under-appreciated guys, especially since so many of the clips and trailers that get shown instead are in lousy shape. Many of these faded clips frankly seem like a bad way to celebrate Technicolor films, especially since the films themselves have often been restored to mint condition ("The Adventures of Robin Hood" is a fine example of this).

There's a brief section on the use of Technicolor in England. They ignore the 1940 "Thief of Bagdad" (maybe the best-looking English color production) and spend a lot of time on the somewhat overrated "The Red Shoes", which has only one good sequence. I think they also fail to mention that Huston's "Moulin Rouge", which for my money is still the most beautiful use of color in a film to date, was made in England. (The "Moulin Rouge" DVD looks a lot better than the trailer they include here.) The show covers a lot of ground, especially Vincent Minnelli for some reason, so some innovative uses of Technicolor are ignored, like "Nothing Sacred" and "Leave Her to Heaven" and Lubitsch's "Heaven Can Wait". The show also more or less stops with the films of the 1950s. Technicolor continued to be used into the 1960s and 1970s, usually with a less saturated look, as in "The Godfather".

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