Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

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Donald Binks

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Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 6:30 pm

I can think of Charlie Chaplin of course - but I wonder how many others never made a colour picture?
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 6:37 pm

Since he did make successful talking pictures, how about Harold Lloyd?

Jean Harlow got 8 minutes of two-strip Technicolor and that was all.
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Joe Migliore

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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 6:56 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
I can think of Charlie Chaplin of course - but I wonder how many others never made a colour picture?


What about A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG? I can understand why you would mentally block that one.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 6:59 pm

I can think of Charlie Chaplin of course - but I wonder how many others never made a colour picture?
What about A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG? I can understand why you would mentally block that one.


Woops! Forgot he made a cameo in that one! (This task is harder than I thought! :)
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Joe Migliore

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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 7:21 pm

I don't think Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, or W.C. Fields shot anything in color.
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Jim Reid

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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 7:31 pm

Joe Migliore wrote:I don't think Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, or W.C. Fields shot anything in color.


Charley Chase was in the Technicolor short "Hollywood Party".
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 7:36 pm

Thank you, Jim; I wasn't sure about Chase.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Two of the most notable ones are Greta Garbo and W. C. Fields, although there are colour stills of both. Charlotte Henry was also never in a colour film.

Some unconfirmed ones who may have been in colour sequences of otherwise B&W films:

Kay Francis (Paramount on Parade)
Phillips Holmes (Pointed Heels, Paramount on Parade)

More common are stars who appeared in Technicolor/Cinecolor shorts but never made a colour feature:

Charley Chase ("Hollywood Party", 1937)
Richard Cromwell ("Star Night at Cocoanut Grove", 1934; and supposedly a bit part in King of Jazz)
John Garfield ("Swingtime in the Movies", 1938)
Arline Judge ("Star Night at Cocoanut Grove", 1934)
Ruby Keeler ("A Day at Santa Anita", 1937--and there's certainly colour film/tape from her later career)
Elissa Landi ("Hollywood Party", 1937; also Knowing Men (1930) which was filmed in Talkicolor but released B&W)
Robert Montgomery ("Starlit Days at the Lido", 1935; also narrated a Technicolor documentary in 1948)
Cecilia Parker ("La Fiesta de Santa Barbara", 1935; also reportedly a chorine in King of Jazz)
Warren William (an "Unusual Occupations" entry from 1938)

Also worth mentioning is Harry Langdon. Presumably he appeared in the Technicolor sequence of Long Pants that was deleted soon after the film opened, but he never appeared in colour again and I've never seen a colour photo.

-HA
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 7:58 pm

Donald Binks wrote: I can think of Charlie Chaplin of course - but I wonder how many others never made a colour picture?
What about A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG? I can understand why you would mentally block that one.


Woops! Forgot he made a cameo in that one! (This task is harder than I thought! :)


If we qualified your inquiry, it might be easier: how about talkie stars who didn't appear in color until they were past their prime? I'm thinking of Bogart who was about 50 when he did AFRICAN QUEEN (1951). William Powell in ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946). Ginger Rogers in LADY IN THE DARK (1944). Ronald Colman in KISMET (1944). Actually, this is almost as tough!
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 8:09 pm

bobfells wrote:
Donald Binks wrote: I can think of Charlie Chaplin of course - but I wonder how many others never made a colour picture?
What about A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG? I can understand why you would mentally block that one.


Woops! Forgot he made a cameo in that one! (This task is harder than I thought! :)


If we qualified your inquiry, it might be easier: how about talkie stars who didn't appear in color until they were past their prime? I'm thinking of Bogart who was about 50 when he did AFRICAN QUEEN (1951). William Powell in ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946). Ginger Rogers in LADY IN THE DARK (1944). Ronald Colman in KISMET (1944). Actually, this is almost as tough!



Kinda hard to think of Bogie as past his prime in THE AFRICAN QUEEN when he won the Oscar for it. In fact, I wouldn;t say any of the mentioned actors were past their prime when they made those films.

Unless your implying that anyone over the age of fifty is past their prime, in which case you've just ingratiated yourself with a lot of the members here.


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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 8:36 pm

This has nothing to do with their talent or ability to win Oscars. For example, Spencer Tracy was still in his prime of looks when he made NORTHWEST PASSAGE in 1940. I don't think he made another color film until the 1950s. Same with James Cagney in CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS (1942) or Claudette Colbert in DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939). Bette Davis was very much in her prime when she made THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939) but was made up to look much older. I'm 62 so I'm sensitive to remarks about "being past your prime."
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 8:53 pm

bobfells wrote:This has nothing to do with their talent or ability to win Oscars. For example, Spencer Tracy was still in his prime of looks when he made NORTHWEST PASSAGE in 1940. I don't think he made another color film until the 1950s. Same with James Cagney in CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS (1942) or Claudette Colbert in DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939). Bette Davis was very much in her prime when she made THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939) but was made up to look much older. I'm 62 so I'm sensitive to remarks about "being past your prime."


Being in the prime of one's looks is an inherently subjective matter and doesn't always correlate with age--to name one example, I think Arlene Francis was much prettier in her 60s and 70s than as a young woman.

Bette Davis also appeared in natural make-up in "A Day at Santa Anita" in 1937, but would have to wait until 1959 before she again made a colour film and *didn't* star as Queen Elizabeth. Regarding your earlier list, Humphrey Bogart first appeared in Technicolor in "Swing Time in the Movies" in 1938. Ronald Colman probably was in the Technicolor portion(s)
of His Supreme Moment (1925) and also made a little piece with California governer C. C. Young about "Greater Talkie Season" in 1930 (don't know the process--could've been Multicolor). William Powell appeared in the same two part-Technicolor films that Phillips Holmes did, but again I don't know if he was in any colour scenes.

-HA
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Wallace Beery? I looked him up. A Date With Judy.
Marie Dressler, perhaps?
Greta Garbo?
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 10:43 pm

syd wrote:Marie Dressler, perhaps?


Marie is visible in the Technicolor finale of The Hollywood Revue of 1929, holding a small umbrella and standing between Jack Benny and Charles King. She also performed in the now-missing Tech sequences of Chasing Rainbows. Her "comeback" film, The Joy Girl (1927), also had colour scenes but I don't know if she was in them.

More that I thought of for the B&W-only club:
Will Rogers
Charles Farrell
Ruth Chatterton (her segment of Paramount on Parade was B&W)

-HA
Last edited by Harold Aherne on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 10:55 pm

Harold Aherne wrote:Charles Farrell (I doubt that he was in the Multicolor portion of Sunnyside Up)
-HA


Please show some proof that portions "Sunny Side Up" were filmed in color, please. I have never found any concrete information that any part of this was filmed in color.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostTue Feb 14, 2012 11:35 pm

Edit: OK, I think I found a money quote--for Sunnyside Up *not* having any Multicolor. From Film Daily, 1 December 1929:

filmdaily1dec29.jpg
filmdaily1dec29.jpg (46.44 KiB) Viewed 3149 times


The film had opened two months earlier and one would certainly think that Sunnyside Up would be mentioned in this paragraph if it had indeed contained Multicolor.

-HA
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostWed Feb 15, 2012 12:12 am

I've found later instances of reviews that mention color. The NY reviews (particularly Harrison's Reports) that mention color that sounds suspiciously like hand coloring. My guess, although I'm not sure, is that Multicolor couldn't come through with their prints in time, and that they weren't put into prints until general release. If the NY showing had hand coloring, it might have been some sort of way to get color into the NY reviews.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostWed Feb 15, 2012 7:07 am

Jack Theakston wrote:I've found later instances of reviews that mention color. The NY reviews (particularly Harrison's Reports) that mention color that sounds suspiciously like hand coloring. My guess, although I'm not sure, is that Multicolor couldn't come through with their prints in time, and that they weren't put into prints until general release. If the NY showing had hand coloring, it might have been some sort of way to get color into the NY reviews.


It's either Harrison's or another I have which mentions the lanterns during the benefit show were colored, which sounds to me like hand coloring. It would be nice to finally nail this down with some positive proof.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostWed Feb 15, 2012 8:09 am

Harold Aherne wrote:Also worth mentioning is Harry Langdon. Presumably he appeared in the Technicolor sequence of Long Pants that was deleted soon after the film opened, but he never appeared in colour again and I've never seen a colour photo.


I thought that STARDUST or MAD ABOUT MONEY or HE LOVED AN ACTRESS or whatever else it was called was shot at least partly in color, but released in black & white. I'm speculating that it was just for Len Lye's sequences and might not have involved Langdon.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostWed Feb 15, 2012 11:32 am

Chaplin appears in color footage shot by his brother Sydney in the DVD release of THE GREAT DICTATOR.
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Re: Talking Picture Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostWed Feb 15, 2012 8:40 pm

I'm pretty sure Thelma Todd never appeared in Technicolor, unless she popped up in one of Lewis Lewyn's home movie-style specialties. But if she did, it's not one I'm familiar with.

I did see her in Follow Thru (1930), which was filmed in an early two-strip color process, but the range of colors in the surviving material is limited. As I recall, everything -- and everyone -- looks kind of orange/green. And of course there's no way of knowing if it looked better when the film was new.
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Re: Talking Picture Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 2:11 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:I'm pretty sure Thelma Todd never appeared in Technicolor, unless she popped up in one of Lewis Lewyn's home movie-style specialties. But if she did, it's not one I'm familiar with.

I did see her in Follow Thru (1930), which was filmed in an early two-strip color process, but the range of colors in the surviving material is limited. As I recall, everything -- and everyone -- looks kind of orange/green. And of course there's no way of knowing if it looked better when the film was new.



Aww come off it, FOLLOW THRU is shot in two color Technicolor, the surviving UCLA restored prints off the original camera neg look great, and Thelma looks great in it. Of course it friggin counts as her appearing in color!


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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 3:49 am

Clara Bow?

ps: ooops, wasn't there a colour sequence in a silent? "Redhead" or some such?
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 12:47 pm

Image

Red Hair of which the surviving bits were featured in last year's Fragments.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 1:09 pm

That's the one. Thanks Bruce. Nice lookin pic of Miss B.
:D
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 1:42 pm

At least Charlotte Henry got Colorized!!!
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 3:02 pm

Ruth Chatterton is the only talking picture star that I can think of at the moment.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 4:00 pm

If we qualified your inquiry, it might be easier: how about talkie stars who didn't appear in color until they were past their prime? I'm thinking of Bogart who was about 50 when he did AFRICAN QUEEN (1951). William Powell in ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946). Ginger Rogers in LADY IN THE DARK (1944). Ronald Colman in KISMET (1944). Actually, this is almost as tough![/quote]

At 49, I am close to being offended.
Bogart was wonderful in "The African Queen".
If that was "past prime" we all have good thing to look forward to in later years.

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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 10:30 pm

Marjorie White? She may not be considered a "star" though.
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Re: Talking Pictures Stars Who Never Appeared in Colour

PostThu Feb 16, 2012 10:32 pm

Margaret Sullavan
Peggy Shannon
Grace Moore
William Haines (I don't think he's obviously visible in the Hollywood Revue finale)
Helen Mack
Wynne Gibson
Junior Durkin
Joan Davis (possibly some colour TV episodes but no movies)
George Formby

-HA
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