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Matt Hough

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I finally got around to watching my Blu-ray copy of this classic tonight. Any arguments about how black and white films can't be improved by high definition go right out the window within the first ten minutes of the movie: gorgeous, clean, and sharp transfer (glamour close-ups softened, of course, and the recovered cut bits obviously from lesser elements) that shows enormous amounts of detail and is just beautiful to look at. I wish Brenda Marshall wasn't such a bland actress, but otherwise, it's such a wonderful movie.

And if you have any doubts about the improvements from SD, just look at the bonus feature celebrating the movie to see how it used to look on television.
 

Matt Hough

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I never watched the colorized version though I knew they had colorized it during that initial colorization craze. After watching (what I thought then) were awful colorized messes made of 42nd Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, I stopped watching them.

The process today (if the I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith episodes are any indication) is far advanced from those early efforts, but those classic films aren't missing a thing from not being in color.
 

richardburton84

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I never watched the colorized version though I knew they had colorized it during that initial colorization craze. After watching (what I thought then) were awful colorized messes made of 42nd Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, I stopped watching them.

The process today (if the I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith episodes are any indication) is far advanced from those early efforts, but those classic films aren't missing a thing from not being in color.
The only colorization I’m actually familiar with is the one done for the Laurel and Hardy Babes in Toyland, and that’s mostly because I grew up with that version. Other than that, I try to avoid colorized versions of B&W movies (I saw a brief excerpt of a colorized print of Miracle on 34th Street one Christmas at a family gathering and agree that it’s awful, if for no other reason than the fact that they made Maureen O’Hara’s hair brown instead of its signature red).
 

Josh Steinberg

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I never watched the colorized version though I knew they had colorized it during that initial colorization craze. After watching (what I thought then) were awful colorized messes made of 42nd Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, I stopped watching them.

The process today (if the I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith episodes are any indication) is far advanced from those early efforts, but those classic films aren't missing a thing from not being in color.
For sure. As a kid, those were my only options sometimes, but by the time I was ten, I was turning the color knob all the way down on the TV if I knew the movie had been colorized. I probably was a weird ten year old :)
 

Mark-P

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For sure. As a kid, those were my only options sometimes, but by the time I was ten, I was turning the color knob all the way down on the TV if I knew the movie had been colorized. I probably was a weird ten year old :)
You’re not weird to me! I got my first camera for my tenth birthday, and I would actually choose Black & White film to take pictures.
 

Colin Jacobson

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In the interest of weird kids honesty, I told my girlfriend last night that for my 12th birthday party, I chose "China Syndrome" as the movie to see with all my friends!

Not really a movie you'd expect a bunch of pre-teens to embrace! :D
 
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Billy Batson

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I'm used to seeing all these old films in b/w, even the colour ones, as we didn't get a colour telly until 1971 (it still seems odd to see The Adventures Of Robin Hood in full Technicolor, but in a very good way:)).
 
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BobO'Link

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Same here. I grew up in the BW TV era and saw all the old films first in BW. I've never cared if a movie is color or BW.

The first time I saw The Exorcist was on HBO on my BW TV. I later saw it in color and decided it's scarier in BW than color so now *always* turn the color off for viewings.

I watched my new copy of The Sea Hawk yesterday. It looks superb! Out of curiosity I looked up to see if there was information on why it was filmed in BW rather than color. After all, it was produced in the color years and starred Warner's premier actor of the time. I read it was to make the studio sets less obvious. Works for me. Those are some amazing sets!
 
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PMF

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Same here. I grew up in the BW TV era and saw all the old films first in BW. I've never cared if a movie is color or BW. [...]
Now that you've mentioned it, I never cared if a movie was Black & White or in Color, either.
Come to think of it, I never even gave it a seconds thought.
I simply accepted the images upon the screen;
a screen so seemingly big to a kid that this, alone, was of its own greatness.
Funny how so many dismiss Black & White, and that some even refuse to go to films that are;
even if its a "Raging Bull" or a "Schindler's List";
and yet, when I bring up their love for the 3 Stooges, it all of a sudden has its different value.
Looking forward to "The Sea Hawk" and many other titles from WAC, come later this summer.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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Mysto

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There are some films that I can only imagine in B&W. I think color would spoil some mysteries and (obviously) noir. The rich shadows and sharp detail are an art form specialty to themselves and were intended to be viewed in B&W. There are other early films where, I believe, the director given the choice would have chosen color and those seem to respond nicely to well done colorization IMHO.

But I agree with some of the others - if I get lost in the story... color or B&W makes no difference. My imagination fills in the details. The Sea Hawk looks wonderful in it's glorious B&W. It projects with a crisp image that is hard to beat with color.
 
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DVBRD

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For sure. As a kid, those were my only options sometimes, but by the time I was ten, I was turning the color knob all the way down on the TV if I knew the movie had been colorized. I probably was a weird ten year old :)
You weren't the only one, for sure. And no, it doesn't make you weird.

I could be wrong, but I think that the colorization fad of the '80s was one of the biggest marketing blunders Hollywood ever did. Film aficionados had every reason to be against it, but it appears that the general public never fully embraced it. The idea that it would breathe new life to old black-and-white films was flawed judging by the fact that Turner Classic Movies is now the only place you can find most of them, and unaltered, too. There was already a market for It's a Wonderful Life, Casablanca and Night of the Living Dead that colorizing them never really made that much of a difference. There are still colorized versions of films popping up on video from time to time, but with very little impact.

However, I did watch the colorized Wonderful Life on Amazon this past holiday season and I can admit that the colorization process has improved, but the color still looks fake and there was nothing problematic about the film that would justify slapping color to it anyway.
 
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Billy Batson

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To my mind, if there's one film that should have been filmed in b/w, it's the Ealing black comedy The Ladykillers (1955). The colour isn't very good & the subject cries out for good b/w photography.
 

B-ROLL

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In the interest of weird kids honesty, I told my girlfriend last night that for my 12th birthday party, I chose "China Syndrome" as the movie to see with all my friends!

Not really a movie you'd expect a bunch of pre-teens to embrace! :D
Fonda Jane were ya ;) I fully understand ... you wouldn't have been old enough to see Barbarella ... ;)
 
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Colin Jacobson

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Fonda Jane were ya ;) I fully understand ... you wouldn't have been old enough to see Barbarella ... ;)
Ha! I think I only knew who Jane Fonda was due to "Coming Home" the prior year - can't think of any pre-1978 Fonda movies that would've been on my youthful radar!

I was pretty "news aware" as a kid and suspect my interest in "China Syndrome" was piqued via its coincidental connection to 3 Mile Island. But I saw other "adult-oriented" movies anyway, so it wasn't some outlier...
 
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