Monday, 4 August 2014

COLOUR TEST FOOTAGE FOR BORIS KARLOFF IN SON OF FRANKENSTEIN...



Here's something not everyone will have
seen - colour test film for BORIS KARLOFF
as the monster of FRANKENSTEIN.  That's
UNIVERSAL's top make-up artist JACK
PIERCE at the end of the clip.

9 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Those original Frankenstein films were much more atmospheric in black and white - like Psycho and The Haunting in the '60s. Apparently today's yoof won't watch b/w films and they have to be "colourised" to appeal to a modern audience. A few years ago I bought a DVD of Holiday Inn (the film where White Christmas first appears) and there was an option to watch it in a colourised version but I chose to stick with the original black and white.

Kid said...

I think having the choice of colourised and b&w versions of a movie doesn't hurt. I bet those who first watched a colour movie in black and white before the days of colour TV don't turn the colour down when they watch it nowadays. I watched It's a Wonderful Life in colour and it added a new dimension and didn't ruin it in any way at all.

Colin Jones said...

If you watch White Christmas (the song) on Youtube it appears in a colour version which I don't mind. To be honest I've never been somebody that has to see everything in colour - I grew up with a b/w TV and up until the digital switchover in 2010 I had a little 5" b/w TV which I'd watch in bed. But if modern viewers must see the old classics in colour then so be it I suppose but b/w is fine for me.

Gey Blabby said...

No thanks! The cinematographers in those days were masters of light and shadow and they designed those films to be seen in B&W; those peely-wally colourised versions don't do anything for me, I'm afraid.

Some things just seem to lend themselves to B&W, and one of those things was Karloff's face. In the last Frankenstein post I mentioned that actors with rounder, fuller faces didn't look as good in the make-up, and I notice here that Karloff seems to have put on a few pounds. Great to see this for the first time but.

Kid said...

I don't mind having the best of both worlds, to be honest, CJ and GB. If I want to watch a colour movie that I originally saw in black and white, I can either watch it in colour or turn the colour down, no big deal. I think that colour may attract a new audience that otherwise might not watch them, as CJ suggests. Son of Frankenstein was made 8 years after the original, so he'd probably been eating well since his success in the 1931 movie. And he was in his 50s when SOF was made. Glad you enjoyed seeing the clip.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I really like black and white so I get a bit ticked off at the rubbish colouring jobs they do on a lot of flicks, simply because it ruins the feel of the picture. I don't come down hard on the don't colour side though, there's a certain amount of bluffing over the talk about the difference between colour and black and white photography. It's not all bluff though and there was an enormous amount of care and attention to detail taken to make certain films projected well in black & white that the colourists drive a coach and horses through. The main one being the modulation of shade and highlight by local colour that makes it look as though you're watching a flick through muslin.

Kid said...

All I know, DSE, is that whenever I see a colour movie nowadays that I first saw in b&w years ago, it doesn't spoil my enjoyment today one whit. Same with Star Trek. I first saw it in b&w in the '60s, but whenever I watch my full colour DVDs, I don't find myself missing the b&w at all.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Funny you should mention Star Trek, it worked reasonably well in Black & white. I suppose because the set and costumes designers, although gearing towards colour production were mindful of people using black & white tv sets. Little touches like the dark bands on the shirts to give contrast, give away the thought that went into the production. Doctor Who on the other hand always looked washed out watching in black and & white.

I suppose some don't appreciate black & white photography, one of my favourite flicks is Stalker, made by that Russian Tarkovsky, the guy who made Solaris. It's worth checking out if you wanna see a really good example of B&W cinematography. Incidentally one of the films influenced by it was Blade Runner, although in colour, the climax is almost monochromatic, shot very much like a black & white flick with subdued local colour, most of the hues coming from the lighting. I suppose that proves incorporating colour is doable but the general standard of colourisation is quite poor. Probably the worst I've seen, is The Longest Day, were it's really distracting, one that is quite good though, is the Last Man on Earth, an Italian flick with Vincent Price, an early adaptation of, I am Legend, i would say the colour has enhanced that film somewhat.

Kid said...

I think they're making great strides in the colourisation process all the time, DSE. It probably won't be too long before colourised movies look as if they were shot in colour. As long as the b&w originals still exist for those who want them, everyone's happy.

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