List of Three-strip Technicolor films (1935-1955)by vaiski_vemmelsaari | created - 15 Nov 2014 | updated - 1 day ago | Public
Following its incorporation in 1915, Technicolor developed a series of two-color processes as necessary steps toward full-color photography and printing. Two-strip Technicolor feature films like The Gulf Between (1917), The Toll of the Sea (1922), Wanderer of the Wasteland (1924) and The Black Pirate (1926) each showed tremendous promise in photography and color design, but implementation flaws resulted in technical problems and commercial failure. After a series of technical and financial stumbles during the early 1930s, Technicolor rebounded with its new three-color process. The camera required an entirely new design, although it utilized many of the same principles already developed for two-color photography, such as a beam-splitting prism. The camera captured crisp, vibrant colors that were then recombined in printing. The Technicolor three-strip camera captured separate color records onto three strips of film. Light entered the camera through the lens and was divided by the beam-splitting prism into two paths. One strip of film recorded the green record onto black-and-white film, while the other two records were exposed onto two black-and-white film strips in “bipack” (sandwiched together); the front film was blue-sensitive only, while the back film was sensitive to red.
Technicolor took great care in maintaining a high standard of quality control. A cornerstone in this strategy was the Color Advisory Service, directed by Natalie M. Kalmus, who once described her role "'as playing ringmaster to the rainbow'. The color consultants advised the productions on how to develop a color score in accordance with the narrative structure of a film. Set and costume design, props, make-up, lighting including the camera work were all controlled by the Technicolor company. The dominant ideology of Technicolor advised a restrained use of colors with an emphasis on naturalness, strictly subordinate to the story development. Colors should subtly convey dramatic moods and impressions to the audience. Kalmus also suggested the use of conventional color associations, such as red for passion, anger, power etc.
Three-strip Technicolor made its first appearance in a live action film in 1934, when a musical sequence in The Cat and the Fiddle (1934) was filmed in it, but the first fully Technicolor feature film was Becky Sharp (1935), released a year later. Backed by important partnerships with Walt Disney Productions and Selznick International Pictures, color cinematography finally matured from groundbreaking novelty into industry standard. By the mid-1950s, more than half of Hollywood films were being shot in color, and the decade's top ten highest grossing films boasted "Color by Technicolor." But as competition from other color processes increased, Technicolor struggled to maintain its more expensive three-color photographic system.
By 1954, most color films made in the United States were being shot in Eastmancolor or Anscocolor. Eastmancolor single-strip process and other similar ones were coarser-grained and less chromatically saturated, but much cheaper and therefore more appealing to studios, and the new widescreen systems could not be used with Technicolor’s three-strip process. The film industry conversion to Eastmancolor happened quickly, and within a few years, Technicolor retired the last of its three-color cameras. Some of the old cameras were converted to fit the new widescreen formats (early VistaVision movies like To Catch a Thief (1955) and The Searchers (1956) were filmed on modified three-color cameras, though those films all used single strip negatives, not 3-strip ones). The Ladykillers (1955) is considered to be the last motion picture to be photographed on the unmodified three-strip Technicolor camera.
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1. Becky Sharp (1935)
Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Romance, War
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »
4. Ramona (1936)
Approved | 84 min | Drama, Romance
Half-Indian girl brought up in a wealthy household is loved by the son of the house against his family's wishes and loves another Indian employed by the household.
6. Ebb Tide (1937)
Approved | 94 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
Three shifty sailors commandeer a smallpox-ridden boat and set out to sea. A typhoon washes them ashore on a faraway Pacific island, which is ruled by a white religious fanatic (Lloyd Nolan) who has set himself up as the local god.
7. God's Country and the Woman (1937)
Approved | 85 min | Drama, Romance
Jefferson Russett runs a logging company; his brother, Steve, is the prodigal son. Jeff cuts off his allowance and puts him to work, but on his first day, he is tricked into signing a ... See full summary »
8. Nothing Sacred (1937)
Passed | 77 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.
9. A Star Is Born (1937)
Passed | 111 min | Drama, Romance
A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, and achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.
Votes: 8,265 | Gross: $4.36M
10. Vogues of 1938 (1937)
Passed | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
The blueblooded Van Kletterings are broke; debutante Wendy, slated to remedy this by marrying rich bore Henry Morgan, instead leaves him at the altar and goes to work as a model for ... See full summary »
12. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.
Votes: 45,693 | Gross: $3.98M
13. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)
Passed | 91 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn have great adventures on the Mississippi River, pretending to be pirates, attending their own funeral and witnessing a murder.
14. The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Divorce lawyer Everard Logan thinks the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.
15. The Drum (1938)
Not Rated | 104 min | Adventure, War
During the British Raj, Captain Carruthers works under cover to track smuggled shipments of arms on the restless Northwest Frontier of India. He fears a full-scale rebellion is brewing. To ... See full summary »
17. The Goldwyn Follies (1938)
Passed | 122 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Movie producer chooses a simple girl to be "Miss Humanity" and to critically evalute his movies from the point of view of the ordinary person. Hit song: "Love Walked In."
18. Heart of the North (1938)
Passed | 83 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
Cpl. Jim of the R.C.M.P. is taking his daughter Julie to school in Edmonton on the Arctic Queen. Six men hold up the boat when they stop for wood and gun down Jim in front of his daughter. ... See full summary »
19. Her Jungle Love (1938)
Passed | 81 min | Action, Adventure, Music
While searching the South Pacific for a missing aviator, Bob Mitchell and Jimmy Wallace are caught in a typhoon and crack up on an island, escaping unharmed with the aid of Tura, a ... See full summary »
20. Kentucky (1938)
Passed | 96 min | Drama, Romance, Sport
Romeo and Juliet story set amidst horse racing in Kentucky. The family feud of lovers Jack and Sally goes back to the Civil War and is kept alive by her Uncle Peter.
21. Men with Wings (1938)
105 min | Action, Drama, War
Plot #1 is the love triangle between two guys and one girl as they grow into adults and affiliate themselves in the new aircraft industry. Plot #2 is aircraft evolution from the days of Wilbur and Orville Wright to just prior to WWII.
22. Queen of Destiny (1938)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama
Picking up where Victoria the Great (1937) left off, this sequel to the 1937 film has Anna Neagle return to the role of Queen Victoria in another colorful account of the revered British ... See full summary »
25. Dodge City (1939)
Approved | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.
26. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Approved | 104 min | Drama, History, Romance
Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.
Votes: 5,420 | Gross: $1.00M
27. The Four Feathers (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.
28. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 278,695 | Gross: $198.68M
29. Hollywood Cavalcade (1939)
Passed | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, History
Starting in 1913 movie director Connors discovers singer Molly Adair. As she becomes a star she marries an actor, so Connors fires them. She asks for him as director of her next film. Many silent stars shown making the transition to sound.
30. Jesse James (1939)
Approved | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.
31. The Little Princess (1939)
Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War.
33. Over the Moon (1939)
Approved | 78 min | Comedy
Young Jane Benson (Merle Oberon) just about manages to make ends meet running the large family house in Yorkshire. In love with local doctor Freddie Jarvis (Sir Rex Harrison), she suggests ... See full summary »
34. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama, History
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.
35. Swanee River (1939)
Approved | 84 min | Biography, Drama, Musical
More fictional than factual biography of Stephen Foster. Songwriter from Pittsburgh falls in love with the South, marries a Southern gal (Leeds), then is accused of sympathizing when the ... See full summary »
Votes: 128 | Gross: $0.29M
36. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 363,878 | Gross: $2.08M
38. The Blue Bird (1940)
Approved | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl, a woodchopper's children, are led by the Fairy Berylune on a magical trip through the past, present, and future to locate the Blue Bird of Happiness.
39. Chad Hanna (1940)
Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance
Country boy joins a circus in the 1840s and falls in love with Albany the star equestrian rider. Later he falls in love with Caroline another runaway who becomes the Circus' new bareback rider.
40. Dr. Cyclops (1940)
Not Rated | 77 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
A mad scientist working in the South American jungle miniaturizes his colleagues when he feels his megalomania is threatened.
42. Maryland (1940)
92 min | Drama
A woman tormented by the hunting death of her husband forbids her son to have anything to do with horses. But when he falls for the daughter of his father's trainer, he defies his mother by entering the Maryland Hunt.
43. North West Mounted Police (1940)
Passed | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Drama