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Glorious Technicolor (1998)

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


Peter Jones


Peter Jones, Fred Basten (based on the book by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Narrator (voice)
Esther Williams ... Herself
Arlene Dahl ... Herself
Evelyn Keyes ... Herself
John Alton ... Himself - Cinematographer (archive footage)
Jack Cardiff ... Himself - Cinematographer
Vittorio Storaro ... Himself - Cinematographer
Eugen Sandow 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 Richard J. Goldberg ... Himself - Dr., Technicolor research scientist 1953-65
Robert Gitt Robert Gitt ... Himself - Preservationist, UCLA Film and Television Archive (voice)
Fred Basten Fred Basten ... Himself - Author of 'Glorious Technicolor'
Douglas Fairbanks ... Himself (archive footage)
Ron Jarvis 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) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 The Kiss (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Look at the Wonderful Colors
29 December 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Glorious Technicolor (1998)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely entertaining documentary from Turner Classic Movies tells the story of Technicolor. We start off getting some early examples of color including films that were hand tinting frame-by-frame and then we get to pictures like THE TOLL OF THE SEA, which made good money at the box office but not enough for the added expense. From here we see how 2-strip Technicolor was produced before finally getting to the three strip. The documentary does an extremely good job at giving you all the details that you could hope for. We learn about its creator, Herbert Kalmus, who wanted to credit for what he did and in fact he hired a publicist to keep his name out of the media. We learn how many of the studios felt that color had no place in movies and it's funny because many of the comments sounded just like the ones we heard when sound was coming into play. Many actresses didn't want to be filmed in color and we even hear how MGM kept it away from their features and only OK'd it for short films. Ester Williams, Arlene Dahl, Evelyn Keyes and John Alton are just a few of the people who are interviewed. Some of the best moments in the film are of course the scenes that really show off the color and everything it was capable of doing. We get clips from the major titles like THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD and THE WIZARD OF OZ all the way up to some of the very last films to use the process including the Michael Powell pictures. If you're unfamiliar with the process then this is the perfect place to learn about it and get some good ideas for rentals.

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