Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Colorful 40's

This week I watch "Thrill of a Romance" (1945) with Esther Williams. This is is the second Esther Williams collection. The movie was good and very entertaining. One thing that I enjoy about this and other movies made in the 1940's is the use of Technicolor.

Technicolor was used in film earlier than the 40's, but this is when it really took off. I am usually one who defends the black and white movies, but when films are filmed originally with this color the end result is beautiful! This is one reason that I love Betty Grable movies too. Most of them were also filmed in Technicolor. The 1940's style of clothes, hair, and make-up were also best in color. You can't see that bright red lipstick in black and white!

Some actresses I believe were made for Technicolor movies. The above mentioned Esther Williams and Betty Grable are obviously two of them. I have heard that Maureen O'Hara is counted as the queen of Technicolor though, I don't know who came up with that but she did film beautifully. Some actresses shunned color films because they believed that they looked better and more glamorous in black and white. In the 1939 film "The Women" there is a color sequence of a fashion show, but not one of the stars of the film were in this.

Movies filmed in Technicolor always had a kind of unreal feel to them, nothing is that bright and colorful in real life! But that is why they were so popular and are still one of a kind today. Which actors or actresses do you think were made for Technicolor?


  1. I always liked Doris Day best in Technicolor. Rita Hayworth is another good one. I also agree with you about Esther Williams for sure!

  2. Oh, I love "Thrill of a Romance"! My favorite Esther Williams movie! :)

  3. Maureen O'Hara was dubbed the "Queen of Technicolor" by Herbert Kalmus, the inventor of that color process. Every time Maureen starred in a Technicolor production Mr. Kalmus would send Maureen a boquet of multi-colored roses and a buffet treat for her entire cast and crew. So, in realilty - though others claim to be Queens of Technicolor, Maureen was the "actual" holder of that title.

    I am the editor/designer of Maureen's Official website "Maureen O'Hara Magazine" and have been her archivist for the past 16 years. I keep in touch with her weekly; she's enjoying her retirement at age 89 in Ireland working on a Maureen O'Hara Legacy Center which will open there in 2011.

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  5. KC-

    Yes Doris Day and Rita Hayworth were great in Technicolor!


    I think it might be my new favorite Esther Williams movie too! But I just started watching the second collection, so we'll see!


    Thank you for stopping by and for the Maureen O'Hara information. How exciting it must be to work so closely with her!


    Each of those actresses are great!

  6. I absolutely love how Technicolor makes everything all the more vivid and fantastical! To add to the great list, I always thought Cyd Charisse was gorgeous in Technicolor.

  7. I agree, Maureen O'Hara was made for technicolor, but I'd also add Gene Tierney to the list... I mean have you seen how gorgeous she is in Leave Her to Heaven?! lol