The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.

I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.

[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]

  Steve's Logo

Presenting Technicolor
Dye Transfer Prints from the Collection of the Academy Film Archive

A Fascinating lecture.

Michael Pogorzelski came to see us at the NFT to tell us all about Technicolor. Well, to give us an overview of the history of the company, the various technologies used, why it was "Glorious Technicolor" and why it is no longer used.

Introduced by David Pearce, Curator of the NFTVA (David will be giving a lecture on The History and Development of Colour next week), Michael started with the different systems that Technicolor developed over the years, all those delicate prisms and the huge cameras.

He brought with him a collection of dye transfer Technicolor films (or parts of films) to use as examples. He explained how because of the delicate handling required it was necessary to use the parts nearest the beginning of the reel on each film which wasn't always the best example but was better than trying to load a film half way through a reel.

I thought I'd detail the clips used and some other thoughts and comments.

Technicolor for Industrial Films
Original dye transfer print from the Technicolor Reference Collection
A trade film to show how Technicolor could be used to advertise products. A mixture of British and American images (mainly American) of locations and products.

Finished with 3 cans of paint knocked over & running together. Could this be the one Jack Cardiff did? There was no credit for a Cinematographer.

The Thief of Bagdad
Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan,
Re-issue dye-transfer print manufactured on safety film stock in 1956
The end of the film. From Abu stealing the flying carpet and going to rescue Ahmed who then helps him to rescue the Princess.

However, it wasn't as great colour as we've seen before :)

George Stevens, 1953
Dye-transfer print from the George Stevens collection at the Academy Film Archive
The end of the film from the fight between Shane & the farmer. Lots of rolling around in the dust shot between the hooves of a skittish horse.

As Shane goes into town to confront the villains, they turned down the sound but left it running. Michael then went through the court cases to break the Technicolor monopoly.

The sound was brought back up for the final shoot out. Note those intense blacks where Jack pallance is in the shadows. Eastman could never do that.

All That Heaven Allows
Douglas Sirk, 1954
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy Film Archive collection
The scene with Rock Hudson showing Jane Wyman around the old mill and they talk about redecorating it so he can live there.

Who'd have thought it, Rock Hudson good at interior design? :)

Carol Reed, 1968
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy Film Archive collection
Oliver's introduction to Fagin and the song "You've got to pick a pocket or two".
The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola, 1972
Original dye-transfer print from the Academy Film Archive collection
The opening and the undertaker pleading for Don Corleone to kill the animals who beat up his daughter.

I always admire the way that Marlon handles that cat.

Duel in the Sun
King Vidor 1946
Dye-transfer print manufactured in 1993 at the Bejing Film Lab
The confrontation at the rail head. The cavalry arrive to save the day.
Warren Beatty, 1998
Original dye-transfer print provided by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
The scene with Halle Berry in the club.
The Thin Red Line
Terence Malick, 1998
Original dye-transfer print provided by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
The opening scenes on the beach with Jim Caviezel & the Melanesian villagers. That first shot of the croc gliding into the weed covered river and the canoes on the sea were wonderful. Technicolor did do rippling water very well. c.f. Clodagh's first flashback in BN.

The one Michael showed was the only print of The Thin Red Line printed in Technicolor!

We were running a bit over time so only had time for a few questions.

I asked if he had any thoughts about the often commented on difference between British and American Technicolor. He thought it was mainly due to the way the labs processed it. I'm not so sure and would liked to have explored it further but gave way to other questions.