Monday, January 09, 2012

The Ladies Was Good

On another blog which I would blush to mention I was recently joining in a converse about old films being 'colorized'-was this practice evil or good? Is colorization of old celluloid a sin or a blessing?
It was Ted, of course-the Turner in Turner Classic Movies who had bought most of old Hollywood's catalog of treasures.
Technicolor Ted wanted to make old movies palatable for the youth of the world, who had grown up on COLOR TV and COLOR MOVIES.
The outrage! Letters were written to editors (of newspapers-you can look it up), Turner was hanged in Effigy (Indiana) and the court of public opinion sentenced him to six years of being married to Jane Fonda.
But Ted had a point. It's not just my love for TCM that brings me to defend him-I recently tried to share a few movies with a young friend who just couldn't get into them...because they were in black and white.
The Lady sitting immediately to the left of Judy Garland in the picture above is Virginia O'Brien, a comedic actress who made movies better by being cast in them (sort of the opposite of Robin Williams).
She wasn't the titular Lady in "Lady, Be Good" but her song in that movie is it's high point. A close second is Eleanor Powell's dance with a dog. No kidding.
I'm hoping that someday 'black and white' movies and talents such as Virginia O'Brien will be remembered and embraced by future generations.
Case in point-the Lady above, Jessie Ralph, was born in 1864. Think about that-a year old when the Civil War ended. She is delightful in one of my favorite classics: "Double Wedding" with Myrna Loy and William Powell.
They brought all the color needed for that film-red faces in the audience, from fans laughing so much.

1 comment:

Doug said...

TCM has quite a presence on my DVR.
Really though-if you want to see a great fun picture, check out "Double Wedding" to see Loy and Powell at their best.