A New Crop of Color Transfers

These days I tend to colorize an image only if inspiration strikes me. The impulse perhaps comes from a mystical level and seems to say, “Color me, please.” Of course, it’s more likely that it originates in my overactive imagination. Regardless, these are my most recent transfers from the past six months or so.

An unusually cosmopolitan Bela Lugosi circa 1930. Mr. Lugosi has quite a presence on this blog so look for his name in some earlier posts.

Lon Chaney, Sr. and Mae Busch (best remembered for her roles in Laurel and Hardy films) in the police drama, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1928):

Dorothy Dalton looks fetching in THE TEN OF DIAMONDS (1917), a lost film:

Mae Murray‘s trademark was her “bee-stung” lips. She managed to seem both exotic and down to earth. This worn postcard captures Mae at the peak of her career in 1925. Even so, her name is misspelled. But look what 21st century software can do to the image quality:

A remarkable “on the set” photo showing the amount of activity even while filming is in progress. Clues in the picture suggest that it was produced by Cecil B. De Mille‘s company, which would place the time frame between 1925 and 1929. The actress who is the center of attention may be Phyllis Haver. This was a complicated one to color:

A contemplative George Arliss during the filming of his comedy, A SUCCESSFUL CALAMITY (1932). I colored this one a few years ago but I wasn’t happy with it. I tried it again recently and found that newer software helped bring better results:

Renee Adoree poses with her new car circa 1928. I suppose the house is hers too:

Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino in their only film together, BEYOND THE ROCKS (1922). Lost for decades, a sole surviving print turned up in the Netherlands about ten years ago and was issued on DVD. Also in this photo from the left is director Sam Wood, author Elinor Glyn, and a young violinist providing mood music for the scene:

Marion Davies in a magazine ad for her new picture, WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER (1924). The texture of magazine pages from that era usually don’t transfer very well but modern software helps smooth out the roughness.

An artistic photo of Marie Prevost who was the very image of the Roaring Twenties:

Makeup artists seem ubiquitous with Hollywood but in fact actors were responsible for making themselves up until about the mid-1920s. Improvements in the sensitivity of film stock brought challenges for actors and their cosmetics so almost overnight a generation of makeup artists suddenly arrived on the scene. The following images were novel in their day since they showed somebody preparing the star for the cameras.

A newly-minted star such as Joan Crawford circa 1928 seemed to like the attention from MGM makeup artist Cecil Holland:

Greta Garbo was at the beginning of her American career in 1926 when she handled her own makeup during the filming of THE TORRENT:

And finally – we have run this one before but it’s worth a repeat. Legendary makeup artist Jack Pierce (before he became a legend) had the responsibility for contriving Conrad Veidt‘s carved smile as Gwynplaine in THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928). Within a few years, Pierce would be designing extraordinary makeups for the Frankenstein Monster (Boris Karloff) and the WOLF MAN (Lon Chaney, Jr.), among many others:

A New Gallery of Color Transfers

Here is a new gallery of black-and-white to color transfers that I have made during the past several months. As the software technology improves so does my work.

Alice Joyce in her home circa 1920:Alice Joyce Color Final

Alice Joyce tries her hand at archery c. 1920:Alice Joyce 2 Color Final

Anna May Wong at a movie premiere circa 1931:Ana May Wong color Final

It’s 1928 and the talkies are coming. A rare photo showing a film star being coached on speaking for the microphone – Anita Page at the USC Speech Department:Anita Page USC May 28 1928 Color Final

Rudolph Valentino greets visitors to the set of MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE in 1924. The lady is Mrs. Valentino, Natascha Rambova:Beaucaire Candid 004 Color Final

Carmel Myers snuggles up to Francis X. Bushman in BEN-HUR (1925):Ben Hur Messala adras

Screenwriter Bess Meredyth gets into the spirit of things during the filming of BEN-HUR (1925):Bess Meredyth Color Final

Lon Chaney in makeup for DR. WU (1927) chats with fellow MGM star Col. Tim McCoy:chaney McCoy Color copy

Clara Bow seems displeased with the attentions of Ernest Torrence and Percy Montmart as director Victor Fleming (in white hat) moves things along. Cinematographer James Wong Howe is in the snap cap behind the camera. On the set of MANTRAP (1926):Clara Bow Mantrap Color Final

A radiant Dolores Del Rio in REVENGE (1927):Dolores Revenge FINAL

Norma Shearer and Lionel Barrymore at Half Dome, CA in A FREE SOUL (1931):Free Soul Color Final

Greta Garbo returns to America after a trip to her home in Sweden, 1933:Garbo 1933 Color Final

Gary Cooper and Thelma Todd enjoy the view during the filming of NEVADA (1927):Gary Cooper and Thelma Todd 1927

Gloria Swanson and Cecil B. DeMille on the set of THE AFFAIRS OF ANATOLE (1921). Also left to right are Theodore Kosloff, Elliot Dexter, Agnes Ayres, Jeannie MacPherson, and Wallace Reid:Gloria Swanson Affairs of Anatol 1921 Color Final

Marian Nixon on location for RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE (1925):Riders of the Purple Sage 1925 Marian Nixon

A striking image of Strongheart and Lady Jule in 1924:Strongheart and Lady Jule 1924 Final final

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 4:23 PM  Comments (5)  
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