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The Slate

Colorization is a Disservice

Classic black and white films have since been colorized due to the innovative digital technology of this time period. Masterpieces such as Casablanca, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Night of the Living Dead have all been remade to incorporate flesh tones and vibrant colors to appeal to a wider audience. Colorization presents a vital ethical dilemma to filmmakers and audiences alike. The directors of these films have been deceased prior to the colorization and do not have the ability to voice their beliefs on the matter.  Most would argue that these directors are rolling over in their grave at the thought of their films being screened in color.  Black and white films have an inherent value that adds to the aura of the film.  Frank Capra, the director of It’s a Wonderful Life manipulated shadows and lighting to enhance the medium of black and white; color was not an option since the film was released in 1942.  Colorizing It’s a Wonderful Life is an insult to Frank Capra and completely changes the entire vibe of the film. The medium of black and white created a dreamlike aura throughout It’s a Wonderful Life and colorization harmfully changes the entire mood of the film.

Similarly, the colorization of Night of The Living Dead completely destroys the sinister feeling that radiates from the medium of black and white.  Adding color to previously obscure and dark scenes simply takes away from the eerie ambiance previously illustrated through black and white. Some may argue colorization enhances today’s technology and viewers should have the option of seeing films in either black and white or color. Many believe if directors had the option to shoot in color they most likely would have capitalized on the opportunity.  Contrary to popular belief, the fact of the matter is that these films were produced in black and white as the directors utilized the medium to create visionary films holding tremendous influence in the film industry even today.  Colorizing original films takes away from the director’s vision and does a disservice to the director as well as audience members that miss out on absorbing the true value to the film.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life Black and White Trailer

Comments (2)

  1. Juan Castro:
    Apr 22, 2013 at 01:03 PM

    I totally agree! The films truly lose their visual effect created by the directors. The reason these movies stood the test of time was because the brilliant use of camera angles and shots to portray certain images. SUCH A SHAME!


  2. Alyssa:
    Apr 23, 2013 at 04:37 PM

    Taking a classic film that is in black and white and putting it in color ruins the film. Yes they might not have had the option to film in color, but the black and white makes the movie what it is.


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