How Technicolor Changed Movies

In this episode of Vox Almanac, Phil Edwards explores the history of Technicolor: both the technology and the company. Many people recognize Technicolor from The Wizard of Oz, but the technology existed long before then. Two strip Technicolor and three-strip Technicolor both revolutionized the film industry and shaped the look of 20th-century film.

Technicolor Camera (circa 1939)

But Technicolor also influenced movies through its corporate control of the technology. People like Natalie Kalmus shaped the aesthetic of color films, and directors redesigned their sets and films based on the Technicolor look that the company — and viewers — demanded.

Though the process we traditionally recognize as Technicolor is no longer in use (the company does continue), the look remains influential even today.

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