Color in our Favorite Films

We’ve always been fascinated with color in movies. Haven’t you? The beautiful sets, dreamy costumes and lighting that inspires a mystical mood. It got us thinking, what are some of your favorite films, and how do they use color in interesting ways? We decided to explore just that.

Anna Karenina — While Tolstoy might not be on board with the liberties taken in this film adaptation, we love the daring costumes and bold use of color. Anna (Keira Knightley) debuts her fabulous red ball gown at a party where her liaison with Count Vronsky begins. While toned down Kitty (Alicia Vikander) wears a dainty white dress trimmed with pink rosettes. Jude Law’s character, the Count keeps to strict lines that match his character’s rigid personality.

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The Wizard of Oz — Who could ever forget Dorothy, Toto and the unusual cast of characters in this beloved classic? A bit of trivia for you, remember the opening Emerald City scene, with Dorothy in a carriage pulled by a horse of a different color? Four different horses were used for that effect, tinted with lemon, cherry and grape powdered gelatin to create the spectrum of white, yellow, red and purple horses.

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Gone With the Wind — This movie has always stood out to us. Not only is it more or less a true adaptation of the novel — it set new standards for color, scene design and cinematography. We learned that Head of Technicolor, Natalie Kalmus kept changing the furniture and wardrobe on set without permission from Producer David O. Selznick, to keep certain colors from being improperly rendered onscreen.

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The Notebook — We get teary-eyed just thinking about this movie. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel, the film is shot beautifully against the visually stunning, lush South Carolina landscape. Clothes have an interesting hidden language in the film. When Allie began dating Noah she wore warm reds, yellows and soft purples. There was an unspoken freedom to her style, light and flowing. After she moved on to Lon, she dressed in cold sharp lines. The trademark blue, button down dress Allie wore in the reunion scene, marks a merge of her old and new selves.

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What other films do you think use color in inspiring ways?

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