I’m a sucker for old movie musical; was getting ready to wat GD of 1933 this weekend, when I realized I had seen it before. I did some, er, digging, and hastily threw the below together for a movie group I’m in:

 

 

 

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/93443/Gold-Diggers-of-Broadway/overview
http://www.nicklucas.com/goldDiggers-Broadway.html
http://www.picking.com/vitaphone64.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Diggers_of_Broadway

 

Gold Diggers of Broadway 1929 is a lost Warner Bros. comedy/musical film which is historically important as the second talkie (a term used in 1929 to describe a film with synchronized speech and/or music) photographed entirely in Technicolor. It became a box office sensation, making Winnie Lightner a worldwide star and boosting guitarist crooner Nick Lucas to further fame as he sang two songs that became 20th century standards; ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ and ‘Painting the Clouds with Sunshine’.

 

It earned a domestic gross of $3.5 Million, extending to over $5 Million worldwide (adjusted for inflation in 2007 this would be a gross of around $60 Million). The original production cost was approximately $500,000. This film was so popular that it quickly became the top grossing film of all time in 1929 and held this record until 1939. It was chosen as one of the ten best films of 1929 by Film Daily. As with many early Technicolor films, no complete print survives, although the last twenty minutes do, but are missing a bridging sequence and the last minute of the film. Contemporary reviews, the soundtrack and the surviving footage suggest that the film was a fast-moving comedy which was enhanced by Technicolor and a set of lively and popular songs. It encapsulates the spirit of the flapper era, giving us a glimpse of a world about to be changed by the Great Depression.

 

Because the film is lost, the partial remake, Gold Diggers of 1933, is the most frequently seen version of the story. The film has become so completely forgotten that it is seldom featured in any ‘most wanted’ lost film lists and is missing from many modern reviews of the early talkie (1928 to 1930) period.

 


 

@#)$%&*)#$&* This explains why I can’t find the movie anywhere! :-(

 

here’s a clip though -- note the two-strip color:

 

(from the GDoB reffed above):
The Technicolor process used for this film could not reproduce a full range of color. Normally, color in movies and photographs is created by recording the image using filter material sensitive to red, green and blue light values. This early Technicolor was a simplified compromise that kept the red, but used a blue/green combination with the emphasis on the green. Hence, it is known as ‘two-color Technicolor’, as opposed to later, ‘three-color Technicolor’.

 

The resulting prints reproduced a rich ‘sepia like’ browns, ‘reds’ that varied from a muddied brick red to a coral pink and ‘greens’ that were slightly muted and at their most pale, struggling to look like blue. No pure blue, yellow or purples were possible.

 

Very few of the original camera negatives of movies made in Technicolor Process 2 or 3 survive. In the late 1940s, most were discarded from storage at Technicolor in a space-clearing move, after the studios declined to reclaim the materials. Those that survived into the 1950s were often used to make black and white prints for television and simply discarded thereafter. This explains why so many early color films exist today solely in black and white.

 

The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor#Two-color_Technicolor section has a sadly illuminating note:

 

Very few of the original camera negatives of movies made in Technicolor Process 2 or 3 survive. In the late 1940s, most were discarded from storage at Technicolor in a space-clearing move, after the studios declined to reclaim the materials. Those that survived into the 1950s were often used to make black and white prints for television and simply discarded thereafter. This explains why so many early color films exist today solely in black and white.

 


 

I have watched Gold Diggers of 1933, though. Wild, wacky stuff:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Diggers_of_1933
http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/cteq/03/29/gold_diggers_of_1933.html
http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Bungalow/1204/dig1933.htm
http://images.google.com/images?q=gold+diggers+of+1933&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=CQc&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=images&ct=title