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Friday, August 03, 2018

Technicolor Among The Big Trees


God's Country and The Woman (1936) Celebrates All-Outdoors

An absolute must, as it was Warners' first feature in the three-color Technicolor process. TCM runs a good print ... no telling what a remaster job might look like. WB had dabbled with Tech two-reelers for a couple years before the plunge taken here. They were musical comedies with more emphasis on color than song or laughs, sold on novelty and little else. All the studios wanted firm grip on rainbow aesthetics before commitment that features entailed. God's Country and The Woman was strictly "B" in terms of cast and story, but otherwise "A" for extended time on location to capture nature's majesty amid forests green and waters blue. Results were surely breathtaking and indicative of what color could bring to appropriate subjects. God's Country and The Woman amounted to audition for Adventures Of Robin Hood, which got underway within weeks of the former's release. We remember Robin Hood for obvious merits, plus how it glimmers now on Blu-Ray, but God's Country and The Woman presented as lavishly would look every bit as good. Trouble is, who cares about God's Country and The Woman? Sabotage and gunplay among timber rivals is larger canvas against which George Brent and Beverly Roberts play out romance quarrel, the pic being deadly formula throughout, but oh that Technicolor, and so much of it captured outdoors (even Robin Hood confined much of action to sets). This was one of the jobs turned down by Bette Davis before she fled the WB pact to England. Too bad she didn't submit, just to have an earlier record of BD in multi-hues.

3 Comments:

Blogger Reg Hartt said...

Your cover picture from THE HORROR OF DRACULA records a moment when Hammer Films knew how to do everything absolutely right. Great shot. Thanks for the info on GOD'S COUNTRY AND THE WOMAN. We could do with a restoration of BECKY SHARP (1935). It's a landmark film as well as a good one. It would have been neat to have Davis at this early stage on Technicolor for posterity.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Dave K said...

Ha,ha! I love any old newspaper ad that gives virtually equal print space to all the cast members ('Hey, Ma, was gonna skip this one but, gee, it's got Mary Treen in it!')

4:38 PM  
Blogger Marc J. Hampton said...

Reg...Kino is coming out with a Blu ray of the restored Becky Sharp later this year.

8:29 PM  

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