What year did color become more common than black and white for film and TV?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by lc1995, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Those of you who watch a lot of pre 1970s film/TV, do you have a rough idea of when black and white production became the minority? I would guess mid 60s, but I'm not sure
     
  2. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    By 1966 most TV series had either switched to color or ended their runs. It was probably a few years earlier as far as movies are concerned.
     
  3. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    There were several B&W shows introduced in the 1965-6 season, including I Dream of Jeannie as well as the westerns The Loner and A Man Called Shenandoah.

    For '66-7 those two westerns were cancelled while Jeannie, The Fugitive, and 12 O'Clock High all went to color.
     
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  4. BRODNATION

    BRODNATION The Future Never Dies because Tomorrow Never Knows

    Location:
    Canada
    About 1965-1967 for TV and most Hollywood film switched to color in the mid 1940s.
     
  5. FaithMonkey

    FaithMonkey Forum Resident

    Location:
    India
    Beatles era...
     
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  6. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Off subject but there is a young lady colorizing old black and White pics.[​IMG] Guess who?
     
  7. Regginold31

    Regginold31 Forum Resident


    The early to mid-60s would be more accurate.




    I cheated and looked it up, but my guess was Jeffrey Dahmer.
     
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  8. BRODNATION

    BRODNATION The Future Never Dies because Tomorrow Never Knows

    Location:
    Canada
    Here is a list of the highest-grossing films from 1945 to 1965. Bolded wherein they are color, normal wherein they are black and white


    1945: Mom and Dad (1945)
    1946: Song of the South (1946)
    1947: Forever Amber (1947)
    1948: The Snake Pit (1948)
    1949: Samson and Delilah (1949)

    1950: Cinderella (1950)
    1951: Quo Vadis (1951)
    1952: This is Cinerama (1952)
    1953: Peter Pan (1953)
    1954: Rear Window (1954)
    1955: Lady and the Tramp (1955)
    1956: The Ten Commandments (1956)
    1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1958: South Pacific (1958)
    1959: Ben-Hur (1959)

    1960: Spartacus (1960)
    1961: West Side Story (1961)
    1962: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1963: Cleopatra (1963)
    1964: My Fair Lady (1964)
    1965: The Sound of Music (1965)

    I think my statement is more then justified

     
  9. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    "Highest-grossing" isn't the same as "most common".
     
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  10. BRODNATION

    BRODNATION The Future Never Dies because Tomorrow Never Knows

    Location:
    Canada
    No its not: but when you have a 17-year run where the highest-grossing films from 1949 to 1965 are all in color its safe to assume that its a fairly accurate measuring of what Hollywood films were shot on

    This is grossing income and this was before any kind of home video, so it is fairly safe to assume these films were the most popular of there years
     
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  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    of course! they invented COLOR! and I have to tell you that? ; )
     
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  12. Kyle B

    Kyle B Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    All of prime time was in color by the fall of 1966. Prior to that NBC had weekly color series going back to the late 50s (“Bonanza”) and early 60s (“Walt Disney”, “The Virginian”, “Hazel”). ABC had a few color series in the early 60s, such as “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons”. CBS did not have weekly color series until the fall of 1965.

    Pretty much all of daytime was in color (save for B&W reruns) by 1969-70.
     
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  13. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    I wonder what took longer to catch on, color TV or HDTV.
     
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  14. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Pretty amazing how modern that picture looks. Could have been taken a few years ago look. Too bad he threw his life away.
     
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    That's a good question. I was just watching broadcast TV the other day here in LA, and was stunned when a commercial came on for a hot tub sales event at some area fairground or convention center or something... and the commercial was 4x3! :eek: :confused: No excuse for that for a modern-day event in 2020.

    Given that the end of analog TV broadcasting happened in June of 2009, it's kind of amazing that 11 years later, we're still seeing any kind of new commercials done in 4x3 at all. That's an immediate turn-off to me. I don't have a problem with old shows and films being in 1.33 or 1.66, particularly if that's how they were made. But I know modern audiences (particularly those under 30) might look on images like this as being "old-fashioned."

    NBC start having occasional color shows from 1954 on, but the switch to full-color prime time for all three networks only happened in September 1966. It was an enormous investment for TV stations, because they had to basically toss out their transmitters, all their monitors, their TV cameras, switchers, videotape recorders, and all the other technical equipment involved in telecasting and recording. A lot of stations couldn't afford it, and many continued to do local news in B&W for a year or two until they could budget for color. Some stations had no color equipment at all for making local TV shows and commercials, but could "pass through" color shows from their network.

    Historically, several shows couldn't afford to go to color for a year; Dark Shadows was B&W on ABC until August 1967. I can remember seeing an occasional B&W commercial all the way through 1968 and even early 1969. If you watch documentary news retrospectives on CNN, it's interesting to note how for quite a few news events, only B&W footage survives from the 1966-1967 era. So it's fair to say it was a bumpy transition that didn't happen overnight. I'd say it took them three years to really go fully color from 1966-1969. And you could still buy portable B&W TVs well through the 1980s.

    Don't forget, it took producers and studios 3 or 4 years just to figure out how to mix all their TV shows for stereo. And that was a relatively-easy transition compared to color or HD.
     
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  16. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NY
    In Great Britain, “The Forsyte Saga” 26 episodes mini series was broadcast weekly the first half of 1967. It was filmed in black and white as it would take several months to get color equipment and the producers couldn’t keep the cast that long (Kenneth More, Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter, Susan Hampshire, etc). They probably made the right decision
     
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  17. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    I read somewhere where Carl Reiner said they were prepared to do a sixth season of The Dick Van Dyke Show in color but chose to go out on a high note rather than incur the costs and problems of switching a B&W show that had been running on all cylinders for 5 years to color. Too bad as I'd like to have seen at least one season in real, living color and not the colorized eps they recently did.
     
  18. 1967 except for lower budget flicks.
     
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, Rose Marie has said for years that she felt they could've gone on another 2-3 years if they had just switched to color, but Carl Reiner, Dick, and Mary all felt they needed to make the transition to feature films... which did not go too well for any of them. Rose Marie was still pretty bitter about it, decades later, but acknowledged that in 1966, not many sitcoms had gone 8-9-10 years.
     
  20. Kyle B

    Kyle B Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    I heard something slightly different: that they could have gone to color in the fall of 1965 (as many other CBS sitcoms did), but Reiner knew he only wanted to one more season, so they stayed in B&W. Had it gone another season, he wouldn’t have had a choice.

    That is one of those shows where I believe color would have really lengthened its syndication life, since it was a pretty sophisticated show compared to its contemporaries.
     
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  21. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Rose Marie said the death knell was when Dick Van Dyke had been in Mary Poppins in 1964, and she said that all the major players (except for her and Morey Amsterdam) got seduced by the idea of making big money in movies. Even director/actor Jerry Paris tried his hand at a few movies and failed miserably, but he bounced back in the mid-1970s as director on Happy Days and several other shows and did very well in TV again. Of course, Carl Reiner eventually did well doing several Steve Martin films, among other projects.
     
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  22. FredV

    FredV Forum Resident

    Lewis Powell, one of the Lincoln assassination conspirators.
     
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  23. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio
    we got our first color TV in 1967.
     
  24. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    Worth pointing out that in that list of highest grossing films, nearly all of them are removed from the everyday world. Most are costume pictures, historicals or musicals. I think that until the mid-sixties black and white was thought more appropriate for "serious" subjects and down-to-earth settings - films like On The Waterfront, 12 Angry Men, Judgment At Nuremburg, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Pawnbroker. Perhaps it was because news and actuality footage was nearly always black and white.
     
  25. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Not to mention the hundreds of B movies that simply didn't have the budget for color. This early 60s dinosaur flick just screamed low budget but somehow got a wide screen color release:

     

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