Friday, September 7, 2007

Jailhouse Rock - colorized version

I recently retired my collection of Elvis-movies on VHS. The reason, obviously, is that most of them are now available in better quality on DVD. But three VHS-cassettes avoided the destiny of the others and didn't wind up in the attic. These are "Elvis on Tour", "The Lost Performances" and a colorized version of "Jailhouse Rock".

The last two I bought in a double video box set in 1992. "The Lost Performances" I watched many times, but "Jailhouse Rock" I think, only once. So I gave it a chance today, and it was fun to look at. Especially the colors on the cool jackets and shirts that Elvis wear in the movie.

But then I got the idea to put "Loving You" (which was filmed in color) in the DVD-player for comparison. And at once I realised how crude the colorization was on "Jailhouse Rock", kind of like the colors in a cartoon and not at all like in reality.

Apparently there was a lot of controversy when Turner Entertainment started to colorize old movies, such as "Jailhouse Rock" in the late 80's, but it died when the colorization stopped in the mid 90's due to the high costs involved.

But now colorization seems to be profitable again, because on a DVD you can include both a b/w and a color version (even though it wasn't done on the new deluxe edition of "Jailhouse Rock"). And certainly, the technique must have developed a lot in recent years.

For me, "Jailhouse Rock" will always be coolest to watch in black and white. But I admit it would be interesting to see what a colorized version of "King Creole" would look like. How about next year, 50 years after its original release?


Anonymous said...

Check out this colorized "King Creole" clip:

Thomas said...

Yeah, I saw it! And apparently it was done with software on a home computer. I wonder what it would look like if a professional studio had a go at it?