ISSUE DATE: Nov. 30, 1936
That color will not come into its own until producers can forget about it has been the chief lesson of every colored film to date. Selznick International may well be the first company to become familiar enough with this medium to treat it with proper carelessness. Unhurried by such outside spurs as the change in theatre equipment that transformed sound overnight from a pipe dream to a necessity, other producers are still wary of color as an expensive and perhaps unhealthy precedent. Selznick International, after a board meeting in which Backer John Hay (“Jock”) Whitney was re-elected chairman, Producer Selznick re-elected president, last week announced an expansion in its current program. It will make twelve features instead of five in 1937. Six of the twelve will be in Technicolor, in which Backer Whitney has a major interest. This will be about one-third of Hollywood’s total 1937 color output.
If The Garden of Allah‘s weak point is its story, its strong point is its female star. In the first place, to Marlene Dietrich’s golden hair and porcelain skin, color is more complimentary than it has been to any other actress who has so far tried it. In the second place, the North African desert is her specialty. In the third place, if there is any actress in Hollywood whom cinemaddicts have always yearned to see in the flesh—to which color film is the closest practical approach—Marlene Dietrich is the one.
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