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Sidney Olcott, the First Eye

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July 1, 2022





In Ireland, Sidney Olcott gets some color

Discovered on YouTube, three Irish films by Sidney Olcott in color. They are " The Lad From Old Ireland " (1910 - Kalem), " His Mother " (1911 - Kalem) and " For Ireland's Sake " (1914 - Gene Gauntier Feature Players).

All three films are from the Irish Film Institute copies. They have been colorized by the Electrical and Electronic Engineering of NUI Galway, the University of the West of Ireland. They were released online in June 2022.

On its Twitter account, the school also posted an excerpt (56 sec) from " You Remember Ellen " (1912 - Kalem).
Presumably, colorization of Olcott's other "Irish" films will follow: " Rory O'More " (1911 - Kalem), " The Colleen Bawn " (1911 - Kalem), " Come Back to Erin " (1914 - Gene Gauntier Ferrure Players) and " Bold Emmett, Ireland's Martyr " (1915 - Sid Films).
When the colorization of classic black-and-white films was first introduced in the 1980s, there was a lot of debate about it. I remember John Huston taking a very strong stand against the release of "The Maltese Falcon" (1941 - Warner Bros.) in color. The promoters of the process affirmed that it made it possible to rediscover the "old" films and to attract a young public.


I defended John Huston's position. Can you imagine Charlot in Technicolor? But here, seeing Olcott and Gauntier in color but especially the Irish landscapes that largely share the spotlight with the actors, it blew me away. These tapes can be watched with a new eye.  Especially since they are presented in high definition (1080p). And then the colorization does not erase the original version. It is therefore possible to watch as one wishes.

Sorry for my English

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The Lad From Old Ireland

His Mother

For Ireland's Sake


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©2009 Michel Derrien