Full Color Berlin Looked Great In 1936—Except for the Bloody Red Flags

Perhaps it is because I'm used to see it in black and white, but it's fascinating to see how incredibly modern Berlin looks in this color film from 1936. It was a beautiful city. Except for the bloody Nazis.

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You may want to turn off the music, as it made me want to invade Poland.

The crisp quality and natural look of the picture is impressive, considering that color films were cumbersome and offered quite imperfect results at the time. Keep in mind that, by 1947, only 12 percent of American films were color. And it wasn't until the 50s, with the advent of television, that color had a major push in the film industry. Still, by the middle of that decade, only 50 percent of Hollywood films were in color.

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Modern color didn't come to life until 1952, when Kodak introduced an advanced version of their 35mm Eastmancolor film. This was the first economical color system that used a single strip of film instead of the multiple-strip methods available at the time. It replaced the three-strip Technicolor system that was the most popular at the time but it was as cost three times as much money as black-and-white films. [Thanks Karl!]

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DISCUSSION

Yeah, 1930s Berlin was nifty except for all the 'effing Nazis goose-stepping around. I speak no German but I'm pretty sure I caught the work "Juden" in the narration; that can't be good. At the same time this movie was made, this was also going on (picture).

Twice in the 20th century Germany's lust for conquest plunged the entire world into brutal wars that cost almost 100 million lives. I'm not a fan.