More Coloured Still Images.

It hasn’t been long since we published the last item containing colourised / colorized old black and white images, in fact it was only January. However, our friend from Canada, Paul Mitchell, has done a lot of these in the past and here are over 100 more new examples, many especially created for the Chumps website. Please take another look at this fairly new medium that is becoming increasingly impressive. We thought it a good idea to get many into one place for ease of viewing, and note that it is very likely that there will be more of this type of item in the future.

As I am sure you will agree, the boys are magicians, and not just in this lovely image from ‘The Hollywood Review of 1929’ (which, unsurprisingly, was released in 1929)

You may have previously read much of what follows, but we’ve changed the odd word here and there to keep you on your toes, plus we’ve got to get Mikes disclaimers in!

Mike: Okay, I know these aren’t for everyone, however, I make no apologies for sharing them. I do feel that the availability of professionally coloured images from the films we love so well can be looked upon in two ways. Some will see colouring original images as unnecessary or worse, but I would encourage all to welcome them as being done for the right reasons; for the love of Stan and Babe’s fine work, to share amongst enthusiasts and to hopefully enhance the images to a point that occasionally, more detail can be visible. Besides, the medium is here, so embrace them! They might even open up our wonderful world of Laurel and Hardy to a new audience!

If you are uncomfortable with original images being ‘manipulated’, please always view coloured versions with the axiom in mind that ‘these are supplements, not substitutes’ and you won’t go far wrong. Besides, it does appear that rarely seen, and even previously unseen images are getting this type of treatment, and that surely can’t be a bad thing.

I’ve previously stated that personally, I’m not keen on the ‘Colorized’ films from the 1980’s and I know that the Beau Chumps Tent members that helped with an earlier blog – Laurel and Hardy In Colour! – agree with me. However, minor details occasionally become visible that weren’t clear before, or perhaps had disappeared as second and event third-generation prints were made.

An example of this can be seen in the image from Hog Wild below, Have you ever noticed that members of the crew are reflected in the centre window? You have? Well I certainly hadn’t!

This, from Hog Wild, clearly shows the reflection. As he mentions, Mike certainly hadn’t noticed this before (and lets face it, that is the sort of stuff he looks for…) and perhaps this wouldn’t have been as visible if not restored for the colouring process.

In case you hadn’t seen them, here’s a link to an earlier item with over 100 colour images of the boys, many of which are quite superb. We’ve tried to date and detail each image where possible, and to do this the wonderful publications of Richard W Bann, Randy Skretvedt and William K Everson were used as reference material. The odd website here and there has also been very useful, especially that of David Lord Heath – which is nothing short of astounding in its content.

Despite every best effort though, the odd faux pas will inevitably creep in – those who read Mike’s regular email updates and bulletins will know all about his remarkable proclivity in the ‘typo’ department – and for that, sincere apologies. If you do spot Another Fine Mess, or perhaps something that is Wrong again or even if you think we’re On The Wrong Trek, please don’t be shy and send your thoughts to Mike at beauchumpssunderland@gmail.com or leave a message in the comments box at the end of the article.

Anyway, enough waffling, lets get onto the images. We’ve split them into three completely unrelated but roughly equal groups so you can take them in with a tea-break (or similar) in between each… One or two might even have crept in more than once, but we don’t suppose you’ll mind!

And here’s the second one; As mentioned, these are all from the desktop of our friend Paul Mitchell. There are others doing this, but none that are so prolific, consistent or are prepared to create so many exclusives specifically for us.

Paul: My colorings are done using Photoshop and my mouse and a lot of years of experience looking at colors. There are now colorizing services available whereby anyone can upload to the service and then the finished coloring is returned. These don’t look great and at a glance you can tell which service it came from.

Paul thought that in talking about coloured photos it would be good to mention this so that people know the difference.

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Great stuff, as we are sure you will agree!

Shortly after the three galleries were built, another splendid example landed from Paul. From Swiss Miss, this is really good, especially when you consider Paul has had to colour what was almost certainly a black and white rear projection! As an aside, did you know that this scene was compromised by cuts insisted on by Hal Roach? As originally conceived, the piano would have had a bomb in it that was triggered when a specific key was pressed. The bomb plot was removed though, making the repeated clashes with the keyboard more or less redundant. Odd that, but still a great – and surreal – scene; what was ‘Ethel’ doing in the Swiss Alps anyway?

Well, that’s all there is, there isn’t any more. That’s our story and were stuck with it … In it … Well, that’s not strictly true as there are many more that we didn’t use in this item. All of those used here are Paul’s work, but as long as he keeps lining ’em up, we’ll keep sharing em, along with many others that are out there.

We hope that you have enjoyed Mikes brief second look at this relatively new addition to the Laurel and Hardy world and our sincere thanks to Paul for all or his hard work. We would really like to hear your thoughts – good or otherwise – on these and will of course ensure Paul hears them. So please feel free to leave any observations or comments in the box below. All entries will receive a response on this page.

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