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Sinful to Color Old Movies, Woody Allen Tells Senators

May 12, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Woody Allen, Ginger Rogers, Sidney Pollack and Milos Forman said today it is sinful and immoral to turn old black and white movies into color without permission.

In an appearance before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, the entertainers appealed to Congress for legislation against a new computer-generated technology that adds color to old films. Among those they said are being drastically altered are the Humphrey Bogart classics "Casablanca" and "The Maltese Falcon."

"If a movie director wishes his film to be colorized, then I say by all means let him color it," said Allen, who won the best director Oscar this year for "Hannah and Her Sisters."

"If he prefers it to remain in black and white, then it is sinful to force him to change it."

Rogers said the addition of color to some of her old films changed them radically.

"I would like to tell you how it feels, as an actor, to see yourself painted up like a birthday cake on the television screen," she said. "It feels terrible. It hurts."

An official of a firm specializing in colorization said Americans want old films colored.

"There is a great deal of elitism involved here, the intellectual intent of a few to impose their own views and tastes on millions of Americans," said Buddy Young of Color Systems Technology Inc.

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