A Vibrant Return for Becky Sharp (1935)

May 21, 2019 | By

Way, way back when I was in film school, TVO’s Elwy Yost had a short segment showing a clip from Becky Sharp, the first feature film shot in Technicolor’s 3-strip format.

Following the 1955 Jane Russell-Jeff Chandler drama Foxfire, the cumbersome 3-strip format was superseded with a single strip of film that recorded all three colours – red, blue, and green.



After UCLA’s initial restoration of Becky Sharp debuted in a limited release around 1992, the film kind of vanished, never to appear on home video until beat up copies emerged on tape and DVD, all either taken from B&W sources, or the 2-colour Cinecolor format, which may or may not have been the 85 or 67 min. version.

10 years ago, I reviewed the Alpha DVD, which looked & sounded ugly, but it was the best available source, and it took another decade until the new restoration team scoured the globe looking for better sources to assemble a better version, so I’ve overhauled the prior review substantively. Still waiting for its antecedent to materialize on Blu – La Cucaracha (1934), the first 3-strip live action short – but apparently another rarity, the 3-strip musical The Dancing Pirate (1936) was recently discovered in good shape, with a restoration currently underway.

Now if only a 2-strip print of MGM’s Rogue Song (1930) would materialize…

Coming next: the very odd political comedy-thriller The Big Fix (1978), new on Blu from Twilight Time.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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