Centenary Of Indian Cinema

Shammi Kapoor’s ‘Junglee’ Brought A Revolution In Indian Cinema with Eastmancolor

Technicolor was a costly matter mostly because the prints have to be developed in London but the quality of rich color was stunning and impressive hence mostly big-budget films made by top filmmakers were made in Technicolor but every filmmaker could effort the cost of Technicolor hence an American company Eastman Kodak launched Eastmancolor that created sensations in color films in Indian cinema.

The highlight of Eastmancolor over Technicolor is that unlike Technicolor, Eastmancolor was not only low priced but was rich in colors and quality. The most important feature of Eastmancolor was that Eastmancolor films could be processed in India. Hence the production cost was almost slashed to half of Technicolor.

S. Mukherjee’s film Hum Hindustani (1961) was India’s First Eastmancolor film! The success of Hum Hindustani encouraged S Mukherjee, Brother Subodh Mukerjee‘s to make Junglee (1961) staring Shammi Kapoor! The film’s song Yahoo..is still a huge hit!

Junglee was shot in the bewitching valley of Kashmir and Subodh Mukerjee captured the captivating beauty and majesty of Kashmir outstandingly in the Eastmancolor! The nation was jolted by the stunning and spellbinding Eastmancolor technology!

Since Eastmancolor has moderately priced hence big producers like F.C. Mehra made the film Professor and A.G. Nadiadwala made Taj Mahal. Both released in 1963 were a huge success. Later Shakti Samanta made Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964 and was instant hit thus setting an example for other filmmakers to follow the trend. By the 70’s , Eastmancolor became common and almost every Bollywood film was made in Eastmancolor.

Besides, Eastmancolor, a few more cheap quality colors were used they included Gevacolor and Fujicolor. These two colors were used by B- and C-grade filmmaker like Hatim Tai (1956) or Ranga Kush (1975).

Later in 1981, Muzaffar Ali‘s Umrao Jaan used Fuji Color quite brilliantly and in 1983 Filmmaker Sawan Kumar used a High-quality version of Fuji Color in the film Souten and the results were fantastic.

Though Eastmancolor was accepted by a major section of film fraternity yet Bollywood Monarchs like Raj Kapoor, V Shantaram, Ramesh Sippy, etc. choose Technicolor while making big-budget films like Raj Kapoor‘s Sangam, Mera Naam Joker, etc Even in the 70’s Ramesh Sippy shot Sholay in Technicolor. The reason being the colors produced on Technicolor were vivid, rich and vibrant, Secondly, Technicolor prints had the property of being preserved for a longer time. Even today, Mughal-E-Azam prints are well maintained while Eastmancolor emulsions made of cyan, yellow, and magenta layers begin to fade.

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