This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

Two-Color Kodachrome Test Shots No. III (1922)

Two-Color Kodachrome Test Shots No. III is, unsurprisingly, a compilation of test footage shots using Kodak’s two-color Kodachrome film, directed by the pioneering Kodak engineer John Capstaff, and featuring portraits of various silent era film actresses (Mae Murray, Mary Eaton, and Hope Hamilton) smiling sweetly for the camera (but in colour!).

A hundred years now they’ve been smiling. And may they smile on for at least a hundred more.



1. I originally watched this on youtube

2. But the version on vimeo is slightly longer.

3. And features some landscape footage as well as the portraits.

4. Which is nice.

5. Although this is test footage for a product called Kodachrome, it shouldn’t be confused with the more famous Kodachrome (the colour photograph film), which wasn’t released until 1935.

6. By which time this Kodachrome had been all but forgotten for some reason.

7. Also this film ties in neatly with a couple of the last few things I wrote about on here: The Toll Of The Sea (for impressive early use of colour); and the 1923 FA Cup line up film (for lingering filmed portraits of people).

8. There was also a nice few bits of portrait shots at the end of the Pram Race video too, so basically everything I’ve written about in the last six months or so is referenced here somehow.

9. But anyway if you want to read my observations about colour film and/or how much I like semi static portraits of people, please read the notes in those pieces.

10. Which may or may not be of interest to anyone but me.


Film Information

Title: Two-Color Kodachrome Test Shots No. III (1922)
Director: John Capstaff
Year: 1922
Duration: 7 minutes
Watch: youtube; vimeo