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Screen capture from Chartres Cathedral


  • 99.10.11 (Source: Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

Date produced: 1932


John V. Hansen




400 ft





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1932


"Studies in Blue and Chartres Cathedral, a cerulean cinema achievement, one 400 foot reel in full Kodacolor by John V. Hansen, ACL, shows what an artist's and a colorist's eye can select and record. While this film is in some sense a travel record, Mr. Hansen definitely made it a point to choose those scenes and vistas that revealed the open sky, whether seen in patches through the interlaced branches of trees or as a dim, distance haze, shimmering up from the tops of far off mountains. Here are deep blue skies overhead, merging into white mist at the horizon, apple green, azure, so many hues that it is a revelation to see that a mechanical process can so beautifully record nature. Mr. Hansen presents to the audience's eyes such a varying kaleidoscope of blending colors in his continuity that it is difficult to do the entire effect justice by mere description. But among his outstanding technical achievements are the recording of sunlit glades in a dense forest, especially effective cloud and sunset shots, distant and close shots and side lighting and backlighting in profusion. A further, outstanding triumph in color technique was shown in Mr. Hansen's recording of the vivid, glowing hues of the stained glass windows, taken from the interior of the cathedral at Chartres. Here, he succeeded in capturing that peculiar, deep dyed transparency found only in the colors of old stained glass. It is questionable if any other method of reproducing color can give such a real and beautiful rendition of stained windows as the motion picture. Certainly no color printing process can compete. The film was rounded out by some charming long shots of the carefully cultivated, rolling hills of Denmark." Movie Makers, Dec. 1932, 538, 560.


"Chartres Cathedral" section survives, but "Studies in Blue" is not known to be extant.


  • Chartres, France (Filming)
  • Denmark (Filming)






John V. Hansen Collection, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution


  • Screened by the Amateur Cinema Club of Hartford in 1933: Hartford, CT
  • Screened by the Atlantic Coast section of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers at the Hotel Pennsylvania on April 11, 1934: New York City, N.Y.

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