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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Addams Family’s Black and White Living Room Was Actually Pink

This is the original TV show Addams Family, of course - the movies and subsequent shows were in color.

The opening credits, set in the living room:

Reasons for the colorful set? Because the original Addams Family was filmed in black and white, the colors for some of the items simply didn’t matter – if they found an object that looked just right for the set but was colored baby blue, they could still use it. Another reason was the way that black-and-white film registers certain colors when shooting. In other black-and-white films, characters often had to wear strange shades of lipstick (like brown or green) to get the right shades to appear on black-and-white film. As such, many of the color choices on this strangely colorful Addams family set were probably deliberate.


  1. For the same reason Superman's cape and costume were different shades of brown in the early, black and white, episodes of the George Reeves "The Adventures of Superman". And Toody and Muldoon's patrol car 54 was red and green, not black and white, in "Car 54 Where are you?". (That was partly because the show shot on location in NY and the color scheme prevented people from mistaking the otherwise accurate replica for a real police cruiser.)

    1. I never heard about the Car 54 colors. The color schemes that produced different shade of gray had to have been the norm back then - we just didn't know about them. Or I didn't, anyway.

      You learn something new everyday if you aren't careful. ;-)

  2. A lot of times, color filteres were used--yellow would make a "blue" sky punch more and the clouds stand out (though sometimes a UV filter was used--you can tell, if you know what to look for); a green filter helped people look a little better--darkening the pinks of cheeks and lips to look more normal. Higher end movies had more money to make sure they used filters as appropriate; for tv, they might just stick one on to get through most of the show.

    Black and white film is peculiar in how "colors" register. Reds wind up seeming lighter in shade than what one expects. However, if what JD197 wrote about "Car 54" is correct, my guess is that they painted the "white" part of the car green, and the "black" part of the car red, and used a green filter--which would make the green appear white, and darken and reds and pinks, thus making the red part of the car look black. (But making the lips and cheeks of people look nice and "rosy."