List of movies featuring both black and white as well as color scenes:

  1. Pleasantville (1998)
  2. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  3. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  4. Winter’s Bone (2010)
  5. Oppenheimer (2023)

What was the first movie to feature both black and white as well as color scenes?

  • 53
    Whattabbout wizard of oz? Though it wasn't the first to do that either Jul 21, 2023 at 8:28
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    If you do the Dark Side of the Moon thing, Money starts to play when it turns to color.
    – Mazura
    Jul 21, 2023 at 16:50
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    @blobbymcblobby that was my first thought as well, although calling it "The Wizard of Oz (1939)" highlights that it came out almost sixty years before the earliest movie on the above list.
    – Michael
    Jul 22, 2023 at 10:07
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    @blobbymcblobby Even though many people remember it as being in black and white, the Kansas portions of The Wizard of Oz were actually filmed in sepia tones.
    – trlkly
    Jul 23, 2023 at 1:40
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    FWIW: The first chapter of the book, The Wizard of Oz, is quite explicit: Everything in Dorothy's home is gray. The sky, the dust, the house, the grass,... Even the eyes of her aunt and uncle are as gray as the the clothes they wear. The only exception is her little dog, who is jet black, with sparkling eyes. Then, when Dorothy is transported to Oz, the first thing she sees is an astonishingly beautiful garden. The book is not so explicit about the colors of the garden, but how could an astonishingly beautiful garden not be colorful? Jul 23, 2023 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


If you include early hand colored scenes, then it might be 1916 Joan the Woman.

Black and white silent feature with colored scenes (burning at the stake)

This was the first film to use the Handschiegl Color Process (billed as the "Wyckoff-DeMille Process") for certain scenes. This process is especially noticeable in the scene of Joan burning at the stake, the use of red and yellow gave this a heightened dramatic effect.

The process was invented for this feature and was used for further features through into the 1920s.

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(With technicolor's second full-length color feature release in 1922, that color film process became very popular and the number of technicolor inserts or parts in black and white features increased dramatically after this, replacing the hand-colored processes)

The question is problematic because due to the laborious nature of early colourization processes and that of filming in color being in its infancy, filming in black and white, with colored parts or inserts, was actually incredibly common throughout the late teens, 1920s and 1930s. It's considered unusual today but at one point in early cinema, also coinciding with the introduction of other new technology like talkies, it was incredibly common.

Have a look at these for example:


With this list, you might note the earliest (hand) colored scenes are listed for The Passion Play (Vie et Passion du Christ), released in 1903; but I had not included this as it was never released as a single feature, only as a series of shorts.


In his book Silent Cinema: An Introduction, Paolo Cherchi Usai writes that about 85% of silent films featured at least some color tinting and toning. Tinted footage could be achieved by either using a chemical process after the scene was shot or by using pre-dyed film stock.

The worlds longest narrative film at the time of its release, the Australian 1906 feature, The Story of the Kelly Gang, contains a red tinted sequence for a house fire scene. This was not listed as a feature with color, however.

  • 2
    The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) added a red tint to the film to depict the fire: aso.gov.au/titles/features/story-kelly-gang/clip2
    – Hugh
    Jul 22, 2023 at 6:57
  • Thats interesting, aside from that page I had not come across any other reference to the tinting. Jul 22, 2023 at 9:52
  • I added it for completeness, hopefully Jul 22, 2023 at 11:33
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    I wouldn't consider tinting to be color. You're not getting a greater variety of shades, you're just substituting one color for white.
    – Mark
    Jul 23, 2023 at 19:56

Even if one only counts scenes which were filmed in color, feature films which included a few color scenes but were otherwise filmed in black and white were common long before full-color feature films. Examples of such films from the mid 1920s include Phantom of the Opera, Ben Hur, King of Kings, all of which feature a few minutes of two-strip technicolor.

Trying to date hand-colored films may be more difficult, since many films have been hand colored years or decades after they were shot, and many hand-colored prints of films have been lost to the ages. If the oldest hand-colored copies of a 1904 film that are known to exist date from the 1980s, and it's believed some copies of the film would have been colored in 1904 but there is no surviving record of what they looked like, should that be considered a hand-colored film from 1904, or from the 1980s?

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