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12 Movies with the Best Color Cinematography of All-Time

These days, major cinematographers like Emmanuel Lubezki and Ed Lachman are as much of a draw to serious moviegoers as the directors they work with. Currently, Roger Deakins’ masterful work in the visually stunning “Blade Runner 2049” has led to one recurring question above all: Will Roger finally win the Oscar? Among the more striking aspects of Deakins’ accomplishment is the use of color: Virtually every shot has a different palette.

It feels like something we’ve never seen before, but have we? How does today’s best cinematography stack up against the great color films of the past?

Since the early 20th century, there have always been experimentations with color cinematography, but it wasn’t until the late ’30s, with the massive success of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the Wind,” that color films became a staple of international cinema.  With films stretching from 1947 to 2011, from masters like Jack Cardiff to Lubezki, here are our picks for the 12 movies with the best color cinematography of all-time.

“Black Narcissus” (1947)

Of the great studio era cinematographers, British DP Jack Cardiff was rare in the sense that his work improved in the transition to color after years of working in black and white. “Painterly” is an over-used word in describing the work of cinematographers, but with Cardiff it is 100% apt. The self-taught artist used the great masters, like Vermeer, as his model in creating his light on the sound stage.

Cardiff’s color palette was far more grounded compared to his Hollywood contemporaries, who were also using Technicolor, but his films still had an otherworldly quality in their muted beauty. Never was this been more true than on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “Black Narcissus,” where he created an almost mystical mountain world on a studio back lot. The story of

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