The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. 1936. USA. Directed by Henry Hathaway. 102 min.
Screenplay by Grover Jones, based on the novel by John Fox, Jr. With Sylvia Sidney, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda, Beulah Bondi. This underappreciated Western melodrama—the first three-strip Technicolor feature to be filmed outdoors—centers on the blossoming romance between Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney during a violent family feud. Robert C. Bruce and W. Howard Greene’s cinematography is truly a marvel, capturing the browns, greens, and deep sky blues of the Northern California forest, and proving to Hollywood studios and audiences that Technicolor had achieved a major breakthrough with its new three-strip process. “Color has traveled far since first it exploded on the screen last June in Becky Sharp,” The New York Times critic Frank Nugent wrote. “Technicolor is not restricted to a studio's stages, but can record quite handsomely the rich, natural coloring of the outside world and whatever dramatic action may be encountered in it.” 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art; courtesy NBC Universal.