Roy Rogers starred in nineteen Trucolor features for Republic Pictures between 1947 and 1950. As early as 1952, some of these features were re-issued theatrically in black and white.
These films were badly handled over the years. The color elements were considered worthless to the studio during the years when they were syndicated to television. As a result, six of the nineteen are now lost in color.
Trucolor was the first widespread use of 35mm safety film for theatrical distribution. Unfortunately, the dyes were not stable so any surviving copies of these once colorful prints will now be completely faded. Here is a frame from an existing 1949 Trucolor cartoon, ROMANTIC RUMBOLIA.
While Trucolor had a limited palette, this example will give you an indication of how much is lost when only a poor quality black and white copy exists of a film originally designed for color.
Here is an updated status report on the six missing Roy Rogers Trucolor features.
Click each title to see the complete report of existing 35mm nitrate elements
at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Filmed August 22 - September 25, 1946
Released February 15, 1947
LOST: No 35mm color elements are known to exist.
Filmed April 25 to June 11, 1947
Released October 15, 1947
Red picture negative - reels 1,2
Blue picture negative - reels 3,5,6,7,8
Composite Master positive (color unknown) - reels 2,3,4,5,6,8
Track Negative - reels 1-8
Filmed July 22 to August 20, 1947
Released December 1, 1947
Blue master positive - reels 2,4,5
Track negative - reel 3