The Inspector General
Systemic corruption goes for the laughs in “The Inspector General” (1949). Based on a story by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, the film features Danny Kaye as Georgi, part of a band of wandering peddlers who are none too scrupulous about their sales tactics. His experience as a grifter comes in handy when he’s mistaken for an Inspector General come to review a corrupt town where nepotism and bribery are how official business gets done. Kaye performs with his usual insouciant glee and, yes, there is singing. Gogol never had it so cheerful.
This film is presented in Technicolor, a patented series of film processes that result in deeply saturated color. First used in Hollywood in the 1920s, the process dominated the color film industry for decades, with notable titles including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” (1937), “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “Gone with the Wind” (1939).
Smithsonian InstituteLearn about the process used to restore and colorize black-and-white historical films from the Smithsonian Institute.
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