There are three kinds of people in this world, as defined by the words “Moulin Rouge.” The first kind are typical average Joes with disposable income who say “yeah, Moulin Rouge…the next time we go to Paris let’s pay a visit…I hear it’s a lot of fun.” The second kind are people who saw the 18 year-old Baz Luhrman musical version with Nicole Kidman and Ewan MacGregor, in part because they’d heard of the dance number scored to “Lady Marmalade.” The third kind (and there are very few of us left) say “oh, wow….John Huston’s 1952 film with Jose Ferrer as Toulouse Lautrec, which is noteworthy for Oswald Morris‘s misty, rose-tinted, somewhat subdued color cinematography!”

The Technicolor execs back in Hollywood didn’t like Huston’s idea because the colors wouldn’t be strong and vivid enough. Huston wanted the film “to look as if Lautrec had painted it,” or words to that effect. Huston and Morris collaborated on two other color experiment films — Moby Dick (’56), for which they created a grayish black-and-white color, and Reflections in a Golden Eye (’67), which they tinted with a sickly mixture of pink and gold.