The Gulf Between (lost early color silent film; 1917)

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A surviving frame of the film.

Status: Lost

The Gulf Between was the very first motion picture to be shot in Technicolor. The system used to produce this film is called Process 1, which uses an additive two-color system, in which a prism beam-splitter behind the camera lens exposed two consecutive frames of a single strip of black-and-white negative film simultaneously, one behind a red filter, the other behind a green filter.

Because two frames were being exposed at the same time, the film had to be photographed and projected at twice the normal speed. Exhibition required a special projector with two apertures (one with a red filter and the other with a green filter), two lenses, and an adjustable prism that aligned the two images on the screen. Eventually, because of the difficult process of projecting, and after a wide screening, a decision was made to use a different system (Process 2).[1][2]


A little girl named Marie Farrell is believed lost and dead by drowning to due to her nurse's neglect. She is alive, however, and stumbles upon a ship owned by a smuggler named Captain Flagg. Flagg takes her in as his own, while Marie's original parents adopt a young boy to forget the loss of their daughter.

Marie grows up without remembering a single thing from her life with her biological parents. The boy Marie's parents adopted is moved to Mayport, and his parents attempt to get him and a "society" girl together. An older Marie is brought into the care of her adopted father's sister, due to Flagg's belief that Marie deserves the care of an older, caring woman.

Marie meets the adopted boy, now a young man named Richard Farrell, and the two fall in love. Marie's parents attempt to break them up, but thanks to Flagg, Marie and Richard get married. The newlyweds, Flagg, and the parents have a meeting where Flagg realizes that Marie is the biological daughter of the Farrells. The parents and daughter reunite, and Marie and Richard's honeymoon is spent on Flagg's ship.[3]


To this day, only some very short fragments of the film exist at the George Eastman House. Even then, the fragments are not accessible online.[4]