In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to
attach to each film a soundtrack of speech, music and
sound effects synchronized with the action on the
screen. These sound films were initially distinguished
by calling them talking pictures, or talkies.
The next major step in the development of cinema
was the introduction of color. While the addition of
sound to film revolutionized the medium, quickly
driving out silent movies, color was adopted more
gradually. The public was relatively indifferent to
color photography as opposed to black-and-white.
But as color processes improved and became as
affordable as black-and-white film, more and more
movies were filmed in color after the end of World
War II, as the industry in America came to view color
an essential to attracting audiences in its competition
with television, which remained a black-and-white
medium until the mid-60s. By the end of the 1960s,
color had become the norm for filmmakers.