These are probably the earliest colour pictures of Audrey Hepburn, seen here in three different screen-test situations, playing an assistant in a draper’s shop. Although she had already appeared in a small number of films, these tests were taken before she went to Hollywood and rocketed to fame in Roman Holiday. Her personality shines through, even though we cannot hear her voice.
The multiple takes of each scene may seem identical at first, but they contain subtle variations in mood. The film was taken with Dufaychrome film stock, a British attempt at a Technicolor-like process, which gives these scenes an unusual sheen. The film for which these test takes were shot would never be made – perhaps the world wasn’t ready to see the future icon looking a bit green.