The paper investigates color as a form of atmosphere in 1950s Hollywood cinema. It represents an attempt to try and bridge the gap between the employment of the notion of atmosphere in the field of media studies, and its adoption as a useful term to account for certain precise stylistic choices on the part of the filmmakers. The article finds its main theoretical reference point in the theory of culture elaborated by British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, with his categories of “transitional object” and “potential space”. The discussion is structured according to a decreasing degree of tangibility. It starts with the atmospheric quality of haptic, almost graspable cinematic objects, to conclude with colored light and its ability to suffuse the environment. Such an articulation of the discourse aims at illuminating the different ways in which the use of color affected the whole range of transitional interplay between materiality and ambiance that characterizes the film experience.