Black and White Movies
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
November 7, 2012
Filed Under Movies
Contributed by Info Guru Bryce Hammons
Films take us away from reality as we lose ourselves in the fiction they create.
The best meld varying forms of excellence – acting, directing, cinematography, sound, and writing – to create worlds we can’t help but fall in love with. In the realm of color sometimes we forget films from a simpler time: black and white movies.
Many of our picks below rank as some of the greatest films ever made. And since there will be varying opinions, we added the “honorable mention” section at the end. So, without any further delay, let’s take a look at 10 of the true B & W classics of our time.
10. Dr. Strangelove
Stanley Kubrick has worked on some of the greatest films of all time: A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Paths of Glory, Barry Lyndon, and many more. Dr. Strangelove was his black comedy geared taking a satirical look at the atomic bomb and our penchant for war. It starred Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, and Sterling Hayden and has gone down as one of the greatest black comedies ever made.
9. To Kill a Mockingbird
One of the classics – in book and film – To Kill a Mockingbird tackled the racial issues of the day with a deft hand. When an African American man is accused of raping a white woman in town, Atticus Finch – played by Gregory Peck – takes the case, against all odds. Peck won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a man who must stand up against bigotry and violence in his small Southern town as well as learn to take care of his own family.
8. Schindler’s List
A harrowing look at goodness against an all-encompassing evil, Steven Spielberg’s masterwork was a disturbing and haunting film about the Holocaust. With Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Kingsley, Spielberg took a masterful script by Steven Zaillian and turned it into one of the best (and most harrowing) films ever made on the subject of war, genocide, and hope/goodness/strength in the face of certain death.
Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. He was to become an influential director of some of the more memorable silent (and talking) films of the time. With a career that was derailed too soon (due to the decline of the film industry as well as his penchant for mistreating actors and actresses) Metropolis was his masterpiece. It was a science fiction flick made during the silent era and foretold a time where machines would dominate men.
6. Night of the Hunter
A stunning film, Night of the Hunter tells the tale of Robert Mitchum as a psychotic preacher who stalks a boy and his sister because he thinks they know where stolen money is hidden. It is powerful, frightening, well-shot, and has the rare ability to bring you into this fearsome world and turn your knuckles white.
5. Touch of Evil
Orson Welles was a genius in almost every facet of the filmmaking process. With Touch of Evil, he starred, directed, and wrote what was to become one of the greatest films ever made; the tracking shot starting the film is worth the price of admission alone. And while some of the items may appear relatively dated by today’s audience’s standards, the writing, directing, and acting were all top notch (and still are).
4. Raging Bull
With Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta, Martin Scorsese directing, and the stunning cinematography by Michael Chapman, Raging Bull does down as one of Scorsese’s greatest films. And that’s saying something.
Akira Kurosawa was a master storyteller and Rashomon was a film that spawned countless imitators with its interesting and unique story structure which saw the main story line unfold from differing perspectives. And each different perspective told a different account of what actually happened; the film has been imitated, copied, and rehashed ever since.
Humphrey Bogart. Casablanca. Classic. Enough said.
1. Citizen Cane
Like we said above, Orson Welles was somewhat of a genius. At the tender age of 26, Welles made his name on this ambitious film based “loosely” on the newspaper magnate William Randolph Heart. It’s found its way onto multiple different top ten lists over the years becoming somewhat of a consensus number one or two film of all time.
It – along with many of the other mentions – are true classics. They bring together great writing, directing, cinematography, and acting to create an utterly believable tapestry for movie lovers around the world. Take a look at some of these greats and you may just come away with a better appreciation for film and all that goes into making movie magic.
Black and white movies honorable mention: Sunset Boulevard, Young Frankenstein, Manhattan, The Grapes of Wrath, On the Waterfront, The Third Man, Seven Samurai, 12 Angry Men, M, Paths of Glory, Night of the Living Dead, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Haunting, The Artist, Psycho, The Bicycle Thief, and many, many more.
Blogcritics.org: The 20 Greatest Black-and-White Films Ever Made.
Huffington Post: 10 Black & White Movies for People Who Won’t Watch Black & White Movies.