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5 Favorite B&W films?

James Steven Beverly

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I had an opportunity watch 'Rumble Fish'. I like the time lapse shots.

Could someone watched the movie, please brief what is special about 'Rumble Fish'?

I might missed many things while watching the movie.

Edited by Mathew Collins
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These are the ones that spring to mind immediately....


Citizen Kane

The man that wasn't there


The original "Fugitive" tv series (I know its not a movie but I grew up with it and loved it so much that its worth encapsulating it to this list)


Rumble Fish

Hitchcock's 'The Birds' is in technicolor.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I wrote this list a decade ago, so there are some old movies I'd probably add that I've seen since then.



Silent Era:
Broken Blossoms (1919)
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
The Last Laugh (1922)
Nosferatu (1922)
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sparrows (1926)
Metropolis (1927)
Sunrise (1927)
Wings (1927)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
All’s Quiet On the Western Front (1930)
Morocco (1930)
Dishonored (1931)
Scarlet Empress (1934)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)
Garden of Allah (1936)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Alexander Nevsky (1938)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Long Voyage Home (1940)
Rebecca (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Henry V (1944)
Jane Eyre (1944)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
Spellbound (1945)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Duel in the Sun (1946)
Great Expectations (1946)
A Matter of Life & Death (1946)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Black Narcissus (1947)
The Fugitive (1947)
Out of the Past (1947)
Hamlet (1948)
Oliver Twist (1948)
The Red Shoes (1948)
The Third Man (1949)
Rashomon (1950)
An American in Paris (1951)
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Othello (1952)
Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
Ugetsu Monogatari (1953)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Night of the Hunter (1955)
Pather Panchali (1955)
Aparajito (1956)
Lust for Life (1956)
Moby Dick (1956)
The Searchers (1956)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Throne of Blood (1957)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Vertigo (1958)
Apur Sansar (1959)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Spartacus (1960)
El Cid (1961)
One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
Yojimbo (1961)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Cleopatra (1963)
8 1/2 (1963)
Hud (1963)
The Trial (1963)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
I Am Cuba (1964)
Dr. Zhivago (1965)
Help! (1965)
Red Beard (1965)
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967)
In Cold Blood (1967)
Hell in the Pacific (1968)
Romeo & Juliet (1968)
2001 (1968)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Conformist (1970)
Patton (1970)
Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Devils (1971)
Fiddler On The Roof (1971)
The French Connection (1971)
Klute (1971)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Cabaret (1972)
Cries & Whispers (1972)
Deliverence (1972)
Fat City (1972)
The Godfather (1972)
Last Tango In Paris (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Paper Moon (1973)
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Chinatown (1974)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Lucky Lady (1974)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
The Sugerland Express (1974)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Day of the Locust (1975)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
All the President’s Men (1976)
Bound For Glory (1976)
Network (1976)
1900 (1976)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976)
Robin & Marion (1976)
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The Duelists (1977)
Eraserhead (1977)
The Exorcist II (1977)
Jesus of Nazarith (1977)
Days of Heaven (1978)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Interiors (1978)
Superman (1978)
Agatha (1979)
Alien (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Dracula (1979)
Manhattan (1979)
1941 (1979)
Tess (1979)
The Elephant Man (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Heaven’s Gate (1980)
Raging Bull (1980)
The Shining (1980)
Stardust Memories (1980)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Excalibur (1981)
Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reds (1981)
True Confessions (1981)
Blade Runner (1982)
Das Boot (1982)
E.T. (1982)
One From the Heart (1982)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Fanny & Alexander (1983)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Rumblefish (1983)
Wagner (1983)
Yentl (1983)
Amadeus (1984)
Dune (1984)
Greystoke (1984)
The Natural (1984)
1984 (1984)
Brazil (1985)
The Color Purple (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985)
Legend (1985)
Mishima (1985)
Out of Africa (1985)
Ran (1985)
Blue Velvet (1986)
The Mission (1986)
A Room With A View (1986)
Angel Heart (1987)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The Last Emperor (1987)
Red Sorghum (1987)
Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
Baron Munchausen (1988)
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Tucker (1988)
Born On the Fourth of July (1989)
Fat Man & Little Boy (1989)
Mountains of the Moon (1989)
Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
Dick Tracy (1990)
Ju Dou (1990)
The Godfather, Part III (1990)
Hamlet (Zefferilli) (1990)
Henry & June (1990)
Memphis Belle (1990)
Miller’s Crossing (1990)
The Sheltering Sky (1990)
Barton Fink (1991)
Bugsy (1991)
Delicatessen (1991)
The Doors (1991)
JFK (1991)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Terminator II (1991)
Tous Les Matins Du Monde (1991)
Batman Returns (1992)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Far & Away (1992)
1492 (1992)
Jennifer 8 (1992)
Howard’s End (1992)
Like Water For Chocolate (1992)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Little Buddha (1993)
The Piano (1993)
Remains of the Day (1993)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Wyatt Earp (1994)
Braveheart (1995)
Casino (1995)
City of Lost Children (1995)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Flamenco (1995)
A Little Princess (1995)
Nixon (1995)
Seven (1995)
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
The English Patient (1996)
Evita (1996)
Fargo (1996)
Michael Collins (1996)
Amistad (1997)
Character (1997)
Kundun (1997)
Titanic (1997)
A Civil Action (1998)
Dark City (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tango (1998)
The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Matrix (1999)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Snow Falling On Cedars (1999)
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I wrote this list a decade ago, so there are some old movies I'd probably add that I've seen since then.


Certainly. :) Perhaps you’ll update and revise it at one point in time. It’d be nice to have the noughties, too. Thank you. :)

Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos
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5 films is not much :) so just films from the top of my head and that I really like the Cinematography in them, but there are so many more!


- Ivan’s Childhood

- The Night of the Hunter

- Vivre Sa Vie

- Tokyo Story

- Europa

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5 favorites that I don't think I have seen on this thread that I can think of:


Nosferatu (technically on David's big list)


Murder, My Sweet (one of my favorite scenes of all time)


Sunset Boulevard


I was actually torn about leaving Sunset Boulevard and Alphaville out, great picks!

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the bride of frankenstein


foreign correspondent


the maltese falcon


all that money can buy AKA the devil and daniel webster


passage to marseille


the horn blows at midnight


air force


ivan groznii AKA ivan the terrible (parts I & II) so part II has color sequences at the end, so shot me.

it's my 2nd favorite movie of all time, the top favorite is in color, thus not to be mentioned here.


i walked with a zombie (the ending is pure visual poetry)


the seventh victim


how green was my valley


the third man


the man from planet x (I'm a sucker for misty moors at night)


the dam busters


sink the bismarck!




inherit the wind (lots of deep focus shots in the court room & gave the world 'devo'.)


suddenly last summer


cranes are flying


dr. strangelove


the loved one


(my all time favorite double bill consisted of the last two titles, sat through them twice if not thrice)


the train


sword of doom


stranger than paradise


...there should be a few groups of five up there.



in TohoScope,



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First 5:


The Grapes of Wrath

The Third Man

Night of the Hunter



Second 5:

Citizen Kane

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Paths of Glory

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Last Year at Marienbad



Honestly, there are so many wonderful examples of B&W cinematography out there, but few pushed the boundaries and led to such sublime visual moments.

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  • 4 years later...

I love black and white cinematography so much, it's impossible to choose... just want to mention some today, in case I forget and return to this thread 20 years from now:

La Dolce Vita (I had a wonderful opportunity this winter to watch it on a big screen, the experience was fantastic)
8 1/2
The Maltese Falcon
The Third Man

These seem to be the most often mentioned, so here are some less common titles:

Spellbound (1945)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
The Cranes Are Flying (1957) - a Russian masterpiece, Cannes Palme d'Or winner which I am not sure to watch again, so heart-rending. As most great films are.




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Random Harvest

The Third Man


The Elephant Man

To Have and Have Not


In the 'very fond of' or 'very interesting' category but not quite my favourites:

Brief Encounter (great cinematography though)

Great Expectations


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There aren't many visual experiences that can rival viewing a well-projected excellent print of a well-shot B & W film (IMO).

I viewed a fresh print of The Sleeping Car Murders (dp Jean Tournuer) perhaps 10 or 15 years ago and will never forget shots of black sedans that looked like a combination of that zero light reflecting paint and bowls of mercury. Which doesn't make sense, but that is the impression those black sedans left. 


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I was so looking forward to seeing again after many years The Elephant Man at my local cinema.   And in b/w Scope , unusual, and hopefully the same ratio in its digital release. I passed the cinema ad hoarding many times, then the lockdown suddenly cancelled everything! At the time it was originally screened I can still remember clearly the experience, maybe more likely with monochrome films, as one is more appreciative perhaps of the richness of the actual image.  As it's more abstract than colour?  The same happened with Schindler's List when I first saw it in Leicester Square, London. Although strangely they screened a print that looked hurriedly spliced together: real b/w plus the occasional colour parts, the colour prints starting as "b/w" which somewhat spoiled the effect.   However, still an incredible experience. 

Edited by Doug Palmer
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