Thanks to ongoing progress in technology and picture resolution, modern films are more vivid than ever before. Yet it’s matter to be said for movies shot in black and white. For proof, look no further than Stanley Kubrick’s Path of Glory, which was deemed “culturally, historically or esthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and chosen for preservation in the US National Film Registry.
Along similar lines, plenty of Old Hollywood directors still opted for black and white even when Technicolor took the industry by storm.
We dug into IMDb’s broad database to determine the best black and white films of all time, which yielded a list spanning genres, decades, and nationalities. However, including black and white films with sparse color sequences (e.g., “Schindler’s List”).
What was the first black and white movie?
Roundhay Garden Scene (14 October 1888)
The world’s earliest surviving motion-picture film, which shows actual consecutive action. It’s a short film directed by Louis Le Prince ( a French inventor).
What was the last black and white film to win an Oscar?
It’s Schindler’s List, released in 1993. It won the best picture at the 66th Academy Awards.
Does Netflix have black and white movies?
The black-and-white movies have created a unique aesthetic of their own over time. Netflix is keen to sustain and update an ingenious list of black and white movies. It would be good if you had a Netflix subscription to access the list of really good black-and-white movies available to stream right now on Netflix.
Counting down from #10, here are the best black and white films of all time.
10. SEVEN SAMURAI (1954)
|Directed by:||Akira Kurosawa|
|Produced by:||Sōjirō Motoki|
|Genre:||Action, Adventure, Drama|
|Release date:||April 26, 1954|
|Starring:||Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima|
|Box office:||$2.3 million|
Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese epic samurai drama film edited, co-written, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The story was carried out in 1586 during the Sengoku term of Japanese history. It pursues a village of farmers who hire seven rōnin (masterless samurai) to battle bandits who will return to steal their crops.
A veteran samurai, who has dropped on hard times, responds to a village’s request for security from bandits. He accumulates six other samurai to help him, and they teach the villagers how to defend themselves, and they provide the samurai with three small lunches a day. The film was the most outrageous film ever made in Japan. The film was the second-highest-grossing domestic film in Japan in 1954. Many reviews compared the film to westerns.
|Directed by:||Pablo Berger|
|Produced by:||Jérôme Vidal, Ibon Cormenzana, Pablo Berger|
|Release date:||September 28, 2012|
|Starring:||Maribel Verdú, Emilio Gavira, Daniel Giménez Cacho|
|Production Companies:||Arcadia Motion Pictures, Sisifo Films AIE, Nix Films|
Blancanieves is a Spanish black-and-white silent drama written and directed by Pablo Berger. It is based on the 1812 Snow White (a fairy tale) spell by the Brothers Grimm. It had no fortune in Hollywood, not only because of The Artist’s seniority but also the intricacy of its focus, which moves beyond an indulgent look at traditional folklore. Pablo recalls it as a “love note to European mute cinema.” The prestigious Hispanist Stanley Payne states that all of Spain’s stereotypes held by that outside of the Spanish-speaking world fall into two paradigms: the Black Legend and romantic Spain.
8. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
|Directed by:||William Wyler|
|Produced by:||Samuel Goldwyn|
|Genre:||Drama, Romance, War|
|Release date:||November 21, 1946|
|Starring:||Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March|
|Production Companies:||Samuel Goldwyn Productions|
|Box office:||$23.7 million|
This ensemble movie was released just after World War II ceased in 1946—and it’s the type of cinema that should be on everyone’s movie night list. It is referred to as World War II movies. It centers around three veterans from different military branches who return to their mutual hometown after the second world war.
As they are reinstated to their former lives, they’re charged with making sense of what they proficient overseas and why their loved ones and the surrounding public don’t seem to understand their points of view. Harold Russell, an actual veteran who became disabled during World War II, was hired to play Homer’s character, even though he had no experience acting. His emotional performance won him an Oscar. It was the highest-ranking film in both the US and the UK and is the sixth most-engaged film of all time in the UK, with over 20 million tickets sold.
7. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
|Directed by:||Orson Welles|
|Produced by:||Orson Welles|
|Release date:||September 5, 1941|
|Starring:||Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore|
|Production Companies:||Mercury Productions|
|Box office:||$1.6 million|
Orson Welles hit it out of his debut film’s efforts, often referred to as the best American film ever made. He produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in this epic review of John Foster Kane’s life.
A group of reporters is trying to decode the last word ever uttered by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire journal tycoon: “Rosebud.” The film starts with a newsreel describing Kane’s life for the people, and then from there, we have revealed flashbacks from Foster Kane’s life. As the reporters interrogate further, the viewers perceive a display of an enchanting man’s rise to fame and how he finally fell off the top of the world.
6. PATHS OF GLORY (1957)
|Directed by:||Stanley Kubrick|
|Produced by:||James B. Harris|
|Release date:||December 25, 1957|
|Starring:||Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou|
|Production Companies:||Bryna Productions|
Paths Of Glory is a masterpiece, without a doubt. Usually, a masterpiece is the pinnacle of a director’s career. But whenever we talk about Stanley Kubrick, we talk about a true genius. We’ve seen a lot of war movies in our life. When we first saw this movie, we didn’t expect it to touch us to an extent. After all, it was Kubrick’s first movie, but it fascinated us completely.
This is not only one of the greatest war films ever made, not only one of the greatest black & white films ever made, but it is also simply one of the greatest films ever made bar none. The film screams integrity in every way. In 1992, the film was considered “culturally, aesthetically significant and historically” by the Library of Congress and selected for retention in the United States National Film Registry.
5. DR. STRANGELOVE
|Directed by:||Stanley Kubrick|
|Produced by:||Stanley Kubrick|
|Release date:||January 29, 1964|
|Starring:||Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden|
|Production Companies:||Hawk Films|
|Box office:||$9.4 million|
Stanley Kubrick’s film, Dr. Strangelove, explores the story of an evil general who paves the way for nuclear slaughter in his distressful room filled with political elites and military leaders. This film, a real-life theme, makes us rethink problems from various angles and highlight our ignorance.
When nuclear destruction was a very genuine and possible issue during the height of paranoia, the movie makes us rethink the situation from an entirely different perspective. In this hot-line suspense comedy, nuclear war’s idiocy is satirized using the backdrop of an impending Cold War.
4. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
|Directed by:||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by:||Branko Lustig, Gerald R. Molen, Steven Spielberg|
|Genre:||Biography, Drama, History|
|Release date:||December 15, 1993|
|Starring:||Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley|
|Production Companies:||Amblin Entertainment|
|Box office:||$321.3 million|
Steven Spielberg infuses his signature cinematographic talent into Schindler’s List, harrowing research of the experience of the Holocaust. Filmed in black-and-white for respectful and elegant purposes, the haunting magnum is based on a real story, giving a view into humanity’s destructive power and the human spirit’s strength.
Focusing on a German business person in Poland, who staffs his factory with Jews to protect them, the movie explores brutal themes with deeply emotional poignancy. It was selected for twelve Academy Awards, winning seven, including Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won numerous other awards. The American Film Institute placed Schindler’s List 8th on its record of the 100 best American movies of all time.
3. CASABLANCA (1942)
|Directed by:||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by:||Hal B. Wallis|
|Genre:||Drama, Romance, War|
|Release date:||January 23, 1943|
|Starring:||Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid|
|Production Companies:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Budget:||$878,000- $1 million|
|Box office:||$3.7–6.9 million|
Again, this may be a film you’ve known for at least a while. The old line (“Look at yourself here, children”) remains one of the most popular traditions. But did you know that the leading stars Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, didn’t believe that this film would be as successful as it turned out to be? Starring Ingrid and Humphrey Bogart, it is a romantic and interesting story set in Casablanca, Morocco, during World War II.
Despite being produced in the 1940s, it is one of the most unplanned romantic dramas in history and tells the story of an American guest who meets his ex-girlfriend. This film contains the beauty of life that will live with you long after the credits roll.
2. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
|Directed by:||Frank Capra|
|Produced by:||Frank Capra|
|Genre:||Drama, Family, Fantasy|
|Release date:||December 20, 1946|
|Starring:||James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore|
|Production Companies:||Liberty Films|
|Box office:||$3.18 million|
Wonderful Life is an American Christmas comedy film directed and produced by Frank Capra in 1946, based on the story and pamphlet “Great Gift,” self-published by Philip Van Doren Stern 1943. It has a star named Jimmy Stewart as an aspiring adventurous artist traveling the world away from his small town and his loved ones.
When things don’t go as planned, he thinks he failed – until God intervened to teach him otherwise. We recommend you to watch this movie for the famous dance styles and the heart-touching end.
|Directed by:||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Produced by:||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Genre:||Horror, Mystery, Thriller|
|Release date:||September 8, 1960|
|Starring:||Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles|
|Production Companies:||Shamley Productions|
|Box office:||$50 million|
Many Alfred Hitchcock movies are as entertaining as before the first survey, but Psycho is still the most affected among the audience. Stars Anthony Perkins and Norman Bates live in a poor house with their mother and see the motel he runs.
The motel is not looking at the visitor’s transactions, as the country was built to take travelers out of the building. But one stormy night, after Janet Leigh’s character explored Phoenix’s quick escape. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is probably the most terrifying and well-known feature in the series. Monochrome ferrets produce dark and sad tones.
Over the last decades, black and white movies have been somewhat relinquished. Yet when it reaches up to cinematography’s history, the medium encapsulates numerous masterpieces and defines the movie genre today. From frightful to science fiction, drama to romance, monochrome traits have granted us some of cinema’s finest moments. That’s why we have filtered a list of ten of the best black-and-white movies of all time for you so that you must go through them and be pleased with the history of cinematography.