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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #16
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

I have to mention one of my favorite films -- Laughton's breathtaking "Night of the Hunter."

For classic Hollywood lighting, I'm very partial to Joseph von Sternberg.

And in the silent realm, Fritz Lang is always worth watching; "M" and "Spies" come immediately to mind (the lighting in "Metropolis" isn't quite as interesting to me, though I love the film).
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Old March 8th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #17
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

the 1933 'Invisible Man'. Claude Rains is hilarious!!!!!!! very quotable movie.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:06 AM   #18
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Adding German expressionist films from the 20s to this list

Fritz Lang first & foremost:
-Metropolis
-Dr. Mabuse the Gambler
-The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

but you could also watch one of the best Docus ever:
-Berlin Symphony of a Great City by Walter Ruttmann, 1927


and two films in B&W by Godard:
- Alphaville with Eddie Constantine, very spectacular use of B&W
- A Bout de Souffle with Belmondo & Jean Seberg, the film which changed cinema

In full agreement on the 3rd Man

And for a more recent masterpiece, mostly in B&W:
- Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders, with Bruno Ganz & Peter Falk
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Old June 1st, 2011, 02:13 AM   #19
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Here is an interesting comparison of a black and white movie (The Man who wasn't there) which was actually shot in color (because color stocks have advanced much more than b&w stocks in the last few decades).

The article allows you to see the b&w stills versus the original color. Which is better?

The Man Who Wasn’t There B&W/Color Comparison | Evan E. Richards

Another recent movie was 'The Mist' by Frank Darabont. The movie was originally released in the cinemas in color, however some special edition dvd and BluRay editions had a second disc with a b&w version of the film. This was the directors cut - he originally wanted the movie to be released this way in b&w. Some art-house cinemas have since showed the b&w version.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 02:34 AM   #20
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

I just found out that Richard Elfman's cult classic, "The Forbidden Zone," now also exists in a colorized version, which was his original plan. Gotta get me a copy -- I freaking love that film!
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Old June 1st, 2011, 10:54 PM   #21
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

The images of "The Third Man" were by Robert Krasker, who was born in Perth, Western Australia.


Personal favourites have remained in the childhood memory and reflect different drama tastes than I favour now. Not all might reflect as well from a technical standpoint :-

The Sea Shall Not Have Them.
On The Beach ( original ).
The Dambusters.
Reach For The Sky.
Appointment With Venus.
The Cruel Sea.
Captains Courageous - The fishing boat footage in itself somehwat of a historical archive these days.
The Old Man And The Sea.

It may seem whacky now but my childhood dogmatic sense was that the then contemporary "American" films were in colour and "British" films were in black and white. In those callow days, I was also an uninspired consumer and had no appreciation of the art except perhaps subliminally, which is what the best practitioners of the filmic arts were about.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 1st, 2011 at 11:10 PM. Reason: error
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 03:18 AM   #22
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

F.W. Murnau's "Sunrise" (1927) has everything, including large Steadicam style shots - without Steadicam.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:18 AM   #23
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

The Japanese directors:
Kaneto Shindō's - 'Onibaba' and 'The Naked Island'
and all of Akira Kurosawa's B&W's
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Old June 7th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #24
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

All this reminiscing about classic movies reminds me of the sense of frission I enjoyed when working at the old Mosfilm studios in Moscow in 1996. The galleries were all wooden and looked very original as did some of the huge arc lamps still standing idle in dusty corners. Despite the green screen work that I was involved with, the place retained a sense of age and left me wondering how many "classic" feet had walked the floors I was standing on.

More on topic, I have a recently purchased DVD set of It's a Wonderful Life which includes the original B&W (and wonderfully sharp) version and the later, rather soft, colourised version which in my view adds nothing to the original.

For pure B&W excellence may I add "The Ladykillers"? It is inconceivable that the comedic drama could ever have worked in colour - though as the correction posting which follows shows, it probably did!

Last edited by Philip Howells; June 8th, 2011 at 11:32 AM. Reason: amendment after correction posting
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #25
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

I think your memory may be playing little tricks, the 1955 "The Lady Killers" is in Techincolor, However, most of the Ealing comedies were B & W.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 08:16 AM   #26
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
For pure B&W excellence may I add "The Ladykillers"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
... the 1955 "The Lady Killers" is in Technicolor,
If Philip is recalling from memory, then it's possible that he did see a
Technicolor film in black and white, in the same way as I did when I
was a youngster, on a B&W television set.

Back in the early '70's when I was growing up, we didn't have a color
TV. At the time, "Star Trek" was enjoying a syndicated run in the after-
school slot at 4pm and I proceeded to fall in love with it, in monochrome
glory on our 19" portable. It was several years later when I re-discovered
it in brilliant, dazzling color, and even though I new all the episodes it was
like seeing it for the first time in an entirely new way.

I'm not saying that "color is better" -- it was in this one instance, due to
the incredible palette of hues used in the original "Star Trek" series. My
point is that it is possible to recall a color film as being B&W, if that color
film was first seen on a B&W television (yes, there used to be such a thing).
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Old June 8th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #27
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Indeed, B&W sets were around for many years.

Sometimes the final colour picture looks rather disappointing compared what you saw when shooting using a B&W CRT viewfinder
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #28
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
I think your memory may be playing little tricks, the 1955 "The Lady Killers" is in Techincolor, However, most of the Ealing comedies were B & W.
Bryan, I saw this at boarding school as a 16mm rental print, so after all those years I'm sure you're right - my apologies. I won't even (dishonestly) consider taking Chris' Mulligan because we only had a TV at school during my last couple of years there 1958-60. And I thought it was short term memory that went first......
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #29
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Most of these films were B & W, so it's very easy to remember them as such, especially since they'd get shown on B & W television.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #30
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Re: What are the Best Old Black and White Movies?

Man With a Movie Camera (Vertov, Kaufman) - way ahead of its time (1928)
Free Cinema docs of the 1950s - Everyday Except Christmas (Anderson), Lambeth Boys.

But above all, Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings wartime propaganda film, a masterpiece of sound and image, understated but powerful)
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