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Black and White Films

Am I the only one who hates black and white films? The acting is terrible and so unnatural. Why are they considered classics? And why do guys think such films are romantic for a date?

Tendix 5 Jan 23

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The entire original Twilight Zone was in B&W!!!

Who doesn't like that?


I love some of the old movies. I even enjoy some of the terrible old Sci Fi movies with the bad special effects, because it brings back memories of my youth. Now, if i were your age, I don't think I would like them. I like 60s and 70s music. I was young then, and today's music just never seems to be as good.
We all have different preferences.

I have good memories of Gamara and Godzilla.


I understand the objection, but I think it depends on the film. Casablanca is my favorite movie of all time. It's funny, it's got action, it's complex, it's emotional, it's romantic. Dr. Strangelove is a brilliant dark comedy. Young Frankenstein is hilarious (though it's not really that old, 1974, but it was shot in black and white). Citizen Kane is artistically great (though otherwise not one of my favorite movies). Most, if not all, Alfred Hitchcock movies are black and white, including a couple of my favorites, Rear Window and Lifeboat.

Hitchcock The Birds.

@GipsyOfNewSpain I watched that when I was young (maybe middle school or so), but I didn't enjoy it. I should give it another shot, I suppose.

Don't forget Psycho

@LucifersPen Psycho yeah!!!

@resserts I remember reading stories about the movie, how was groundbreaking... those were real birds and the actors were scared. No computer graphics like today but Disney was involved. Is the labour of love in the art. It is a slow movie... like night of the living dead but with feathered wings but is not b/w.


You obviously have not seen A Streetcar Named Desire, that's some classic acting.

Yeah or The wild one, In the waterfront or What ever happened to Baby Jane?



You obviously haven't seen Young Frankenstein. And if you did, then your opinion is wrong 😉 😛

"Put. The Candle. Back.".

@RavenCT If there's one thing Mel Brooks' films are good for, it's quotable lines. I love his library.

@Firelands1973 Loving both slapstick (to a degree) and extreme sarcasm in humor - yup Mel Brooks' comes to mind. Also Monty Python. Recently got Blazing Saddles on DVD - kind of hard to find on TV these days. But was so far ahead of it's time.


I've been thinking more about black and white films. There are so many that really exemplify the craft. The silent films of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and many of the other early filmmakers. Max Sennett is another. The technology was new, and still primitive in many ways, but the emotions conveyed was fairly universal. People have mentioned Casablanca, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Sunset Boulevard. There are so many that were really well done. Sure, some had acting that was a little over the top, but that's judging by today's standards. For their time, they were exceptional. The old Busby Berkeley musicals, old Fred Astaire movies, the Marx Brothers films, and so many others are extremely entertaining, if you're able to view them for what they were. Simple entertainment. Art, and it's 'value' is really very subjective.

You get it and I salute you.

KK, if you throw in John Wayne, I am labeling you an official Soul Mate!

My daughter and I were discussing that so many comedies aren't that funny. I mentioned Laurel and Hardy so we went on YouTube and watched a couple and both really laughed.

@phil21 Early John Wayne films were in b&w, Stagecoach springs immediately to mind, and Red River, with Montgomery Clift. Although, if I run across McClintock! or The Quiet Man, I will stop whatever I'm doing and watch.

@KKGator I need a heart emoji! Yes on Quiet Man. Not so much on McClintock. But yes to Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Cowboys, Sands of Iwo Jima, Red River.

@phil21 McClintock mostly because I simply adored Maureen O'Hara, and would have watched her read the phone book.

@KKGator Fort Apache, I think. Their son joins the cav and ends up in his troop. Oh and Big Jake. But the dog dies!!! She does a good job of bringing out his softer side.


To each their own. Individual taste, in all things, is wholly subjective.


Some of the finest film and television ever made is in black and white. Hell, I'll go so far as to say that some of the finest entertainment ever made isn't even on film, but was presented on radio before film with sound was even a medium.

I find it astounding what they were able to accomplish back in the early 1900's with so little to work with. Give me a radio broadcast of an old Twilight Zone episode over the latest turd from Michael Bay any day. Glitzy special effects and modern production values mean absolutely nothing without decent story telling and character development.


I don't expect much classics from your generation but Truth Must The Told... What Do You Know? What Have You Seen? Do You Believe in Evolution? Is the Evolution of an Art form. CInematography. Sometimes a story like "Lord of the Rings" has to sit on a shelf until the technology is ready to bring the story to life. They are Classics because those in the know appreciated the efforts despite the limitations of their time. You should take some college courses in cinematography and the use of shadows on a white and black film and then again you may just be interested on the nudity scene and the explosion coming after. I know I am being blunt but I am being honest and I don't mind being Blunt. To use a phrase of one of my favorite black and white film and is a recent one. "I am not here to be a witness!". And if you hate black and white films... Is your problem and yours alone to take with you until you die. I just wrote pleasantries about the millennials but you little lady is making me change my post because all it takes is one to change the perspective of Ignorance of a whole generation. And your date was not being romantic... he was just being Nice! Watch Casablanca or Sunset Boulevard and come back to us. Or go current and watch any b/w with Eva Green (my current favorite actress) 300 Rise of an empire or Sin City A dame to kill for.


Eraserhead, that's one B&W movie I can watch.


You guys know I love the art of dance... any dance. This is the greatest dance act ever filmed. B/W and sorry no twerking involved.

Dude! The Nicholas Bros are absolutely unbelievable. This scene, Fred with the hat rack and Donald O'Connor in Make 'em Laugh. Although DOC did use a lot of edits.

@phil21 Every time I watch the scene... my knees hurt.

Gotdawg, just rewatched it. Man. Awesome. Thanks for posting.

@GipsyOfNewSpain For me it is thighs. Those splits from ridiculous heights! Then lifting your self up, out of the split, without hands!

@phil21 Yep they were made out of rubber.


It depends what movie it is.


I think what you're calling terrible and unnatural acting is more of a comparison between the melodramatic acting of that period versus the more realistic portrayals you see today. Many older films are like that, but there are some modern "classics" that are excellent. Schindler's List is B&W. Young Frankenstein is also great. I skimmed the comments and saw the reference to the old Twilight Zone series. An excellent example. I would add some comedies from the 60s as well, such as the Addams Family, The Munsters, The Honeymooners, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.


I don’t think you’ve seen enough black and white movies. There are several that are very well done with incredible acting.



and most people dream in monochrome It is also what you would see he world as if you were experiencing a trauma such as a road accident. Your brain shuts down the colour. Just as you would shut down other sites so as to increase your data flow when streaming online. This could mean that we store our memories in black and white? However it would most definitely say that our most traumatic or intense memories are.
Films like Psycho mainline into flight fight response. If you were really being stabbed to death in the shower, that is how you would actually see it. Consequently part of us is programed to associate monochrome with intense emotions. It can take us to the places where we don`t really want to go. Schindler's List illustrates this perfectly by giving us those two small touches of colour. The first to dash our hopes and then the second give it back.
" A matter of life and death " uses technicolor and monochrome to differentiate between heaven and earth.
It has a grunginess to it. Added to the fact that it is cheaper to film (film not video). So young turks in film making could more easily get their films made. Like " Clerks " or " Rebel without a cause ".
All the is a defence of the genre. It could be an age thing? My daughter (21) is the same but maybe your just not into film the way your dates are? Because if you dig films you have to dig black and white ones, end of.


Not only do I love b&w films, but silent movies as well. Silent film worked especially well for horror. Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari achieved a level of chill that colorized sound movies have yet to duplicate. And who can forget the pathos of The Man Who Laughs? Certainly not Bob Kane, who used the unfortunate lead character as his inspiration when he created Batman's nemesis, the Joker.


The best TV shows were in the black and white era before the banality, crap and bad scripts and writing of tv these days


Some are cool like the beginning of The Wizard of Oz. Those actors did things different they practiced hours and hours to get the lines correct. Today they get prompters, Do not think they are romantic. Some are bad some have a good plot.


Nostalgia = romanticism?

I can see that being what I think of as romantic. Oh the arguments in my house when something has been "colorized!"

Do you have a specific movie in mind?

And yes, there is a load of crap out there. Remember, Early films were either extensions of vaudeville or broadway. So, yeah, you see some overacting.

But give me Citizen Kane over some explosion vest where you get points for scenes that last .5 seconds between edits.


I can appreciate good story lines from black and white films however the acting is unnatural. It has nothing to do with the production of films because African films are popular in Africa with very poor production. The deliverance is relatable. Hollywood actors from black and white films over acted and exaggerated the characters. Films that recreate these classic films do not imitate the acting because it's clear average Americans did not speak or act that way. I fail to understand creativity that's praised for being unrelatable or unrealistic.

You are missing the point... you have no point of reference of the era where the film got created. Before the talkies everything has to be "expression", there was not even tone of voice. I recommend you watch "Sunset Boulevard". That tells you the story of an actress not able to make the transition from silent to talkie. You did not lived the times when terms as "method actor" were used for a Marlon Brando and how he was the real victim when James Dean died because he had no longer a competition. Acting is selling a product... a character... hard thing to do. Not many can pull it off... not many great actors for that reason and yet they keep making movies were acting is not needed just special effects because it is a hard thing to act. You are judging with today's eyes films created more than 80 years ago. I could use your rationale and blame the slaves in any part of the world for not rebelling against their masters the first time the chains went off... Wouldn't be fair would it? Hindsight? You talk about african movies being done in africa... for african audience. Same with Bollywood, for indian audience. I criticise every single cowboy movie for lack of accents and cowboys speaking in modern terms like... using phrase... "ain't gonna happen". There were soldiers in the union army that did not spoke english. You can say the same about the confederate army. I am tired of movies about greece or rome with everyone looking irish with irish accents. You film a movie to make money. Is a shame but money talks. Appreciate that you can see the very beginning of an industry and from were it started to where it is now because the proof is on film. For all to see, enjoy and yes, everyone is a critic but you have to understand the craft. I don't think you do. You just watch the final product and pass judgement without knowing the times and motivations when created. A movie is Created for the Now... not for future generations to figure it out. A movie like that won't make money in the now and will be deemed a Failure but granted it may be Art. Somebody should had taught you that in Junior High. Respect the Craft. Watch "Sunset Boulevard" and tell me when you are ready for your closeup.


Never thought movies would qualify as "romantic". Sappy. Not romantic.


At least you didn't say "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I'll give Casablanca props.


I think films like everything had to start somewhere and seem realistic without actually being realistic. everything humans achieve is based on doing something better the next time and seeing the faults. I don't think there romantic. in fact, going somewhere where you're both looking at a screen without talking isn't very romantic. I think the silent films where they do amazing stunts themselves are amazing.


I could never watch anything much older than me.

And that is why you will never going to have Nice Things!

@GipsyOfNewSpain Oh, my mistake. I thought that was due to cunts like Trump. Maybe I should pick up a copy of Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will so "Nice Things" may come my way.

@mt49er You just had to have "nice things". lol. Those things older than you are the "Classics", They are "Timeless" ...without expiration date. That is how you define "nice". lol.

@GipsyOfNewSpain This falls more in line with one man's trash being another's treasure.

@mt49er the last Davinci found was bought for 24 dollars in the 50's. Auctioned last year for 450 millions after restoration.

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