I read a shocking article the other day which says that 30% of millennials have not watched a black and white movie. I find this hard to believe being a fellow millennial and having watched lots of Black and white movies. They stem from the “Golden Age of cinema” and are some of the best movies ever made.
For those of you who have not seen a Black and White movie, here is my list of movies you need to watch in no particular order.
15. Casablanca (1942)
Set during World War II, this movie revolves around on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her husband escape the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.
14. The Song of Bernadette (1943)
This movie is based on the story of Bernadette Soubirous (Saint Bernadette), who, in 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was directed by Henry King and explores the life of Bernadette during these times.
13. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
If you have ever had RTE channel on during Christmas time you are bound to have seen this movie. Based on the life of George Bailey a banker who wishes he had never been born. When his wish comes true, he is able to see what life is like if he never existed.
12. Manhattan (1979)
This movie is directed by Woodie Allen and stars a very young Dianne Keaton and Meryl Streep. Woodie Allen co-stars as a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer who dates a 17-year-old girl but falls in love with his best friend’s mistress.
11. Some like it Hot (1959)
Set in 1929 this romantic comedy is about two musicians who dress in drag and join a women’s music group in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
10. To Kill a Mocking Bird (1962)
Based on Harper Lee’s best-selling novel and starring Greggory Peck. this movie is about a family who lives in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early 1930s. THe movie spans over three years where we observe through the children’s eyes the struggles of the town including poverty and racism.
9. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
This film is about Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a successful return to film. Sunset Boulevard won three out of the eleven Academy Awards it was nominated for.
8. Rebecca (1940)
This psychological drama is about Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) an aristocratic widower and a young woman who becomes his second wife (Joan Fontaine). After two weeks of meeting, they wed and Maxim brings his new wife to his estate “Mendeley” in Cornwall. As she spends more time in the house doubts of her relationship with her husband ensues as she uncovers secrets of her husbands past. It won two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Cinematography.
7. All about Eve (1950)
Before there was Gossip Girl there was All About Eve. The film is about Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. Eve Harrington is an ambitious young woman who insinuates herself into Margo’s life, where she threatens Channing’s career and her relationships. Starring Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, it won six Academy Awards including Best Picture. It is the only film in Academy Award history to receive four female acting nominations.
6. 12 Angry Men (1957)
This is an excellent courtroom drama where 12 jurors decide what verdict they should give in a murder trial. Starring Henry Fonda Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall and Jack Warden
5. Schindlers List (1993)
This is the most recent film on this list. Schindlers List is about the famous German business man Oskar Schindler who saved over 1000 Jewish people by employing them in his factories during World War II. It is directed by Stephen Speilberg and starring Liam Neeson. It is an excellent depiction of real life events of World War II and is based on a true story.
4. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock has a number of excellent black and white films. So much so that two of his movies are featured in this list. Psycho is considered Hitchcock’s best film. The movie centers on Marion Crane, a secretary who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer.
3. Citizen Kane (1941)
This film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won an Academy Award for Best Writing. It is often regarded as the greatest film of all time and has been featured on many best movie lists including American Film Institute’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list. Citizen Kane is about the life of a newspaper tycoon, upon his death a news reporter explores Kane’s life and unearths a number of secrets along the way.
2. It happened one night (1934)
This film is about a privileged socialite who tries to get out from under her father’s thumb. She meets a roguish reporter while on a journey to marry a man whom her father disapproves of. They unite together in order to get her to California to where her betrothed is waiting for her. Starring Claudette Colbert and one of my favourite actors, Clark Gable. It Happened One Night was the first movie to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay)
1. Roman Holiday (1953)
This movie is about a princess who decides to run away from her duties and explore the beautiful city of Rome. She meets a reporter who decides to hide his identity in order to get inside information on her escapade. Starring Greggory Peck and Audrey Hepburn who won an Academy Award for her performance in this film.