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10 Best Black and White Movies of Classic Cinema

Updated on February 1, 2019
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Alexa is a 20 year old Philosophy student at the Cental University of Venezuela, she enjoys anything with pages along music and films!


Although times change, the quality of a good movie does not. It is wonderful to think of these works of art that, even with the Technicolor absent, make us feel a battalion of emotions, as only the classics can do it.

Here we list 10 of the best black and white classics:

10.The Great Dictator (1940)
Charles Chaplin had to open this list, it is impossible to think about the cinema in black and white without seeing that mustache. In this film, which is Chaplin's first soundtrack, he makes a mockery and at the same time condemns the Nazi and anti-Semitic ideologies, which was risky at his time, being the protagonist himself from two points: a ruthless dictator, and a pursued jewish barber.

9. Vacations in Rome (1958)
Starring the unforgettable Audrey Hepburn and directed by William Wyler, this film catapulted Hepburn into stardom and made her a Hollywood icon. A comedy adventure that goes back to less fanciful realities regarding romance, the main characters show emotions that regardless of the absence of color, transport the very Rome with Hepburn on a bicycle.

8.Vertigo (1958)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this film is one of it´s kind. The human fragility and disorders that give key to the plot, in addition to it´s impressive soundtrack, make this thriller is exciting in the cinema of the 21st century. Rated as one of the best suspense films of all time, it´s aesthetics and script encourage the viewer to interact with James Stewart, in his role as a detective with the phobia that gives the film it´s name.

7. Citizen Kane (1941)
The artist, Orson Welles, who writes, directs and stars in this piece, is an innovator in terms of narrative. It is narrated mainly in flashbacks and shows the relentless pursuit of power of Charles Kane, investigated by a journalist after his strange death. A reflective work that gives rise to the only Welles Oscar.

6. Psychosis (1960)
The master of suspense, Hitchcock, presents a tape with a limited budget that today is called his best work. This movie is the true sign that this colorless condition gives him a mystery worthy of stardom. The protagonists and the location give an example of the complexity of human relationships without the need for ostentatious scenarios.

5. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, two great figures of classic cinema. The aesthetic and narrative of this story opens another door in Hollywood that is still thriving today, the bad boy. Dean's sensitivity, despite his irreverence, shows a human side of the bands and their members. Directed by Nicholas Ray, we could say that it is the genesis of teenage dramas.

4. Singing in the Rain (1952)
A beloved classic by maestro Gene Kelly, his unforgettable dance scenes and soundtrack made this Hollywood musical one of the most influential of all decades; Inspired by the Broadway musicals of the 30s and 40s, this play touches on a theme that the actors themselves fearedat the time: the arrival of sound films. The life and development of the characters involved in their star roles, show the ups and downs of artistic life and love relationships in their environment.

3.Nosferatu (1922)
A true silent classic in black and white, this is the first film related to the literary work Dracula. The inclusion of mythological beings such as vampires was a novelty for the time, nowadays considered a cult film because of its plot and the mysteries of its protagonist Max Schreck, it is a film worth seeing.

2.What the Wind Taken (1939)
A valuable gem of classic cinema, with transcendental characters and epic narrative, this film pursues the transformation of Scarlett O'Hara in her search for happiness, through the war, and her tumultuous love affair with the scoundrel Rhett Butler. The highest grossing film in history is still present today, connecting viewers with the hectic life of Scarlett.

1.Casablanca (1942)
The incredible piece that buried the names of Humpfrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as stars on top of Hollywood. The emotional debate and its emotional charge related to a Nazi escape, makes it a work worth seeing, the tremendous soundtrack and its script cemented Casablanca for the highest of classic cinema.

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© 2019 Alejandra Jimenez


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