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Black and White Movie Classics

Updated on April 27, 2017

Pre Color Classics

Raging Bull is about the turbulent life of boxer Jake La Motta. La Motta is played by Robert De Niro and La Motta's brother is played by Joe Pesci.
Raging Bull is about the turbulent life of boxer Jake La Motta. La Motta is played by Robert De Niro and La Motta's brother is played by Joe Pesci. | Source
The horror classic, Psycho, is one of Alfred Hitchcock's best horror films. It is about a mentally deranged man dressing up like his mother and killing people.
The horror classic, Psycho, is one of Alfred Hitchcock's best horror films. It is about a mentally deranged man dressing up like his mother and killing people. | Source
Marlon Brando stars in On The Waterfront which won 8 Academy Awards. It is considered one of the best gangster movies ever produced.
Marlon Brando stars in On The Waterfront which won 8 Academy Awards. It is considered one of the best gangster movies ever produced. | Source
Schindler's List stars Liam Neesan as Oskar Schindler. It centers around the horrors of Hitler's Germany in the late 1930's.
Schindler's List stars Liam Neesan as Oskar Schindler. It centers around the horrors of Hitler's Germany in the late 1930's. | Source
Gregory Pech stars in To Kill a Mockingbird which came out in 1962. It is based on the famous novel, of the same name.
Gregory Pech stars in To Kill a Mockingbird which came out in 1962. It is based on the famous novel, of the same name. | Source

Which is The Best?

Which is your favorite black and white film?

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Legendary Black and White Films

1. Schindler's List (1993) Liam Neeson plays as Oscar Schindler in this look at the Holocaust during Nazi Germany circa 30s. Stephen Spielberg produced this sad but, true story that was very eye opening and heart breaking at the same time. This film is based on one of humanity's worst crimes. The German Nazi's persecuted the Jews and the Polish people to no end. The movie is graphic and at times hard to watch but, it's definitely worth every gut wrenching moment. This was a great film.

2. Raging Bull (1980) Robert De Niro stars as Jake La Motta, a boxer with a turbulent personal life. It is directed by the great Martin Scorsese and the fight scenes are the best boxing scenes in cinematic history. The movie shows all of the Bronx Bull's triumphs as well as all of his lows inside and outside of the squared circle. It show his fights against Sugar Ray Robinson, his wives and the law. The film is rated R for bad language and extreme violence.

3. On The Waterfront (1954) Marlon Brando shines in this crime film about racketeering, extortion and other illegal activities on the waterfronts of Brooklyn and Manhattan as well. The film is Mafia related and has many deep moments and plot twists throughout. This great gangster film won eight Academy Awards. Personally, this is my personal favorite Marlon Brando film. I think his performance in On The Waterfront, beats his performance in The Godfather.

4. Psycho (1960) Anthony Perkins stars as Norman Bates in this Alfred Hitchcock thriller about a man with two personalities. Norman runs the Bates Motel and dresses like his dead mother to kill people but then turns back to Norman and panics. A true horror classic with great footage that keeps you out the scared straight viewing. One of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces without a shadow of a doubt. This film was re-made over 40 years later and Vince Vaughn played the part of Norman Bates.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Gregory Peck plays as Atticus Finch and the movie is a great adaptation from the novel. The film is set in Alabama in the 1930s and racism is shown at it is ugliest in this gruesome and inspiring movie that is worth it's wait in gold. The film garnered three Academy Awards and in 1995 it was preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

6. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George Romero directed this zombie horror movie classic. The dead come back to life to terrorize a small Pennsylvania town. The undead eat their victims but you can shoot them in the brain and also burn them to death. The Library of Congress has preserved this film. The music and the sound effects in this scary flick is frightening from beginning to end.

7. Casablanca (1942) This romantic film stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a WW 2 Romantic war movie. Casablanca is a nightclub for wealthy people and it was ran by Rick Blaine (Bogart). The scenes between Bogart and Bergman are special even after over 60 years. Max Steiner, who made the music for Gone with the Wind, did the score for Casablanca. The music went with the mood of the film perfectly.

8. King Kong (1933) Max Steiner put the music together in his masterpiece musically. As far as the movie, it was amazing for the time. Imagine it's impact at a time when films were just starting. When it first came out, King Kong was very popular. Kong is a pioneer indeed. King Kong wants one woman (Fay Wray) and ends up getting killed trying to capture her or save her if you will. it has been remade two times, the first in 1976 and most recently in 2005. Another classic that is sitting in the National Film Registry.

9. The Hustler (1961) This film stars Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott. A local pool hustler wants to play the best in the world and win. It can happen but not without going to hell and back first. The movie shows you the seedy side of gambling and the three headliners give unforgettable performances.

10. Frankenstein (1931) Frankenstein is made from other human body parts by mad scientist, Henry Frankenstein. Even though this film and it's creature has been made into a horror film, it was not always that way. This film is dark and very strange indeed but, scary it is not.

Schindler's List on DVD

The Hustler (1961)

Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman give breathtaking performances in this movie about going to hell in order to get the victory.
Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman give breathtaking performances in this movie about going to hell in order to get the victory. | Source

Who Directed It?


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Raging Bull staring Robert De Niro

Cast your vote for Raging Bull

Psycho Trailer

Raging Bull Trailer

Great Black and White Television Shows

1. I Love Lucy- Lucille Ball kept America laughing and we all loved Lucy.

2. The HoneyMooners- Jackie Gleason plays as Ralph Cramden. To the moon Alice, Lol.

3. The Andy Griffin Show- Andy Griffin was the introduction of Don Knots to television as Barney Fife.

4. The Twilight Zone- Rod Serling made this horror/ Sci-fi show that was weird and entertaining.

5. GunSmoke- The longest running western was America's favorite for years. Still in reruns and a cult classic from which all western shows will be judged.

Jake La Motta's (Raging Bull) Birth Place

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 4 years ago from Canada

      Great hub and great movies. There are plenty other black and white good classics out there. My favorite personal is The Grand Illusion. I wrote a review hub for it if you are interested.

    • ChrisMcDade8 profile image

      Christine McDade 4 years ago from Southwest Florida

      I have found myself drawn to black and white movies for their look and overall entertainment quality. Watching the "classics" is fun because you have expectations that what you watch is going to be good. Then, when the movie meets the expectation, you have that moment of "ah ha". I watched "Key Largo" recently and had that same experience. "On the Waterfront" is next on my list. Great hub.

    • Annette Hendley profile image

      Annette Hendley 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Nice list. I remember seeing Raging Bull. I still haven't seen Casablanca. Thanks for reminding me.

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