The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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List Criteria: Top monochrome BW films

List of the best black and white movies ever made, as listed by movie critics and film fans from all over the world. From the time that movies were first being made until the late '60s, black and white was the exclusive color of movies, since that was the only filming technology available. Although movies are now almost all shot in color, the old black and white movies feel classic, like there’s a higher quality to their storytelling.

 

Even though color technology has existed for shooting movies since the late 1960s, some filmmakers choose to shoot their movies in black and white for either budget, aesthetical, or storytelling purposes. Movies like Schindler’s List, Paper Moon, and The Artist were all made when color was available but because the black and white makes viewers feel transported to a former time period. For some movies, like The Night of the Living Dead and Raging Bull, the lack of color makes the horror and violence seem even more frightening.

 

What are the best black and white movies of all time? This list features movies made in the '20s to those made in the last few years, covering all types of genres. These movies are often ranked among the best of the best.

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  • 9 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 100
    - 45

    the people's #1 & most listed
    1942

    ;
  2. 2
    + 104
    - 41


    1962

    ;
  3. 3
    + 92
    - 27


    1960

    ;
  4. 4
    + 93
    - 29


    1946

    ;
  5. 5
    + 89
    - 31


    1957

    ;
  6. 6
    + 89
    - 41


    1993

    ;
  7. 7
    + 63
    - 48

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1941

    ;
  8. 8
    + 58
    - 20

    added by laustcawz
    1974

    ;
  9. 9
    + 47
    - 22


    1940

    ;
  10. 10
    + 69
    - 27


    1959

    ;
  11. 11
    + 58
    - 16

    ranked low on reranks
    1945

    ;
  12. 12
    + 47
    - 22


    ;
  13. 13
    + 58
    - 32


    1950

    ;
  14. 14
    + 60
    - 26


    1950

    ;
  15. 15
    + 51
    - 20

    added by srjthnk
    1980

    ;
  16. 16
    + 48
    - 35


    1941

    ;
  17. 17
    + 47
    - 29


    1954

    ;
  18. 18
    + 44
    - 27


    1960

    ;
  19. 19
    + 45
    - 24


    1958

    ;
  20. 20
    + 32
    - 25

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1957

    ;
  21. 21
    + 41
    - 22


    1940

    ;
  22. 22
    + 41
    - 23

    added by laustcawz
    1935

    ;
  23. 23
    + 42
    - 22

    added by mainpleine
    1933

    ;
  24. 24
    + 50
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1944

    ;
  25. 25
    + 44
    - 25


    1973

    ;
  26. 26
    + 39
    - 34


    1946

    ;
  27. 27
    + 36
    - 24


    1946

    ;
  28. 28
    + 39
    - 42


    1949

    ;
  29. 29
    + 35
    - 28


    1936

    ;
  30. 30
    + 31
    - 22


    1927

    ;
  31. 31
    + 23
    - 15

    added by mainpleine
    1946

    ;
  32. 32
    + 35
    - 23

    added by 2probb
    1946

    ;
  33. 33
    + 30
    - 25


    1925

    ;
  34. 34
    + 33
    - 34


    1966

    ;
  35. 35
    + 42
    - 15

    ranked low on reranks
    1934

    ;
  36. 36
    + 9
    - 9

    added by LanaYoshii
    1961

    ;
  37. 37
    + 22
    - 20

    added by 2probb
    1963

    ;
  38. 38
    + 29
    - 23


    1950

    ;
  39. 39
    + 38
    - 31


    1952

    ;
  40. 40
    + 25
    - 19


    1946

    ;
  41. 41
    + 37
    - 37


    1980

    ;
  42. 42
    + 22
    - 25

    added by mainpleine
    1940

    ;
  43. 43
    + 13
    - 3

    added by Mitchell Cope
    1962

    ;
  44. 44
    + 21
    - 26


    1994

    ;
  45. 45
    + 11
    - 9

    added by but chickens double d
    1948

    ;
  46. 46
    + 25
    - 26


    1922

    ;
  47. 47
    + 21
    - 20

    added by mainpleine
    1928

    ;
  48. 48
    + 27
    - 20

    added by soxcat
    1939

    ;
  49. 49
    + 32
    - 23

    added by soxcat
    1961

    ;
  50. 50
    + 19
    - 22

    added by laustcawz
    1963

    ;
194 +

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