classic movies The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made  

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List Rules 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.

1
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Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Casablanca 1942

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2
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It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

3
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To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

4
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Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Psycho 1960

5
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12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

6
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Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

7
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Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

8
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The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

11
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Double indemnity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

12
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Some Like It Hot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

13
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All About Eve is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

14
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The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

15
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The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Arsenic and Old Lace is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

17
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The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

18
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The Apartment is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

19
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On the Waterfront is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

20
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King Kong is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
King Kong 1933

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The Seventh Seal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

23
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Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

24
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The Big Sleep is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

25
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Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

26
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The Philadelphia Story is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The Best Years of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

28
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Notorious is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Notorious 1946

29
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It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The Hustler is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

33
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High Noon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
High Noon 1952

34
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What Ever Happened to Baby Jan... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

35
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Bringing Up Baby is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

36
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Gilda is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Gilda 1946

37
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Hud is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Hud 1963

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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A Streetcar Named Desire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The Treasure of the Sierra Mad... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Paper Moon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Paper Moon 1973

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Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

43
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Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The 39 Steps is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

45
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M is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
M 1931

46
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Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Cape Fear 1962

47
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Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

48
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Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

49
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Goodbye, Mr. Chips is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

50
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The Gold Rush is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made