The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made Films
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The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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.

  • 6 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 67
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    ) open
  2. 2
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    the people's #1
    1942

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  3. 3
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    most listed
    1957

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  4. 4
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    1960

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  6. 6
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  8. 8
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  9. 9
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  10. 10
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  11. 11
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  12. 12
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  13. 13
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    often listed
    1949

    ) open
  14. 14
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    - 12

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1946

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 28
    - 4
    ) open
  16. 16
    + 31
    - 4

    added by srjthnk
    1980

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 32
    - 4

    added by laustcawz
    1974

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  18. 18
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    - 8
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  19. 19
    + 24
    - 2

    added by laustcawz
    1935

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 22
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1944

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 19
    - 14

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1966

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 23
    - 2

    added by mainpleine
    1933

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 37
    - 7
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  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1946

    ) open
  25. 25
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  26. 26
    + 34
    - 6
    ) open
  27. 27
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  28. 28
    + 22
    - 9

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1946

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 22
    - 16

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1954

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 26
    - 3

    ranked low on reranks & added by 2probb
    1946

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 19
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by jobill
    1939

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 19
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    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1954

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 20
    - 1

    ranked high on reranks & added by soxcat
    1939

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 27
    - 8

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1940

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 22
    - 1

    ranked high on reranks & added by soxcat
    1961

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 17
    - 0

    added by but chickens double d
    1931

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 17
    - 0

    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1957

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 17
    - 0

    added by soxcat
    1954

    ) open
  39. 39
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    - 6
    ) open
  40. 40
    + 14
    - 7
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  41. 41
    + 19
    - 20
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  42. 42
    + 10
    - 2

    added by mainpleine
    1928

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 18
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1958

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 11
    - 12

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1994

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 1
    - 0

    added by but chickens double d
    1943

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 15
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    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    M

  47. 47
    + 15
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    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    1931

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 14
    - 10

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1936

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 18
    - 20

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1952

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 7
    - 12

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1979

    ) open
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