The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

6.3k votes 283 voters 11k views 193 items tags f p @

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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  1. 1
    + 103
    - 45
    Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    the people's #1 & most listed
    1942

  2. 2
    + 105
    - 41
    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1962

  3. 3
    + 93
    - 27
    Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1960

  4. 4
    + 95
    - 29
    It's a Wonderful Life is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1946

  5. 5
    + 91
    - 31
    12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1957

  6. 6
    + 90
    - 41
    Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1993

  7. 7
    + 65
    - 48
    Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1941

  8. 8
    + 59
    - 20

    added by laustcawz
    1974

  9. 9
    + 49
    - 22
    The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1940

  10. 10
    + 70
    - 27
    Some Like It Hot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1959

  11. 11
    + 49
    - 22
    Double indemnity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    Double indemnity

  12. 12
    + 60
    - 32
    Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1950

  13. 13
    + 58
    - 16
    Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks
    1945

  14. 14
    + 62
    - 26
    All About Eve is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1950

  15. 15
    + 53
    - 20
    The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by srjthnk
    1980

  16. 16
    + 51
    - 35
    The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1941

  17. 17
    + 48
    - 29
    On the Waterfront is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1954

  18. 18
    + 47
    - 27
    The Apartment is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1960

  19. 19
    + 47
    - 25
    Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1958

  20. 20
    + 33
    - 25
    The Seventh Seal is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1957

  21. 21
    + 45
    - 22
    King Kong is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by mainpleine
    1933

  22. 22
    + 42
    - 22
    The Philadelphia Story is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1940

  23. 23
    + 41
    - 23

    added by laustcawz
    1935

  24. 24
    + 53
    - 10
    Arsenic and Old Lace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks & added by soxcat
    1944

  25. 25
    + 41
    - 34
    The Big Sleep is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1946

  26. 26
    + 38
    - 24
    The Best Years of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1946

  27. 27
    + 45
    - 25
    Paper Moon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1973

  28. 28
    + 41
    - 42
    The Third Man is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1949

  29. 29
    + 37
    - 28
    Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1936

  30. 30
    + 32
    - 22
    Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1927

  31. 31
    + 24
    - 15
    Notorious is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by mainpleine
    1946

  32. 32
    + 31
    - 25
    The Gold Rush is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1925

  33. 33
    + 35
    - 23
    Gilda is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by 2probb
    1946

  34. 34
    + 34
    - 34
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1966

  35. 35
    + 11
    - 9
    The Hustler is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by LanaYoshii
    1961

  36. 36
    + 43
    - 15
    It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    ranked low on reranks
    1934

  37. 37
    + 30
    - 23
    Harvey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1950

  38. 38
    + 39
    - 31
    High Noon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1952

  39. 39
    + 22
    - 20
    Hud is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by 2probb
    1963

  40. 40
    + 25
    - 19
    My Darling Clementine is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1946

  41. 41
    + 38
    - 37
    Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1980

  42. 42
    + 22
    - 25
    The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by mainpleine
    1940

  43. 43
    + 13
    - 3
    What Ever Happened to Baby Jan... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by Mitchell Cope
    1962

  44. 44
    + 21
    - 26
    Clerks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1994

  45. 45
    + 28
    - 20

    added by soxcat
    1939

    ;
  46. 46
    + 11
    - 9
    The Treasure of the Sierra Mad... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by but chickens double d
    1948

  47. 47
    + 25
    - 26
    Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made


    1922

  48. 48
    + 21
    - 20
    Steamboat Willie is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by mainpleine
    1928

  49. 49
    + 19
    - 22

    added by laustcawz
    1963

  50. 50
    + 32
    - 23
    Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

    added by soxcat
    1961

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