films 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Double indemnity is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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

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The Maltese Falcon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Some Like It Hot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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All About Eve 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

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King Kong is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
King Kong 1933

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

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

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

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

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

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Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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

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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

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It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 28 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) 29 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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The Hustler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Notorious is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Notorious 1946

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Gilda is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Gilda 1946

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The 39 Steps is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Hud is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Hud 1963

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What Ever Happened to Baby Jan... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Bringing Up Baby is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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M is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
M 1931

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Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Paper Moon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Paper Moon 1973

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Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 40 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) 41 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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

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

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Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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An Inspector Calls is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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High Noon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
High Noon 1952

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Way Out West is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made
Metropolis 1927

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made