The Widdershins

Lazy Sunday Movies: Black and White Films

Posted on: May 18, 2014

Good Sunday, Widdershins.

I’ve had some trouble falling asleep of late, so I’ve watched a lot of old movies on the teevee.  Some of my absolute favorites are black and white.  Some old, some newer, but all with that certain something that makes them so wonderful.  I  suspect that the lack of color makes the finer points of the story more obvious.  Whatever the reason, some of the best moments on celluloid come in black and white.

Please share your favorites in this otherwise open thread.

(1) To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

(2) Psycho  (1960)

(3) Citizen Kane (1941)

(4) Schindler’s List (1993)

(5) The Longest Day (1962)



19 Responses to "Lazy Sunday Movies: Black and White Films"

@1: And of course if I went there then I have to go here:

Great choices.

off topic, but got an email to sign a petition to Pelosi, asking her to put Alan Grayson on the witch hunt Benghazi committee in the House. I thought about it and thought how perfect! He’ll rip ’em a new one!! 🙂

He would be a very special addition.

@5: I would then want to have popcorn and watch the hearings.


@7: Excellent choice.

“Andrei Rublev.” It’s a very long film by Andrei Tarkovsky. I remember reading a review of a DVD release of it where the critic said: “The black and white cinematography is so beautiful, it makes you wish the world actually looked that way.” Here’s a scene from it, with a really visually stunning crucifixion in the second half. (No, it’s not a comedy; but it’s not exactly “The Passion of the Christ” either.) Tarkovsky truly was a visual poet.

One note about that clip from “Andrei Rublev.” At 9:53 there is an image of a smiling child as the man walks to his death. It’s a visual that several filmmakers have imitated, including Spielberg in “Schindler’s List.” There’s a moment when the train is going to Auschwitz and some people from inside the train car look outside and see a child standing outside, smiling at them. It’s a direct visual reference to Tarkovsky.

@10: As in the girl in the red coat?

chatblu, I think DYB is referring to the little boy who makes the “we’ll slit your throat” gesture.

“The Pawnbroker”

“The Search”

@9: DYB, that film looks amazing.

@14: “The Search” was filmed on location in post-war Germany. The little Czech boy was Ivan Jandl.

@12> Yes, that one!

Beata, it’s a really magnificent film. Very strange. There is a Criterion DVD of it. Though I think youtube might have it as well!

And this:

Oh and this:

The cinematographer who shot this movie, Gordon Willis, died today. One of the great masters of cinematography of all time. He also shot “The Godfather,” among many other great films.

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