The top six black and white films worth watching
Rediscover (or discover for the first time) some of the retro classics that helped define modern filmmaking.
In a world of 3D blockbusters, it’s easy to forget about black and white films but if you make the effort, you’ll be rewarded with some excellent storytelling.
1. Modern Times
Ever feel as though you’re stuck in an increasingly mechanised world? You’re not the first person to feel that way. In fact, this 1936 film about a struggling factory worker will be easily relatable. Starring Charlie Chaplin, this is a silent film with sound effects and is essential viewing for comedy fans.
2. 12 Angry Men
This tense drama tells the story of a hung jury debating a murder charge and is well worth a watch. The character acting is terrific and the fact that the film was made on a small budget only highlights its ingenuity.
3. To Kill a Mocking Bird
A compelling telling of the book by Harper Lee, this film tells the story of a small town lawyer during the Depression-era in America defending a black man accused of raping a white girl. Told through the eyes of a young girl, you can expect to have your heartstrings tugged.
4. The Best Years of Our Lives
Set just after the end of the Second World War, this film charts the return of three veterans and the struggles they face in trying to re-adjust. The men have changed during their time away – and so have their families.
5. It’s a Wonderful Life
A frustrated businessman receives a visit from an angel and is given a whole new perspective in this heart-wrenching but very enjoyable tale. This gem is real festive favourite, meaning you should keep an eye on your local cinemas over Christmas – they might just have a showing.
6. Sunset Boulevard
A former star of the silent screen has the chance to claw her way back from obscurity when a hack writes her a new screenplay, but the attempt soon descends into madness. This chilling film offers some incredibly compelling performances and a wonderful glimpse of filmmaking in years gone by.
How to watch great black and white films
Finding black and white films at your local cinema can be a challenge, especially if you live near a big multiplex, but do keep a close eye on the listings. Many cinemas have one off screenings and shows to celebrate anniversaries and special occasions. The Prince Charles Cinema in London even has a silent film season.
If you’d prefer to watch some classic films in the comfort of your own home, try logging on to sites like Black and White Movies or Old Movie Time. Catch up on a few classic movies and you’ll see they just don’t make them like that anymore.
What are your favourite black and white films?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Books to give and receive for Christmas 2017 - December 12, 2017
- Have people forgotten the true meaning of Christmas? - December 11, 2017
- 8 tips for serving fizz, wines and cocktails this festive season - December 10, 2017
- Which retro party foods have you served? - December 8, 2017
- Festive Blueberry and Bergamot Popcorn with salted caramel - December 8, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!