Classic Cinema: 15 Black and White Films That Stand the Test of Time


Despite how modern and realistic the movies we have now are, there are still some black-and-white movies that keep stealing our hearts. Decades may have passed, but we can never get tired of them. It may be because of the strength of the characters, the plot, or the storyline that’s masterfully crafted, but between those elements there’s some magic in these movies that keeps us coming back. Here are 15 black-and-white movies that are absolutely worth watching!

1. The Third Man (1949)

Photo Credit: Rialto Pictures/Studiocanal

One user said, “The Third Man. Still feels incredibly modern.”


Another one replied, “Best final scene of a movie ever.”

Finally, the third added, “Such a great film. The scene on the Ferris Wheel was outstanding.”

2. The Apartment (1960)

Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

“Ohhhh, The Apartment!! I have to rewatch that! Thanks for the reminder,” said one.


“Great list. The Apartment in particular is one of my absolute favorites,” another one replied.

“I watched The Apartment for the first time last week. I was on the edge of my seat for basically the entire second half. The writing and the acting were perfect throughout. The story felt pretty timeless too,” the third added.

3. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Photo Credit: Orion-Nova Productions.

One user said, “12 Angry Men is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and all they do is talk.”


“An utterly perfect film, IMO. Timeless and still relevant, tight script, and great pace even though it’s a bunch of dudes talking in a room. What a great movie,” the second person replied.

“I was in high school and we had to read the book, which I found boring, and then we watched the movie, and it blew me away. I rented it to watch again at Blockbuster, and my dad gave me the weirdest look when I handed it to him,” added another.

4. Psycho (1960)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

One person stated, “This movie holds up so [dang] well it’s astounding. The performances are all decades ahead of their time.”

The second person replied, “What makes it cooler is that they didn’t have to film it in black and white since they had colored movies since the 50s but they chose to.”

5. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Young Frankenstein, if you like Mel Brooks comedies,” somebody mentioned.

“’It’s Fronkensteen!!’” replied another.

“I cannot recommend this enough, though it’s fair to point out it’s a more modern film purposefully filmed in black and white,” the third added.

6. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Somebody stated, “The original Manchurian Candidate.”

Another one replied, “Oooooooh Angela Lansbury is frightening in this. RIP queen.”

Then the third added, “Scrolled for this. The garden club scene is so scary.”

7. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Photo Credit: MGM.

One person said, “[The] Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby are personal favs.”

The second replied, “Can’t go wrong with K Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart in the same film.”

Finally, the third added, “The dialogue is extremely well written in [The] Philadelphia Story and includes the GOAT (Jimmy Stewart).”

8. Roman Holiday (1953)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Roman Holiday (1953) beautiful film,” somebody stated.

“This is one of my personal favorites. So sad and sweet,” replied another.

9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Photo Credit: Continental Distributing

One user said, “Night of the Living Dead. OG.”

Another person replied, “Yes. I love that movie. The acting is great and I love the use of shadows.”

“The pacing of this movie blows my mind. I’m used to older movies being a bit more slow and methodical, which I love. But Night of the Living Dead has some really contemporary pacing IMO. It has a great escalation of danger,” added another.

10. The Thin Man (1934)

Photo Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

Somebody commented, “The Thin Man and its sequels. The chemistry between Powell and Loy is just exceptional.”

Another one replied, “Came here to say this! They were close friends off screen, and it showed. Also a solid example of a movie couple who genuinely like each other.”

Then the third added, “My perfect ‘binge through a cold/flu to make you feel better, series.”

11. Double Indemnity (1944)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Double Indemnity is one of my all-time favorites,” somebody shared.

“Was scrolling to find this. Absolute classic, tight plot, razor sharp dialogue. Only issue is it can be hard selling people on a film where the premise is based on insurance policies!” The second person replied.

Then the third added, “Was hoping someone said this. Barbara Stanwyck is one of the best ever. It’s a classic story but she makes it fresh.”

12. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

“One of the greatest ever put to film,” said one.

“During COVID, we got a poster with ‘The 100 Greatest Films Ever Made’ and slowly watched all of them. I’d seen most of them before, but not all. Sunset Blvd was one that I hadn’t seen, and I blew me away. Made the whole poster worthwhile,” replied another.

13. The Elephant Man (1980)

Photo Credit: Brooksfilms

One person stated, “The Elephant Man, a fantastic film but not sure I could watch again just so sad.”

The second person replied, “Tough watch.”

14. Nosferatu (1922)

Photo Credit: Prana Film.

Nosferatu would dye the film to suggest different times of the day. Also, the use of shadow was brilliant,” commented one.

“It still stands up as a horror film too. There’s something deeply unsettling about it,” replied somebody.

“What an incredible movie. I saw it for the first time just a few years ago, and while I’d previously never found monster movies frightening, that movie scared the s- out of me,” added another.

15. Paper Moon (1973)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Somebody shared, “A wonderful and timeless movie. Tatum O’Neal gives one of the greatest child actor performances in it.”

Another one replied, “Was hoping to see this. It gives the absolute best performance a child actor has ever given. Truly a great movie.”

A third commenteragreed, “Absolutely love it, literally my favorite movie of all time, and I clicked on the comments hoping to find it. Paper Moon is incredibly written, directed, and acted by all parties involved.”

Which black-and-white movie is your favorite from the list? Let us know in the comments!

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