What’s Black and White and Good All Over?

Do you fall asleep or leave the room the moment a old black-and-white movie comes on? Do you refuse to watch any film made before you were born? You’re missing out. No matter what you think about old black-and-white movies, you really, really should give these eleven movies a try.

  1. The Gold Rush (1925) — Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character travels to the Klondike in search of gold. It’s a silent movie, and that takes a while to get used to, but once you do, the silence will be broken by your laughter.
  2. It Happened One Night (1934) — A reporter in search of a story happens upon an heiress running away from home. What happens next is hilarious.
  3. The Thin Man (1934) — They don’t make movies like this anymore. The dialogue is amazing and laugh-out-loud funny.
  4. You Can’t Take It With You (1938) — Can a wealthy young man find happiness with a woman whose family is downright bizarre? Jimmy Stewart gives it a try.
  5. Sullivan’s Travels (1941) —  A comedy director decides he wants to make a serious movie. He sets out on the road to see how the other half lives. Along the way, he meets an out-of-work actress looking for a way to get home. This movie can’t decide if it wants to be a social commentary or a comedy, and amazingly, succeeds at both.
  6. Mrs. Miniver (1942) — The story of how a British family deals with World War II. It’s propaganda, but excellent propaganda.
  7. Casablanca (1942) — THE classic. If you haven’t seen this one, you should feel embarrassed.
  8. Laura (1944) — A detective investigates the murder of a young woman and discovers that everyone has fallen in love with her, including himself.
  9. Key Largo (1948) — On a hot summer evening when a thunderstorm is brewing outside, turn off your lights and your air conditioner, grab a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade and watch Key Largo. It’s the story of a group of people stuck in a hotel with a gangster during a hurricane, and the suspense is riveting.
  10. Ace in the Hole (1951) — This started out to be a top-ten list, but when I saw this movie recently, I had to add it. A jaded reporter discovers a man trapped in a cave and turns the situation into a story.
  11. Roman Holiday (1953) — The movie that made Audrey Hepburn famous. Watch it and you’ll understand why.

If you do watch any of these, let me know what you think.

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8 Responses to What’s Black and White and Good All Over?

  1. siri says:

    I have tried to watch Casablanca 5 times in the last 10 years (just so I could understand the context in which the famous “Here’s looking at you, kid,” is uttered. Fell asleep within the first 45 minutes every single time. I plan to finish the movie someday before I die.

    As for Roman Holiday, I love *everything* about the film, except Audrey Hepburn whose acting skills, in my unpopular opinion, are a bit overrated.

    Yeah, I’m weird. Stone me.

    Haven’t seen the other nine, but they seem interesting, especially #4. I’ll see anything with Jimmy Stewart in it.

  2. Roger says:

    So, invite us over for dinner and we’ll bring our copy along to watch with you.

  3. Olive says:

    Key Largo should have been a good movie considering it stars Bogart, Bacall, and Robinson, but I found it to be a boring hodgepodge of overdone melodrama as well as being painfully overacted. Numbers 2 & 4 are good choices, but nothing can compare with Casablanca. It is intriguing, mysterious, romantic, and humorous. No movie collection is complete without out.

  4. Mary Alice says:

    I have seen 5 of the 11. Casablanca is far and away my favorite with Sullivan’s Travels as close second. I would encourage you to consider adding Bringing Up Baby and Holiday. Both starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, both released in 1938. A time when writers were valued in Hollywood. (Sigh)

  5. Roger says:

    I’ve seen both of those. I like Cary Grant, but I personally find Katherine Hepburn to be shrill, unattractive and with the acting skills of a rodeo bull.

  6. Mary Alice says:

    Hitchcock’s Stranger on a Train was fun. Have you seen this one?

  7. Roger says:

    I haven’t, but I just added it to my Netflix queue — at spot 179.

  8. Linda Hobart says:

    Oh there are SO MANY really good black and white old movies! You’re right! They just don’t make them like that anymore! And isn’t it amazing that they could make really good movies back then without all the sex, bad language, violence and gore?? Gee, I wonder why they can’t do that today! But wait, they do still make ‘some’ good movies, just not enough!

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