49 Classic Black-And-White Movies That Will Get You Laid

1. The Turin Horse (2011)

Bela Tarr’s swansong ‘The Turin Horse’,  an existe

Bela Tarr’s swansong ‘The Turin Horse’, an existential drama about a man, his daughter and a trusty horse on the verge of the end of civilization, appears to represent the magnificent end of Tarr’s career. Bare minimum shots – thirty to be precise, stripped away of any redemption, dystopian aesthetics, and sparse dialogues, the experience of watching father and son surviving on potatoes is no less than horror for life. 

During a telephonic interview with Eric Kohn, when asked why he chose ‘The Turin Horse’ as his last feature, he explains ‘ During these 34 years of filmmaking, I’ve said everything I want to say. I can repeat it, I can do a hundred things, but I don’t want to bore you. I don’t want to copy my films. That’s all.’

The Turin Horse featured in our list of 75 Best Films of the Decade (2010s)

In early 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche has allegedly walked out of his home in Turin, Italy, and witnessed a carriage driver brutally lashing his stubborn horse. He stopped the savagery by throwing his arms around the horse and sobbing, and in the days that followed, legend has it, Nietzsche lost what remained of his sanity.

Bela Tarr wondered about that horse and the carriage driver which led to the making of Turn Horse, a grimly deterministic drama with an unquestionable sense for visual poetics. Set during a punishing storm, the restlessness creeps in every frame of this artfully minimalist and stubbornly slow drama that focuses on the humdrum of existence.

#80. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

– Director: John Ford – IMDb user rating: 8.1 – Votes: 61,345 – Runtime: 123 minutes One among many collaborations between director John Ford and actor John Wayne, this western drama takes place in the town of Shinbone. That’s where Sen. Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) once famously shot a ruthless outlaw known as Liberty Valance. Or did he?

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17. In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)

A slice of modernity is offered to you in a monoch

A slice of modernity is offered to you in a monochrome accentuating Los Angeles as a city that blossoms with love. The film is laced with a quick wit and a desperate search for love which edges on the verge of humor.

The film never ceases to surprise you with painfully earnest conversations that would send you into peals of laughter in the most innocent situations. An undertone of a romantic comedy can be seen in flitting moments through the film. The film makes it hard to tear your eyes away with an increasingly thickening plot and makes you want to root for the characters and hope that they finally get their midnight kiss as suggestive in the movie title.

14. Love and Basketball

{ New Line Cinema } Air Date: April 21, 2000

Let’s start with this indisputable fact: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) should’ve never ended up together. After spending their childhood living next door to each other in Los Angeles, California, Monica and Quincy begin dating after their high school prom. They then decide to attend the University of Southern California together, where their relationship unravels. Quincy starts feeling himself and cheating with some girl who he takes to McDonalds for meals. If that wasn’t enough, he decides to enter the NBA draft without discussing it with Monica. Again, they should’ve never ended up together. By the end, though, they’re playing a one-on-one basketball game to decide whether or not they want to be together. What a mess. It’s entertaining, but a mess none-the-less.

12. Two Can Play That Game

{ Screen Gems } Air Date: September 7, 2001

Shanté Smith (Vivica A. Fox) has it all: She’s a 28-year-old advertising executive with a sleek convertible, slamming wardrobe, and gorgeous boyfriend. Shanté also acts as a relationship guru who uses her “10 Day Plan” to counsel her friends through romantic hardships. When her boyfriend Keith (Morris Chestnut) tells her he’s working late, but is caught red-handed dancing with another woman in a club, she has to implement the “10 Day Plan” in her own relationship. Two Can Play That Game is hilarious, primarily because of the cast, but also because Shanté speaks her inner thoughts directly to the audience.

Frances Ha (2012)

After years of being a household name for indie cinema, Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach made his first black-and-white movie, Frances Ha, in 2002, co-written by and starring Greta Gerwig. Gerwig as Frances is the ebullient center of this tale that captures a 20-something milling about New York malaise, finding direction in a city that can be emboldening as much as it is crushing. True to how modern black-and-white filmmaking works, Baumbach also embraced digital cameras for the first time and shot it in color, only to then convert it to black and white in postproduction (though he claimed that he never watched the shoot’s color dailies). Frances Ha is free-spirited and energetic like the French New Wave films by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut that inspired its existence, allowing streetlights and shadowy intimate moments of friendship take precedence. Black and white presents that very certain time of Frances’s life as what it only feels like in hindsight: cinematic. (Available on the Criterion Channel.)

6 The Shop around the Corner

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If you like You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, then you’ll love this, because it was the inspiration! Jimmy Stewart was basically the Tom Hanks of his generation. Jimmy as Alfred and Margaret Sullavan as Klara cannot stand each other, but they’re secretly pen pals – and, of course, fall in love that way!

9 Notorious

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If you like your romantic movies on the darker side, then this one is a great pick. It’s incredibly sensual, as befitting Alfred Hitchcock’s work. This time Cary Grant pairs with Ingrid Bergman, which explains the sensuality – especially given the fact that it contains a kiss that was very risque back in the day.

Tetro (2009)

Tetro was an incredibly personal film for legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, even though he distanced himself from the notion that the tale of two estranged brothers in Buenos Aires is autobiographical. It was the first original script of his own (i.e., not an adaptation and without a co-writer) that he directed since The Conversation in 1974 and is a throwback to his black-and-white favorites like Rocco and His Brothers and Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront. Coppola recalls those monochrome classics with his own velvety black and white (with brief color flashbacks), thanks to cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. For a director who has had some famously large production ordeals, his first black-and-white movie since 1983’s Rumble Fish had the intimate set of an indie, or of a filmmaker going back to basics. Coppola has called Tetrothe second film of my second career,” and his rejuvenation as a writer-director was no doubt inspired by playing with the monochrome palettes of the movies he grew up on. (Available to rent on Amazon.)

#1. Schindlers List (1993)

– Director: Steven Spielberg – IMDb user rating: 8.9 – Votes: 1,053,733 – Runtime: 195 minutes When asked why he shot this award-winning film in black and white, director Steven Spielberg explained that he’d never actually seen Holocaust footage in color. The artistic decision gives the movie a palpable degree of authenticity, telling the true story of one man (Liam Neeson) who saves more than 1,000 Jews from execution during WWII. 

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