Black-and-White movies are never just black and white, but hundreds of shades between them. The gradations of grey in black and white made it a darling of filmmakers ever since the silent era. In the 1930s and 1940s, Technicolor made everything in Hollywood looks pretty. Those filmmakers who wanted to explore the shades of characters, the range of emotions, the depth of drama, and the mercurial nature of human persona, went for black-and-white. Movies like Citizen Kane (1941), The Little Foxes (1941), and film-noir movies made black-and-white a niche at the time of color prominence.
The black-and-white movies have developed a unique aesthetic of their own over time. During our era of digital revolution, black-and-white are still on high demand among filmmakers for its aesthetic or political potentials, and also among moviegoers for its unique cinematic experience, because gradations of grey are practically infinite, and so are human emotions. The characteristic grain and shadows of black and white movies evoke a nostalgia in moviegoers.
A key advantage of black-and-white cinematography is that it allows the viewers to see the light more clearly, from diverse perspectives in the absence of color. In other words, we are entitled to see the internal world of the characters in another light. As we get to know the characters and their emotional space closer, it enhances our cinematic experience in general. Netflix is keen to maintain and update a resourceful list of black and white movies. Here’s the list of really good black-and-white movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
12. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Orson Welles’ ‘The Magnificent Ambersons‘ is a love triangle told in black and white. Orson Wells made the movie as a follow-up piece to his masterpiece ‘Citizen Kane.’ ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ unfolds in the backdrop of Amberson Mansion, an ostentatious set piece where the irresistibly beautiful Isabel Amberson, the widow of Wilbur Minafer and her son living. When Eugene Morgan, the beau from Isabel’s past returns to their life, the bond of love between the mother and her son, a spoiled rich kid, is strained. Complications further arise as George becomes jealous of Morgan’s intimacy with his widowed mother. The Ambersons Mansion witnesses a series of terrible events in the days followed.
11. The Stranger (1946)