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Beautifully shot Black & White movies


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#1 Ian Marks

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:17 PM

Can anyone suggest movies I can rent which show black and white cinematography at its best? I've already got Schindler's List and The Man Who Wasn't There on my personal list, but I'd be interested in other people's suggestions. I haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet but I will soon. Thanks.
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#2 Finn van Gelderen

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:38 PM

Can anyone suggest movies I can rent which show black and white cinematography at its best? I've already got Schindler's List and The Man Who Wasn't There on my personal list, but I'd be interested in other people's suggestions. I haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet but I will soon. Thanks.


Try Woody Allens "Manhattan" & "Broadway Danny Rose" both Beautifully shot by Gordon Willis.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:46 PM

The Elephant Man
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#4 Bill Totolo

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:56 PM

Three great films I think are essential toward getting you familiar with great black and white cinematography are:

"Mildred Pierce" shot by Earnest Haller

"Sweet Smell of Success" shot by James Wong Howe

"Sabrina" shot by Charles Lang

Then you could follow that up with films like:

"The Third Man" shot by Robert Krasker

"Casablanca" shot by Arthur Edeson

"Tokyo Story" shot by Yuuharu Atsuta

"Citizen Kane" shot by Gregg Toland

"Touch of Evil" shot by Russell Metty

"Rififi" shot by Philippe Angostini

"Woman in the Dunes" shot by Hiroshi Segawa

"Olympiad" and "Triumph of the Will" directed by Leni Riefenstahl

"Meshes in the Afternoon" shot by Alexander Hammid

"Raging Bull" shot by Michael Chapman


This is a very short list. In fact, to make a list like this is to exclude so many great films.
I hope this gets you started. Let us know what you think when you see some of these and other great examples of black and white cinematography.
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#5 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 02:18 PM

I'd recommend two films directed by Ingmar Bergman and photographed by Sven Nykvist:

"Through a Glass Darkly"
"Winter Glass"

Also

"A Knife in the Water" directed by Roman Polanski and photographed by Jerzy Lipman.
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:50 PM

Can anyone suggest movies I can rent which show black and white cinematography at its best? I've already got Schindler's List and The Man Who Wasn't There on my personal list, but I'd be interested in other people's suggestions. I haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet but I will soon. Thanks.


'Ivan Groznii' (Ivan the Terrible -Parts I & II) 1944 -E.Tisse and A.Moskvin

Welles' 'The Tragedy of Othello' -G.R.Aldo etal. 5 cinematographers over an intermittent shooting schedule, yet a consistant look.

'Seppuku' AKA 'Harakiri' 1962 -Yoshio Miyajima in Shochiku GrandScope

'The Innocents' -Freddie Francis 1961 in CinemaScope

J.Ford's 'The Fugitve' 1947 -Gabriel Figueroa

Ford's "Fort Apache' 1948 -Archie stout & Wm. Clothier

'He Walked by Night' 1948 -John Alton

'The Night of the Iguana' 1964 -G.Figueroa

'In Cold Blood' 1967 -Conrad Hall in Panavision

'The Loved One' 1965 -Haskell Wexler

'Dr. Strangelove' 1964 -Gil Taylor

The last two were on my all time favorite double bill. & I hadn't seen either of them at the time.

---LV
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#7 J. Lamar King

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:19 PM

Just a few not mentioned yet,

"Jules et Jim"
"The 400 Blows"
"My Darling Clementine"
"Sanjuro"
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:39 PM

I've thought of a few more: "High Noon" (1952), interesting because it was a western shot by an Austrian. I'd also recommend a few film noir "whodunnit?" films as well, although they became very cliche since so many were made. I'd recommend "The Big Sleep" as a good representation of the film noir style. While "Casablanca" is an exceptionally well-photographed film, I don't feel it is a true noir in terms of style. It has a different flavor of lighting to it. Getting back to my previous post espousing "Elephant Man", I think it is really a good film to watch because it was made in 1982 or 3. It was a stylistic choice to shoot it in B&W just as it was to shoot Schindler's List in B&W. Also, I am a big fan of the visual style of some of the Twilight Zone Episodes. Some of them are done quite well.

Regards.

Karl Borowski
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#9 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 05:04 PM

'La Dolce Vita' is gorgeous. On the seedier side - 'Pi', 'Nadja'
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#10 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 06:15 PM

Persona
Spy Who Came In Fron the Cold
8 1/2
A Hard Days Night
Boston Strangler
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#11 Ian Marks

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 07:07 PM

Thanks, everyone! I'm compiling a list to take with me when I rent movies.
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#12 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 09:38 PM

Thanks, everyone! I'm compiling a list to take with me when I rent movies.

Grab every chance you can get to see these movies on the Big Screen. From time to time the film series at a museum or school will run 35mm prints of some of these wonderful B&W films. You ain't seen nuttin' till you've seen these jewels up big and bright! I once had a print of "The Big Sleep" (1946) at home to test a portable 35mm projector I was fixing for someone - I watched it a bunch of times, I'm not certain if I ever really figured the plot out - but God are the women in it gorgeous - first of all, of course, Ms. Bacall. The pictures aren't bad either. :)

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#13 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 09:52 PM

I'm in a rush but here are two of my favorites: [I also second the choices of "Raging Bull", "8 1/2" and "The Elephant Man" and of course, anything photographed by Greg Toland, ASC]


"Hud" - James Wong Howe, ASC

"The Last Picture Show" - Robert Surtees, ASC
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#14 Richard Vialet

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 10:43 PM

One cinematographer you should look into is Boris Kaufmann and his extraordinary work with director Elia Kazan, especially the stunning On The Waterfront. Also his work on Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men was pretty good as well!
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#15 Ian Wilson

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 01:16 AM

Is it me or did most of the people go back atleast 20 years...how about Schindler's List. I know almost everyone has seen it but damn is was a great B@W. Or there is Roger Deakins - The man who wasnt there. Also well shot.
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 03:37 AM

Is it me or did most of the people go back atleast 20 years...how about Schindler's List. I know almost everyone has seen it but damn is was a great B@W. Or there is Roger Deakins - The man who wasnt there. Also well shot.


Those were already mentioned in the original post!

It's hardly surprising to go back to the height of b&w photography (1930's-1950's) for good examples.

Some of these have already been mentioned, but among my favorites for b&w photography are:

Sunrise, Passion of Joan of Arc, The Fugitive, How Green Was My Valley, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Citizen Kane, Magnificent Ambersons, Portrait of Jennie, Night of the Hunter, The Innocents, Out of the Past, Mildred Pierce, Casablanca, Hud, Sweet Smell of Success, In Cold Blood, Last Picture Show, Paper Moon
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#17 Mark Allen

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 05:03 AM

Grab every chance you can get to see these movies on the Big Screen.


When I was studying theater and film scoring for my BA at UCLA, David Raksin was my teacher for film scoring and he happens to have a pristine 35mm print of Citizen Kane which he would show to his class once a year. It was Melnitz Theater, so a few lucky friends always got to sit in that day.

I'd seen the movie on video maybe 10 times, but to see it in a no-need for restoration quality print was pretty impressive. Almost as impressive as all the behind the scenes stories he would tell.
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#18 Brian Rose

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 12:21 PM

Believe it or not, I've found Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls to be beautifully photographed. If you can, get ahold of a copy of Criterion's HD master. Low budget values aside, it is one of the best looking BW that I've seen. That's my two cents.
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 01:41 PM

Believe it or not, I've found Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls to be beautifully photographed. If you can, get ahold of a copy of Criterion's HD master. Low budget values aside, it is one of the best looking BW that I've seen. That's my two cents.


Yes, it's surprisingly well-made for a super-low-budget indie of that period -- probably because the filmmakers had made hundreds of educational shorts for Centron, so they were real pros.
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#20 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 03:25 PM

I've thought of a few more: "High Noon" (1952), interesting because it was a western shot by an Austrian.


Also, I am a big fan of the visual style of some of the Twilight Zone Episodes. Some of them are done quite well.


---"High Noon" was directed by an Austrian, but photographed by a WASPy American, Floyd Crosby.
David Crosby's dad. He had photoggraphed Pare Lorenz's 'The River' and later many Roger Corman's,
including the first Poe's.

As for TV, Conrad Hall was one of the camermen on the first season of the 'Outer Limits'. The episodes he did with Gerd Oswald are gems.

---LV
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