When your friend recommends a black and white movie to you, what is your response?
My first response to black and white movies was to avoid them. My eyes are pampered by colour visuals – more so in our era of Full HD and 4K. Having to tolerate drab black and white pictures, despite those wonderful visuals, seemed like a missed opportunity.
But my opinion has changed in recent times, thanks to a string of great black and white discoveries such as Casablanca, Twelve Angry Men, and most recently, Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s concerts. All of those works turned out to be masterpieces.
If something in black and white is still popular today, it does so in spite of its obvious shortcomings. These works continue to survive based on their quality and artistic value. Such works outstrip their competition on qualities deeper than the ones that meet the eye – on sheer substance.
If that is what you seek in your movies, do lean towards those black and white classics.