Best Visuals (Black & White) in Film History (in progress)

Tags: 
  1. Citizen Kane-Welles (1941)
  2. Metropolis-Lang (1927)
  3. Faust-Murnau (1926)
  4. Touch of Evil-Welles (1958)
  5. The Scarlett Empress-Von Sternberg (1934)
  6. The Magnificent Ambersons-Welles (1942)
  7. Europa-Von Trier (1991)
  8. Last Year at Marienbad-Resnais (1960)
  9. Sin City-Rodriguez/Miller (2005)
  10. Othello-Welles (1952)
  11. The Trial-Welles (1962)
  12. Eraserhead-Lynch (1977)
  13. Andrei Rublev-Tarkovsky (1966)
  14. Wings of Desire-Wenders (1987)
  15. Sunrise-Murnau (1927)
  16. Night of the Hunter-Laughton (1955)
  17. The Passion of Joan of Arc-Dreyer (1927)
  18. Ivan's Childhood-Tarkovsky (1962)
  19. Chimes at Midnight-Welles (1966)
  20. Mr. Arkadin-Welles (1955)
  21. The Last Laugh-Murnau (1924)
  22. Vampyr-Dreyer (1932)
  23. Earth-Dovzhenko (1930)
  24. 8 1/2-Fellini (1963)
  25. Satantango-Tarr (1994)
  26. Werckmeister Harmonies-Tarr (2000)
  27. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari-Wiene (1920)
  28. Raging Bull-Scorsese (1980)
  29. M-Lang (1931)
  30. Hour of the Wolf-Bergman (1967)
  31. Persona-Bergman (1966)
  32. Alexander Nevsky-Eisenstein (1938)
  33. Schindler's List-Spielberg (1993)
  34. The Third Man-Reed (1949)
  35. Hiroshima, Mon Amour-Resnais (1959)
  36. Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte-Aldrich (1965)
  37. Ivan the Terrible, Part 1-Eisenstein (1944)
  38. The Phantom Carriage-Sjostrom (1920)
  39. King Kong-Schoedsack (1933)
  40. The Magician-Bergman (1958)
  41. Sansho the Bailiff-Mizoguchi (1954)
  42. Ugetsu Monogatari-Mizoguchi (1953)
  43. Manhattan-Allen (1979)
  44. La Dolce Vita-Fellini (1960)
  45. The Blue Angel-Von Sternberg (1930)
  46. The Virgin Spring-Bergman (1961)
  47. Psycho-Hitchcock (1960)
  48. Dr. Strangelove-Kubrick (1964)
  49. The Lady from Shanghai-Welles (1947)
  50. October-Eisenstein (1928)
  51. On the Waterfront-Kazan (1954)
  52. Pi-Aronofsky (1998)
  53. Dead Man-Jarmusch (1995)
  54. The Stranger-Welles (1946)
  55. The White Ribbon-Haneke (2009)
  56. The Seven Samurai-Kurosawa (1954)
  57. Pepe Le Moko-Duvivier (1937)
  58. Meshes of the Afternoon-Deren (1943)
  59. L'Age D'Or-Bunuel (1930)
  60. Intolerance-Griffith (1916)
  61. The Bride of Frankenstein-Whale (1935)
  62. La Jetee-Marker (1962)
  63. Repulsion-Polanski (1965)
  64. Ikiru-Kurosawa (1952)
  65. The Seventh Seal-Bergman (1957)
  66. Freaks-Browning (1932)
  67. The Battleship Potemkin-Eisenstein (1925)
  68. Black Rain-Imamura (1989)
  69. L'Atalante-Vigo (1934)
  70. Birth of a Nation-Griffith (1915)
  71. The General-Keaton (1926)
  72. The Manchurian Candidate-Frankenheimer (1962)
  73. Rebecca-Hitchcock (1940)
  74. Greed-Von Stroheim (1924)
  75. Notorious-Hitchcock (1946)
  76. Children of Paradise-Carne (1945)
  77. Sunset Boulevard-Wilder (1950)
  78. The Apartment-Wilder (1960)
  79. The Last Picture Show-Bogdanovich (1971)
  80. Scarface-Hawks (1932)
  81. Broken Blossoms-Griffith (1919)

No love for the Cabinet of Dr Caligari?

Currently it's #21 ( : ...so it will undoubtedly be on here as I extend past 20. It could easily make it back into the top 20 as well.

Expand past twenty there is no reason at all to stop there.

As I mentioned above, I will be doing so

Good list you missed a giant though as i would add anything by Carl Dreyer!!! JL

Thanks - both Passion of Joan of Arc and Vampyr will probably be added if I extend the list to 50.

Come on, AfterHours. Be a G, and bring 'Wings of Desire' up a bit!.

Even if I went and popped a cap in someone's ass, Wings of Desire would still have to be more visually amazing than the films above it for me to move it up! :)

LOL I haven't seen Wings of Desire, but it must be really amazing, that it still has to be moved up when it's as high as #7!

EGGMAN, WINGS OF DESIRE is amazing but it is a blend of B&W (when showing the spiritual world of angels pov) and vivid color when showing the physical world of the earth/humans, therefore im in agreement where it stands on this list. My choice for the two overall greatest films would be 8/1/2 by Fellini and Sunset Blvd by Wilder. 81/2 should be high on this B&W list. I am a filmaker and consider Fellini the greatest visual filmaker ever. I challenge you to take any Fellini film fast forward and randomly stop any where and you almost always have an image worthy of framing!!! Id rather see a fellini scene of two people in coversation in an empty room than the most active action scene from say a speiberg anyday! My two all time favorites and choice among the greatest ever made - it would be a tie between Magnolia and Wings Of Desire. JL

Those two would likely be on here if I extended the list to 30-35ish, and really, they could make it within my top 25 anyway. If I was rating by "perfection" of the frame, 8 1/2 would undoubtedly be in the top 10 (if not 5 - Last Yr at Marienbad perhaps #1). But I rate according to the emotional resonance of the visuals and in that case find the visuals of films like Citizen Kane, with its highly subjective, intense ghostly solitude, and multi-faceted stylistic/emotional palette, quite a bit more powerful. Or, Metropolis, with its wild montages, crazed religious symbology, spectacular city scapes, art deco monuments, cavernous underworld, crowds running amok, electrifying and imaginative special effects...etc...

^Darnitt, I wish I would've known this 15 years ago. Then I wouldn't have wasted so much time watching so many horrible films, like Citizen Kane, Metropolis, and others.

Citizen Kane upgraded from #3 to #1...

As I am nearing completion of my Citizen Kane review/analysis it has become more and more clear to me that its massive overall expression, which is such a multitude of ideas and emotions that it is hard to believe, is possibly the most astonishing palette of visuals in the history of cinema.