Best B&W Films of the 80sby galenhoward82 | created - 25 Jun 2017 | updated - 25 Jun 2017 | Public
From the 70s onward, with the vast majority of films being shot in color, it has become an artistic and/or stylistic choice to present a film in black and white. More often today it is used to pay homage to films of a bygone era and invoke a sense of nostalgia, but it can also be used to help create a stark, emotionless, unforgiving world onscreen. Which of these films made most effective use of its black and white presentation?
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1. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.
Votes: 302,691 | Gross: $23.38M
2. The Elephant Man (1980)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.
3. Stardust Memories (1980)
PG | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
While attending a retrospective of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.
Votes: 20,111 | Gross: $10.39M
4. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
PG | 88 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.
Votes: 19,402 | Gross: $18.20M
5. Rumble Fish (1983)
R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.
Votes: 30,114 | Gross: $2.49M
6. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure.
Votes: 32,420 | Gross: $2.44M
7. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
PG | 84 min | Comedy
In his attempts to reconcile a lounge singer with his mistress, a hapless talent agent is mistaken as her lover by a jealous gangster.
Votes: 22,670 | Gross: $10.60M
9. Down by Law (1986)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
Votes: 45,121 | Gross: $1.44M
12. Forbidden Zone (1982)
R | 74 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.
13. The State of Things (1982)
121 min | Drama
On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's Day the World Ended (1955). The producer is nowhere to be found and director Friedrich... See full summary »
Votes: 2,612 | Gross: $6.00M
14. Veronika Voss (1982)
R | 104 min | Drama
Partially based upon the life of Sybille Schmitz, WI found fame under the Nazi regime, but woods career was destroyed afterwards, Veronika Voss is a once prominent UFA actress, kept by her doctor, raises suspicion in a sports journalist.
16. Tetsuo (1989)
Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.
17. Confidentially Yours (1983)
PG | 110 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »
18. Mala Noche (1986)
Not Rated | 78 min | Drama
A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
20. Boy Meets Girl (1984)
Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Romance
Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first ... See full summary »
23. Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988)
72 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »
25. My Twentieth Century (1989)
104 min | Comedy, Drama
Separated identical twins ride an Orient Express unaware of each other: a feminist anarchist and a hedonistic courtesan, living under the powder-keg Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Separate ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,195 | Gross: $0.68M
26. Sidewalk Stories (1989)
R | 97 min | Comedy
Nearly silent comedy filmed in black and white follows a street artist (Charles Lane), who rescues a baby after her father was murdered. The artist then sets off to find the mother, but has... See full summary »
Votes: 284 | Gross: $0.13M