Top 10 Favorite Black & White Movies:
1: The Thin Man Series. I can never pick my favorite of the series – it depends on my mood at any given moment. But William Powell and Myrna Loy are my favorite on-screen couple of all time. The play between these two is mostly what I love about these movies, although the murder/mystery twists are great too.
Also, this was a Halloween costume one year:
2: Casablanca. The first time I watched this (which was way too late in life, I blame bad parenting), I was shocked to find that I knew over half the lines. I mean, everyone knows “Of all the gin joints…” but there are TONS of lines that have slipped into everyday use. It’s also a love triangle with much bigger things at stake, and that’s refreshing.
3: The Philadelphia Story. I like wit. The combo of Grant, Hepburn, and Stewart is hard to beat. I guess technically there’s more like a love “square” with the other guy thrown in, but the main thing for me is that it’s about Tracy finding herself and not settling.
4: City Lights. I have so much respect for early storytellers who didn’t use, you know, speech. Emotions are conveyed with eyes or a heavy bodily sigh. Chaplin might have been a perfectionist control-freak (directed, wrote, produced, starred), but the results is one of the sweetest movies I can think of.
5: All About Eve. Great cast – and the short surprise of Marilyn Monroe. Movies like this are always super-creepy to me. The idea of taking someone under your wing only to have them turn on you is terrifying. It’s like “Mean Girls” meets “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
6: High Noon. Love Gary Cooper. Love Grace Kelly. This isn’t a typical shoot-em-up, horse-chase-heavy kind of western, but the slow suspense is great, and the actor performances really draw you in.
7: It Happened One Night. This is just fun. I’ve never thought Clark Gable is handsome at all, but the unlikely romance that develops here totally works for me. There are several moments of outright hilarity. And of course the famous lesson in hitchhiking.
8: The Treasure of Sierra Madre. I always like Bogart, but his character in this movie was different than a lot of what I’d seen from him. I particularly like the way greed and betrayal destroy everything, even more than the external dangers.
9: Lost Horizon. This kind of blew my mind. I love questioned utopias, and the way this movie builds and builds with suspense is great.
10: Swing Time. I think this was the first Ginger Rogers movie I saw. With Fred Astaire, she’s amazing. Also, it has the lyric, “You take romance, I’ll take jello.” That’s really all I need.