5 Black & White Classics to Watch this Year

I have watched very few Black and White films, but whatever I have watched to date have been all classics, and I mostly watched these almost 20 years ago. One of my resolutions this year is to re-watch a few black-and-white classics. The ones that I prioritize to watch are: 

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird:

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was turned into an Academy Award film in 1962 by Robert Mulligan. The film stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a lawyer who believes in modern ideologies of equal rights and fair treatment in the racially discriminating small town of Maycomb. Finch defends an African American named Tom Robinson who is arrested on rape charges of a white woman. Even though Finch successfully tries his best to prove Tom's innocence, the latter is simply proven guilty because of his skin colour, and later is lynched by an angry mob. The film throws light on the absurdities and horrific discrimination that were inflicted upon African Americans at those times. This movie is a must-watch courtroom drama and Gregory Peck was simply brilliant in his portrayal of Atticus Finch.

2. How Green was my Valley:

Another novel-turned-film, this 1941 Black-and-white classic is about a happy and warm family of Morgans, most of whose members are coal miners. They earn meagerly but are very happy and live together with joy. Due to unknown reasons, the mine owner lowered their already meagre wages, resulting in the workers going on strike. This also affects the atmosphere of the Morgan family, and they split. The narration of the film is done so beautifully in the voice of an older Huw Morgan, the youngest of the Morgans. A simple film with a mix of joy and sadness, How Green Was My Valley is definitely in my rewatch list.

3. Bicycle Thieves: 

One of the best Italian films of all time, this movie is also a book adaptation. The 1948 film is about Antonio, a poor man who has to get a job at any cost to provide for himself and his family. His bicycle is snatched by another man, and Antonio is desperate to get it at any cost. He goes through a series of unfortunate events with his son Bruno in search of the bicycle. Although initially disapproved in its home country, the film was widely appreciated elsewhere and went on to win an honorary Academy Award for Best Foreign film.

4. Psycho: 

Hitchcock's 1968 film is about a serial killer who dons two personalities and runs a motel to get his victims. This film was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein's horrific murders. Anthony Perkins plays the role of Norman Bates, a supposedly shy motel owner who takes care of his dominating, ailing mother and takes Taxidermy as a hobby. To date, Psycho is considered one of the scariest horror films ever made, not only for its brilliant storyline and direction but also for the thrilling background score and highly effective camera work.

5. The Yearling:

This 1946 film was a book adaptation too. It has Gregory Peck as Penny Baxter, a retired soldier who lives with his wife and son Jody. His wife Ora is strict and is afraid to show Jody much love due to false fears of losing him, as she had lost her other kids before. The little boy adopts a fawn whom he lovingly names Flag. Jody and Flag become inseparable. However, Flag becomes a significant threat for the crops. Jody works hard to make a fence, but to his disappointment Flag still jumps it and destroys new crop. This repeats again and ultimately turns into something fatal, and finally, Jodie and Flag are separated, but finally Jody's mother starts showering him with the motherly affection that he had missed for so long.


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