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View Full Version : B&W and 1:33:1


lesterlong
03-17-03, 10:37 AM
Ok, I wanted to ask you DVDtalkers, which ended first: Black & White movies or OAR 1:33:1? Now I know some movies are still shot in B&W but I'm talking about the mainstream. I ask this because I noticed a lot of my movies are B&W and 1:33:1 or Color and 1:85:1. There aren't too many films (that I have) that are widescreen AND B&W..

audrey
03-17-03, 10:52 AM
Color became a viable option before widescreen. Widescreen, however, predates color (unless one counts monochromatic tinting). The first widescreen movie was released in 1900, but the format did not catch on until the 1950ís. IIRC the first color stock became available in the 1920ís.

JasonF
03-17-03, 11:42 AM
Color really took off in the late 1930s -- think of films like Gone with the Wind or the Wizard of Oz. Filmmakers continued to use black and white or color depending on what they were trying to achieve (and, of course, their budget). Thus, you have films like Rope, which was (I think) Hitchcock's first color film, which came out the same year (1948) as the black & white film The Third Man. Throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s, you had fewer and fewer films in black and white, but there are some real greta ones from that period -- The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, Touch of Evil, Sunset Blvd., On the Wtaerfront, The Hustler, To Kill a Mockingbird. Since the 1960s, there haven't been too many high profile films in black & white (Paper Moon is th eonly one thta comes immediately to mind, but I'm sure there are others).

Widescreen was developed in the early 1950s in response to television. The fear at that point was that TV would replace movie theaters. When television adopted the academy ratio (1.33:1), the film studios decided to go wider to give the audiences something they couldn't get at home. So the different studios developed a variety of widescreen formats (Panavision, Cinemascope, Vistavision, etc.) -- basically, each of the major studios took a slightly different approach to widescreen, and played around with various formats. There's a pretty informative webpage at:

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/lobby.htm

LBPound
03-17-03, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by lesterlong
There aren't too many films (that I have) that are widescreen AND B&W..

In general, WIDESCREEN B&W films would be productions from the late '50s/early '60s that decided to use B&W rather than color, for dramatic reasons. Stuff like Psycho, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, and so on.

Pants
03-17-03, 06:32 PM
All B&W and Cinemascope/Widescreen:

400 Blows, 40 Guns, All '60s Kurosawa, The Longest Day, Hud, La Dolce Vita, Andrea Rublev, Dirary of a Chambermaid

HistoryProf
03-17-03, 06:50 PM
[i] Since the 1960s, there haven't been too many high profile films in black & white (Paper Moon is th eonly one thta comes immediately to mind, but I'm sure there are others).
[/B]

Good post....but this sentence left me a tad agape given your obvious appreciation of films...just a few i can think of off hand:

Manhattan
Raging Bull
The Man Who Wasn't There
Elephant Man
Young Frankenstein
Zelig
Schindler's List
The Last Picture Show
Eraserhead
Lenny
Dead Man

JasonF
03-18-03, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by brizz
Good post....but this sentence left me a tad agape given your obvious appreciation of films...just a few i can think of off hand:

Manhattan
Raging Bull
The Man Who Wasn't There
Elephant Man
Young Frankenstein
Zelig
Schindler's List
The Last Picture Show
Eraserhead
Lenny
Dead Man

I don't know what I was thinking when I said I couldn't think of any high profile films from 1970 or later in black and white. All of the films you list are high profile, high quality black and white films from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. You can also add:

Clerks (although this was an indie)
Pi
Ed Wood
Broadway Danny Rose
Stardust Memories
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Shadows and Fog
Hester Street
She's Gotta Have It
Rumblefish
Wings of Desire
Zentropa/Europa
Under the Cherry Moon

Prince notwithstanding (and I shoouldn't even say that, since I've never seen Under a Chaery Moon), generally, if a movie is in Black and White these days, it's going to be better than average, because the filmmaker has made a conscious choice, and that is an indication he or she is thinking about things -- something many filmmakers don't seem to do any more.

Steve Phillips
03-21-03, 12:38 PM
In general, after 1965 when color TV broadcasting really kicked in, virtually all features were being shot in color as well. Sure, there were exceptions (Night of the Living Dead) and the occasional big black and white movie (most of which are listed earlier in the thread) but for the most part by then the transition was complete.

Color movies date back to the silent days, but it wasn't until they tried to combat TV in the 50s, and had improved and versatile film stocks to use that it became routine. By the early 60s, *most* major films were shot in color.

I am aware color TV broadcasting began earlier but the fall of 1965 was when most network shows made the switch at once.

So to answer the initial question, there were plenty of widescreen films in various ratios in black and white in the 50s and early 60s. I kind of like B/W CinemaScope myself.