The massive improvement of Hollywood movies cannot be separated from the classic movies in the beginning of the 19th century. Almost all Hollywood’s outstanding classic films were made in black and white. Then, one should reconsider the reason why we would not want to watch black and white movies.
Some people might say, is there any good in watching black and white movies while there are so many interesting colorful films? Instead, it’s dull and not dynamic. At least, that’s the stigma. But after watching the movies, all those thoughts are wrong. Black and white movies give another impression different from modern movies nowadays. The story is original with high moral value. There are so little vulgar scenes in them replaced by politeness and blatant quality either from the acts or language.
Occupying the simple technique, the movie makers at that time could already create their movie with great characteristic and they are still interesting to watch. For example is a war drama film, Casablanca (1942), by Michael Curtis. It reminds us to the real meaning of sacrifice in a complicated situation. Curtis could build a discouraged, uproar, serene, and happy ambiance all at once in fine combination of editing, musical illustration, and sequential acts.
Excluding any vulgar scene, the love story is still enjoyable, even it becomes a sign that love is not obscene. It’s no different from William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) that won Oscar for the best movie at that time. Still about war, three romance stories in it could drain your tears without any vulgarity. Every scene is designed so humble and honest, giving a very deep impression for the audience.
Another great masterpiece of black and white is It Happened One Night (1934) by Frank Capra. This romance comedy tells a love story of a man and woman with different status and later brings us into a profound emotional feeling. One more is Roman Holiday (1950) by William Wyler. Like It Happened One Night, the love of a couple in a different caste is told in a lovable way, making people watching it shed their happy tears. Both movies show scenes when a man and a woman sleep in one room. In recent movies, it would potentially initiate adult segment, but there is nothing such like at all in those movies.
Every scene in classic movies is suitable even for the teenagers. Watching them reminds us to the past with its warm and comfortable nuance. Black and white colors make their classicism but never boring. It is too bad that present audience do not see them that way. Most of them are just more interested in new movies comprising hilarious story or rich visual effects whereas, in fact, their existence roots in classic movies. Classic movies are truly history, but history should not be just left behind.
College student of faculty of humanities in Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta and movie enthusiast