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Acting Without Color

Forums - Discs & Movies - Acting Without Color 

13th January 2007 3:36  #1

Stubby Member Join Date: December 2006 Location: United States Posts: 290
Acting Without Color
I've been watching some classic B & W movies of late (On the Waterfront, 12 Angry Men, the original All The Kings Men) and have come to the conclusion that great acting performances stand out much better when there is no color. Color tends to distract your attention from the intensity of the actor.
What are some great Back and White films produced from the major studios post 1970?, Off the top of my head I come up with Raging Bull and Schindler's List

13th January 2007 4:17  #2

Mal Webmaster Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,290
You've picked the obvious ones, how about: The Man Who Wasn't There, Pi, Ed Wood, La Haine and Clerks. There's plenty more, in fact here's a list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recent_fil...

Wikipedia never ceases to amaze me. Happy

13th January 2007 5:45  #3

Dustin Member Join Date: March 2006 Location: United States Posts: 553 Send a message via AIM to Dustin
Ah! The Man Who Wasn't There is a masterpiece! Wonderful score and cinematography, that one has.

13th January 2007 12:59  #4

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Isn't it do do, as well, that acting syles have changed since the period of B&W films.

Another aspect of many B&W films that make them better than most of todays films are the fact that dialogue was so much fuller and had a quicker pace to it. Unrealistic by todays standards but it definately had more snap to it. Again though, that is due to filming techniques changing which leads to a change in acting styles.

14th January 2007 18:40  #5

Stubby Member Join Date: December 2006 Location: United States Posts: 290
Thanks for the great link Mal. I'm going to check out The Man Who Wasn't There based on the 2 recommendations above (and it's by the Coen Brothers which is reason enough).
 Besides the changes in scripting and acting styles, I believe the B & W format lends more character to facial closeups- shadows especially. And a sweaty face looks better too.

14th January 2007 19:40  #6

Tom Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 2,497 Send a message via ICQ to Tom
Yeah, Man Who Wasn't There is very good. One of Billy Bobs best!

15th January 2007 16:10  #7

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Mal wrote: You've picked the obvious ones, how about: The Man Who Wasn't There, Pi, Ed Wood, La Haine and Clerks. There's plenty more, in fact here's a list:


Good Night and Good Luck as well.  I know this is a polarizing movie due to content, but I'm not sure it would have been as good a film in color.

Oh, you can also use the power search feature on IMDB to search for Black and White movies.  (You can search based on color preference!)  It will probably return more stuff than you really want, but it's a starting place.

16th January 2007 16:03  #8

poppy Banned Join Date: September 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 91
Jacko does it all the time............

16th January 2007 23:58  #9

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
The Elephant Man  was in b/w

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