Today’s prompt for my 31 Day Movie Challenge is
“Top 5 Black n White Movies”
When I came up with this prompt it was referring to the classics, however when I went to make my list I realized most of my favorites have been colorized. Here are my top 5 with a special bonus pick:
1) Now Voyager
Stars the wonderful Miss Bette Davis as Charlotte, a reclusive old maid whose overbearing mother sends her to a sanitarium to deal with her weight and self esteem problems. After leaving the hospital she goes on a cruise where she has to deal with her new firm body and beauty. She runs into a man named Jerry who is very unhappily married and they grow close, close enough to have an affair. They fall in love with each other, but he can not leave his wife because he has a daughter who is emotionally unstable because his wife refuses to love the girl. They return to their lives where Charlotte is no longer the dutiful daughter after finding her independence. Charlotte begins to receive Camellia flowers from Jerry and wears them on her clothes as a symbol of their love, even while she is engaged to another man that she does not love. (Camille is Jerry’s nickname for Charlotte) A chance meeting finds her face to face with Jerry once again. Her mother disapproves of her choice to cancel her wedding causing Charlotte to yell at her resulting in a massive heart attack and death. Charlotte returns to the sanitarium and meets a young girl who reminds her of herself only to find it is Jerry’s daughter. She takes the girl under her wings and lavishes the love she has for Jerry onto the girl. Jerry finds out, which only furthers his love for her. They can never be together, but they have Tina, his daughter.
2) An Affair to Remember
Cary Grant stars as Nickie Ferrante, a gigolo who is famous for dating rich women who keep him. He takes a cruise from Europe to New York and ends up meeting the love of his life Terry McKay(Deborah Kerr). The only problem is, they are both engaged to other people. They try to be discreet, but the entire ship of nosy people watch their every move. On the last night of the cruise they make a commitment to each other; if he is able to find a job that will support them and they both still want each other they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building in six months. They both end their relationships and find jobs, Nickie as a painter and Terry as a singer. On the day of their meeting Terry is running late and as she is rushing to the Empire State Building she is run over by a car paralyzing her. Nickie waits until midnight, but she never arrives causing him to assume she changed her mind. Time passes and they eventually run into each other at the opera. At the end Nickie finds out the secret Terry has been keeping from him, that she is confined to a wheelchair and goes to her. They are still in love.
Stars Marilyn Monroe as a very sexy woman with a jealous husband taking a vacation at Niagara Falls. The lady is plotting to have her husband murdered so she can run off with her lover, but the husband is smarter than she thought and turns the tables on her. He fakes his death by killing his wife’s lover at the falls and then stalks his wife until he ends up killing her. The tale has suspense and intrigue and was well done for the time. This is not Marilyn’s most famous work, but I love it.
4) Carmen Jones
Dorothy Dandridge’s signature film about a sexy lady who can not be tamed falling for a soldier that was already engaged to another woman. The classic ‘she wants what she can’t have’ scenario finds Carmen on a side of love that she knows nothing about. She has men falling at her feet and eventually she wins over Joe(Harry Belafonte). Once she gets her man, she finds it was more than she bargained for. After beating up a superior officer for making a pass at Carmen, they find themselves on the run. Luckily Carmen has a ticket to Chicago that was given to her by a celebrity boxer that fancies her. They run off to Chicago and hide is a boarding house, but Joe being AWOL means they must stay cooped up in their room. Carmen is a wild soul who hates being cooped up and needs to get out. They need money to eat so she goes out to borrow money from her friends that were on the train with the boxer. Unfortunately they are dependent on the boxer for survival and don’t have any money. Carmen sells some jewelry to get food, but when she returns to the room Joe questions her and becomes possessive. She decided she is better off going to the boxer to be his lady so she leaves Joe high and dry. Joe goes crazy and hunts her down eventually killing her.
5) The Barefoot Contessa
Ava Gardner plays Maria, a former movie star with a wild spirit who is dating horrible rich man. He embarrasses her and treats her mean. One evening they are out with friends when her boyfriend creates a scene causing the Count to come to her rescue. He is in love with her and asks her to be his bride. She agrees and leaves her benefactor for the Count. They fall madly in love and on their wedding night he reveals his well kept secret. He was injured in the war and is impotent. Maria is a young desirable woman who enjoys making love so she finds it difficult to stay faithful to her husband. When her husband finds out that she has cheated on him he kills her leaving only the statue he had erected in her honor as a memory.
Bonus: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Another Marilyn Monroe classic. She plays dancer Lorelei Lee who thinks about nothing but money. She has a good heart and an empty head and if not for her best friend Dorothy played by Jane Russell she would be in a world of hurt. She befriends men who are rich and capable of paying for her lifestyle, but ends up falling in love with her latest conquest. He loves her to but fears she only wants him for his money. Eventually she ends up in hot water as she accepts a gift of a diamond tiara from a married man whose wife finds out she had it. The man saves his own butt by denying he gave it to her causing her to be arrested and tried. Dorothy and the reporter that has taken a liking to her end up saving Lorelei from prison. At the end the two best friends have a double wedding, both finding the love they always wanted. This movie has the infamous song and dance number ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ that has been imitated by several artists including Madonna.
I hope you watch these classics and enjoy them. Tell me what your favorite classics are in the comments. I look forward to reading your choices and remember…