5 on the fly: classic black and white movies to watch

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by Sarah Halfpenny

Right up until the late 1960s, black and white was the only film technology available but it made for great storytelling. Relive these fantastic tales that have stood the test of time…

  1. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Melbourne residents are in for a treat this coming May when the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI present this classic movie monster in 3D (as it was originally filmed!) on the big screen. Get your tickets here to watch the prehistoric aquatic humanoid ‘Gill Man’ as he seeks vengeance on a team of scientists and falls in love with the beautiful Kay. Alternatively, stream it on Binge or Foxtel, or rent it on Apple TV, Google Play or YouTube.

  1. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Based on the novel of the same name, this ever-popular film noir was directed by John Huston (father of Anjelica Huston) and starred Humphrey Bogart as a San Francisco private eye dealing with three unscrupulous characters, all out to find a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette. It was nominated for three Academy Awards. Rent on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube or Fetch.

  1. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

The film that caught Hollywood’s attention and catapulted Alfred Hitchcock to stardom! It’s a mystery thriller starring Margaret Lockwood as a beautiful English tourist travelling by train in Europe who discovers that her elderly travelling companion has disappeared. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is helped by a musicologist (Michael Redgrave) and the pair search the train for clues. Stream it on Prime Video, or rent it on Apple TV, Google Play or YouTube.

  1. Roman Holiday (1953)

A romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn as a princess out on a secret solo journey to see Rome, and Gregory Peck as a reporter who finds her asleep on a park bench and takes her back to his apartment to recuperate, unaware of her true identity. Hepburn won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance. Rent it on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, or YouTube.

  1. Schindler’s List (1993)

This modern-day black and white historical drama was a big departure from the films Steven Spielberg usually directed. The story revolves around businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who saved over 1,000 Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Director. Stream it on Binge, Foxtel or Stan, or rent it on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play or YouTube.

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