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B&W Classics

B&W Classics

An array of classic films in black and white.

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B&W Classics
  • On the Bowery

    Directed by Lionel Rogosin • Documentary • With Ray Salyer, Gorman Hendricks, Frank Matthews
    • 1956 • 65 minutes

    On the Bowery chronicles three days in the drinking life of Ray Salyer, a part-time railroad worker adrift on New York’s skid row. When the film first opened in 1956, it exploded ...

  • Le Joli Mai

    Directed by Chris Marker, Pierre Lhomme • Documentary • 1963 • 145 minutes

    Filmed just after the March 1962 ceasefire between France and Algeria, LE JOLI MAI documents Paris during a turning point in French history: the first time since 1939 that France was not involved in any war.

    Part I, "A P...

  • Brickmakers (Chircales)

    Directed by Marta Rodriguez & Jorge Silva • Documentary • 1972 • 42 minutes

    Remastered! Considered a classic Latin American and Colombian documentary film, Brickmakers chronicles the search for a film production methodology that could be adapted to the sociopolitical conditions of Latin America....

  • Lonely Boy

    Directed by Wolf Koening, Roman Kroiter • Documentary • 1962 • 26 minutes

    The story of popular singer Paul Anka. He rose from obscurity to become the idol of millions of adolescent fans around the world. This film takes a candid look at both sides of the footlights as well as the promotion indus...

  • Travels in the Congo (Voyage au Congo)

    Directed by Marc Allégret • Documentary • 1927 • 117 minutes

    In 1925, Marc Allégret accompanied André Gide on a journey to French Equatorial Africa, the Congo, as his secretary, and novice filmmaker. Filming throughout their 11-month travels, and only three years after Nanook of the North, Allég...

  • The Song of Ceylon

    Directed by Basil Charles Wright • Documentary • With Lionel Wendt, Alberto Cavalcanti, John Grierson, Stuart Legg, Basil Charles Wright • 1934 • 38 minutes

    The Song of Ceylon was originally commissioned as a series of short travelogues, but spawned an ambitious film transforming travelogue (exo...

  • Ida

    Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski • Drama • With Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska • 2014 • 80 minutes

    From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) comes Ida, a moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, ...

  • Rocco and His Brothers

    Directed by Luchino Visconti • Drama • With Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Claudia Cardinale • 1960 • 179 minutes

    Presented by Martin Scorsese and featuring an operatic score by Nino Rota, Rocco and His Brothers is a timeless story of modernity, class tension, and family drama sp...

  • A Man Vanishes

    Directed by Shohei Imamura • Documentary • 1967 • 130 minutes

    One of the most important and complex works by two-time Palme d'Or winning director Shohei Imamura, A MAN VANISHES begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year.

    The film ...

  • David Holzman's Diary

    Directed by Jim McBride • Drama • With Eileen Dietz, Kit Carson • 1967 • 73 minutes

    David Holzman's Diary is one of the most influential films of the 1960s, an "ingenious puzzle movie" (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader) that charts the self-destruction of a media-saturated youth. As news from the Viet...

  • At Last the 1948 Show (2 seasons)

    2 seasons

    “Pre-Python comedy gold!” – The Daily Mail

    This ground-breaking, splendidly silly and surreal comedy sketch series, written and performed by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman, was a major milestone on the road to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Each surviving episode...

  • La Commune (Paris, 1871)

    4 items

    Inside a giant warehouse in a working-class Parisian suburb, Peter Watkins (The War Game, Edvard Munch) assembles a cast of over 200 non-professional actors (though their amateur status is undetectable). Basing their work upon thorough historical research, they will attempt to re-create the event...

  • La Cuidad

    Directed by David Riker • Drama • 1998 • 88 minutes

    LA CIUDAD, the feature film debut of writer/director David Riker, is a dramatically photographed collection of stories of love, hope, and loss, and an affecting portrait of disenfranchised Latin American immigrants living in New York. Filmed ov...

  • Drifters

    Directed by John Grierson • Documentary • 1929 • 50 minutes

    Story of the North Sea herring fleets. Filmed around the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft and Lerwick in the Shetlands in all weathers, but using some studio sets for interiors.

  • Olivia
    Movie + 1 extra

    Olivia

    Movie + 1 extra

    OLIVIA is a remarkable work by one of France’s first ground-breaking female filmmakers, which easily merits rediscovery today after being neglected for almost 70 years.

    Plunging the viewer—and the main character—into a true lion’s den, Jacqueline Audry (1908-1977) depicts a 19th century boardin...

  • Rocky Road to Dublin

    Movie + 1 extra

    ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN is a provocative and revealing portrait of Ireland in the Sixties, a society characterized by a stultifying educational system, a morally repressive and politically reactionary clergy, a myopic cultural nationalism, and a government which seemingly knew no boundary between ch...

  • Strange Victory

    Directed by Leo Hurwitz • Documentary • With Alfred Drake, Muriel Smith, Gary Merrill
    • 1948 • 71 minutes

    The year was 1945. The free world rejoices over the defeat of fascism. But the peace soon chilled, and in the Cold War that followed the United States entered a period of national paranoia...

  • A Game for Six Lovers (L’eau à la bouche)

    Directed by Jacques Doniol-Valcroze • Drama • 1960 • 84 minutes

    One of the founders of the epochal film magazine Cahiers du cinema, and therefore a prime mover of the French New Wave, Doniol-Valcroze joined all the upstart critics making films in the late ‘50s-early 60s with this decadent debut,...

  • We Are the Lambeth Boys

    Directed by Karel Reisz • Documentary • With John Rollason, Thomas Ahearne, Patrick Ahearne • 1959 • 53 minutes

    Karel Reisz’s honest and sympathetic depiction of South London teens aimed to challenge the media perception of ‘Teddy Boys’, and would be one of the last films to appear under the Fre...

  • Come Back, Africa
    Movie + 1 extra

    Come Back, Africa

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Lionel Rogosin • Drama • With Zacharia Mgabi, Vinah Bendile, Miriam Makeba • 1959 • 86 minutes

    Lionel Rogosin’s 1959 powerful classic Come Back, Africa is one of the bravest and best of all political films. After witnessing firsthand the terrors of fascism as a soldier in World War I...

  • Lady Chatterley's Lover

    Directed by Marc Allégret • Drama • With Danielle Darrieux, Leo Genn, Erno Crisa, Jean Murat • 1955 • 100 minutes

    This is the first film of D.H. Lawrence’s controversial novel, which premiered in 1955, five years before the uncensored novel even appeared in print in the UK. Danielle Darrieux (in...

  • Momma Don't Allow

    Directed by Karel Reisz & Tony Richardson • Documentary • With Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Pat Halcox, Ron Bowden • 1956 • 22 minutes

    This lively Free Cinema short captures a night out at the Wood Green Jazz Club, where teenagers jive to trad jazz. Funded by the BFI Experimental Film Fund, it ...

  • Julietta

    Directed by Marc Allégret • Drama • With Jean Marais, Dany Robin, Jeanne Moreau • 1953 • 97 minutes

    JULIETTA is a romantic comedy with the whimsical energy of a hummingbird. Dany Robin stars as the eponymous demoiselle, a flighty, impulsive pixie in white gloves who is engaged to an older prince...

  • Van Gogh

    Directed by Alain Resnais • Documentary • 1948 • 18 minutes

    Classic French New Wave director Alain Resnais’ early film, VAN GOGH won an Oscar for best short documentary film. Recently restored, this 1948 boundary-pushing short brilliantly evokes the life of Vincent Van Gogh, using only his paint...