Commentary: Brandon’s Best Black and White Films

Matt’s Commentary –

5. Casablanca (1942)

“Play it again, Sam.” One of the most misquoted lines in movie history. Ingrid Bergman actually says, “Play it once, Sam. Play it, Sam.” Close but not quite the same meaning, however, misquotations aside  Casablanca is a great feat of cinema for all the reasons you discuss. Great acting, fantastic script and overall, an engaging drama.

4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)

Not a film I have seen yet but Jimmy Stewart in a Western opposite John Wayne is an interesting casting choice. You have piqued my interest fine sir!

3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It might be sacrilegious not to have this on a list of the best black and white films of all time. In total agreement with you about the amazingness of this movie even though I see it almost every December.

2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

I’m sensing a theme here, someone is a Jimmy Stewart super fan.

1. City Lights (1931)

On a previous 5ive list, Jeremy listed a scene from this movie as one of his favorites. And I tell you what, I teared up as it was probably one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen on film. Once I find a block of time I need to experience the entire film.

Jackie’s Commentary –

5. Casablanca (1942)

I like that you paired it with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I remember at one point in my life being obsessed with John Huston. He was friends with Orson Wells and Earnest Hemingway! I mean, that seems pretty legit, right? But we’re talking about Casablanca. It’s a good one and you’re absolutely right about this movie. I considered this movie for my list, too, but I think I have other ones that could beat Casablanca.

4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)

Heyooooo! “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” I grew up watching Westerns. John Wayne movies and books were everywhere. One of the brightest memories of my visit to Paris was getting my picture taken with John Wayne. In Madame Tussauds.  (typical American.) But anyway, John Wayne plays his typical rough but witty, no nonsense  cowboy, while Jimmy plays his typical well-mannered, fancy pants. And they compliment each other well.

3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Do I even need to comment? No.

But I will say, I haven’t watched either of the suggested pairings you mentioned.

2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Your next birthday party we’ll have a cardboard cutout of Jimmy Stewart so we can all take pictures with it him.

1. City Lights (1931)

 I can’t argue with this pick or the placement. It’s perfect.

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