5 Colourful Movies That Were Almost Black And White

Oh what a day... what a lovely grey.

Taxi Driver Black And White
Columbia Pictures

When a remarkable movie fades to black, viewers often hold on to the iconic or ground-breaking images displayed onscreen. Inevitably, directors mull over artistic methods they can use to not only please the senses but magnify the plot's intentions.

For all the technological advances, black and white remains a fascinating option for film-makers. James Mangold took monochrome photos of his characters while filming Logan. The response from fans was so enthusiastic when he posted them online that they led to a second theatrical release in black and white. Mangold believed it connected Logan to great noir movies of the past as audiences watched his modern-day vision.

Several other well-known filmmakers pondered their own palette preferences in the midst of creating their works. And as they sat in their on-set chairs, their imaginations were initially more black and white than bright.

The inspiration for aiming to make a film in black and white can be varied: some directors were inspired by other directors to replicate the expressive style of classic films, while others evaluated the cheaper benefits of going grey. But somewhere along the line, thanks to studio intervention or simply new bursts of inspiration, colour returned to the pictures.

Just imagine how different some of these classics might have been without colour...

5. Mad Max: Fury Road

Taxi Driver Black And White
Warner Bros. Pictures

The gold and barren desert of the apocalyptic blockbuster had the potential to be a more neutral landscape if the director had his way. In an interview with The Independent, George Miller recalled how an orchestra played the soundtrack to a black and white print of his film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. He was struck by the experience and weighed up whether or not to capture Mad Max: Fury Road in less vibrant hues.

The studio, however, rejected the idea, much to Miller's dismay. He complained that the stylistic choice of black and white seemed to be only acceptable with art house movies, but eventually agreed with the studio about Fury Road requiring more saturation its first time out. However, the downhearted director asked the film's colourist Eric Whipp to craft a collection of black and white scenes anyway. The result impressed him so much that he demanded they include the altered copy on the Blu-Ray release.

Fury Road's dynamic shades played well with audiences and critics alike. It scored six Oscars and was nominated in the Best Cinematography category. Miller's beloved black and white (or 'chrome') rendition of the movie was also released in theatres several months after its Academy Award wins.

While the multicoloured make-up of the riders remained intact for the initial premiere, Miller's heart definitely leaned toward a monochromatic masterpiece.

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