10 Best Black Movies Of All Time
The 10 best black movies of all time may not necessarily have an all-black cast; rather, the events may be presented as they would have been seen or perceived by a black person. In addition, not all black movies dealt with weighty subjects; some, in fact, were considered “blacksploitation," but are still considered classics for some reason or another. As always, a best-of list is going to leave someone screaming, “What about…” “You forgot…” and so on. So, this list is strictly the writer’s opinion on the best black movies of all time. The reader is free to agree or disagree.
- "In the Heat of the Night." This is by far one of the best black movies of all time. It is also one one that had both black and white leading characters. In this one, Sidney Portier protrayed a black detective from Philadelphia who was wrongly accused of a murder simply because he was black, in the South, at night, and a white person had been killed.
- "The Color Purple." The all-star cast performed admirably in this movie about a young black woman who writes letters to God, telling about the events in her life. Some scenes in this one of the best black movies of all time are hard to watch, such as the one where she is treated so callously by the man who is her husband; others provide a touch of humor (the one where she spits in the man’s water.)
- "Shaft." This movie may have been considered by some to belong in the “blacksploitation” category. However, the fact is that it, like “In the Heat of the Night”, actually portrayed a black private detective in a favorable light, making it a candidate for one of the best black movies of all time.
- "Glory." The courage of the all-black 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was apparent at other times besides during battle. It is portrayed in such memorable scenes as the one where the black soldier manages to procure shoes for the entire regiment and the one where they refuse pay when they learn it will be less than that given to white men.
- "A Great Day in Harlem." This is an older movie which many may not have heard of, but still deserves a place in the best black movies of all time list. This is simply because it was one of the few movies that had such musical greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, and Count Basie all in one place at one time.
- "Driving Miss Daisy." Some may disagree that this movie should be included in the best black movies of all time list because it’s black main character was portrayed as holding a subservient role.
- "The Great White Hope." This movie introduced millions of Americans to the 1910 heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson, who just happened to be black. It also introduced the unforgettable voice of James Earl Jones. That in itself is enough to include this movie in the best black movies of all time list.
- "A Raisin in the Sun." Like so many other movies which featured or portrayed black people, this one started out as a play and was later turned into a movie. The timeless story of what can happen to a family when it suddenly appears that there will be an influx of cash makes this not only one of the best black movies of all time but also as applicable to today as it was to the time it portrayed.
- "What’s Love Got to do With It?" Tina Turner’s decision to let a movie be made of her life with Ike Turner, warts and all, struck a chord with women, black and white. The soundtrack only helped push it to its rightful place as one of the best black movies of all time.
- "Blacula." This is about as good an example of a “blacksploitation” movie as there is going to be, but that is exactly what makes it necessary to include it in the list of the best black movies of all time. It’s actually a fun movie to watch, as even the violence is very tame compared to some of today’s films.