Best Cinematography Oscar Nominations: Black-and-White Movies

Like most categories that have existed since the start of the Oscars, Best Cinematography has gone through several changes over the past near-century. After eight years of only black-and-white nominees, “The Garden of Allah” (1937) became the first color film to win an honorary award for its cinematography. A separate competitive color category was established three years later and existed continuously until 1957, when the Technicolor epic “Around the World in 80 Days” won the award as well as Best Picture from that category’s first-ever all-color lineup.

The category was split again in 1959 and stayed that way until the permanent merger in 1967. Since then 254 (94%) of the 270 Best Cinematography nominations have been for color films, but the academy has indicated a renewed interest in films shot in black-and-white as of late. Since 2016, four such features have contended for the award and two, Roma” (2019) and “Mank” (2021), have won. Check out our gallery of the 16 black-and-white films that have earned Best Cinematography bids since 1967.

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