Clearly this thread is going to be mostly about older films*. Sometimes they pulled out all the stops on a movie and splurged on color stock, but when they went back to try and grab some extra bucks with a sequel, they didn’t think it worth the money or effort, and made the sequel in black and white.
1.) Original: Doctor X; Sequel The Return of Dr. X – The first film was part od an effort by First National to market color horror/mystery pictures using what is often called “two strip” Technicolor. How well this worked out is shown by how nobody remembers these films now, but everybody remembers the Universal Horror films. Anyway, Doctor X is an interesting bit of nostalgia from 1932 in oddly tinted color. Things like a globe or a green dress leap out at you, in contrast with the gray palette of most other movies from back then. But for the sequel (made seven years later), they kept it in cheap black and white. The sequel would probably be completely forgotten today, except that it features a pre-famous Humphrey Bogart playing, of all things, a vampire.
2.) Original: The Fly ; Sequel: Return of the Fly – The 1958 original is an adaptation of George Langelaan’s famous short story (that originally appeared in Playboy) about a teleportation experiment gone horribly wrong. as I noted in a piece I wrote for Teemings, this wasn’t by any means the first time that idea had been fielded, but it was the most famous, probably because of its publication in Playboy and this film. The original movie (1958) isn’t bad, with some cute touches. The sequel (1959) was definitely done on the cheap, not only with black and white film, but also with really bad special effects. They also cut out a lot of the writing that encouraged Vincent Price to sign up for the film – the final product severely clips his role. About the only things the film has going for it are a much bigger “fly” mask and the only happy ending of any of the five movies resulting from Langelaan’s short story.
3.) Original: Forbidden Planet ; Sequel: The Invisible Boy – Forbidden Planet (1956) is one of the best science fiction movies ever made, with a much more lavish budget than most 1950s SF films got, great special effects, and a literate script. It all stands up pretty well today, including a lot of the effects – the film’s deficiencies these days being its 1950s sexism, the lack of computers (despite Robby’s presence), and the different path technology has taken since the film was made. The Invisible Boy was clearly a kid’s movie, which probably explains why it was given the low-budget treatment. Exactly how it fit in with FP hasn’t been clear to me, since it seems to be set in the 1957 it was made in, but Robby – the only real link with FP – is described as having come from a space ship and inexplicably disassembled. Timmy (played by Richard Eyer, who would go on to play the genie in Seventh Voyage of Sinbad two years later) re-assembles him and together they destroy a super-computer with designs of world domination. An interesting, off-beat flick. The title comes from Robby giving Timmy an invisibility treatment at one point in the film, but his invisibility isn’t the main plot driver.
*Although Mad Max – Fury Road has also been released in a black and white format, which makes the film seems somehow grittier and more “artistic”