As an English teacher, I sometimes show black and white movies in class, which almost always elicits groans and complaints from most of the students. Something I usually tell them is to notice how well black and white can create sharp contrasts and evocative atmospheres in settings, far more so than color can.
I like to use the first few minutes of Citizen Kane as an example of this–try imagining those exterior shots in color. It would lose all of its intimidating power.
This summer I’ve seen David Lean’s 1948 version of Oliver Twist, and it makes the same point. Those first few minutes out on the stormy moors wouldn’t be half so gloomy if they were in some glossy, digital HD rainbow.