What is the difference between black and white film and color film? How does color film record color? Is it like black and white film with something more, or is it entirely different?
Color film contains several layers, each sensitive to a different color of light (red, green, blue). When exposed to light and developed, these produce magenta, cyan and yellow colors in the negative. The printing process works in a similar way. This is similar to the way digital sensors work, in that there are filters to exclude all but one color of light, so that a receptor can record the intensity of just that color, and then the separate RGB values are combined into a single image.
Black and white film typically has a single layer that responds to the all wavelengths of light and the negative that results has various densities between clear and black. There is no attempt to filter different colors, just to record the overall luminance.
In terms of outcome, i would say the black and white films usually have wider latitude than color ones, which enables the black and white films to capture wider range of light. This is the major reason why there are photographers particularly preferring white and black films in certain creation - for better exposure.
Color film (specifically C-41 processed color negative film) has light sensitve silver halides in red-sensitive, blue-sensitive and green-sensitive layers. During processing the silver halides are replaced (not 100% on the chemistry here) with dyes, which carry the color information (but as a reversal, and the film also has an orange base color)
Black and White film (specifically traditional black and white negative film) has a single layer of light sensitive silver halides, these halides are converted into silver metal during processing. Unexposed but developed film has a mostly clear color, instead of orange. The negatives also have their tones reversed, with darker areas appearing lighter.
Because of the dye versus silver color and black and white film have different grain patterns and different expectations of longevity (the dyes would be more likely to fade if exposed to light regularly).