Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain Films
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Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

List Criteria: The best films whose copyrights have expired. Includes all films made before 1923 and films that failed to renew copyright

The best free movies in the public domain number among some of the best movies of all time, and since their copyrights have lapsed, they are free to watch, distribute, and remake. Many of these free films in the public domain were once high-grossing, Academy Award-winning movies that have since become open to public use. Classic movies like The Wizard of Oz, Metropolis, and Metropolis are now part of the general public experience.

What is the best film in the public domain? What Oscar winning films are now free to use? What are the greatest films whose copyrights have lapsed? Vote on the movies you think are the best available in the public domain. If you know of a movie that is now free to public use and not here on this list of the best films in the public domain, make sure to add it and vote it up so others can have a chance to find their new favorite movie in the public domain.

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  1. 1
    + 128
    - 22

    Gustav Botz, Ruth Landschoff, Karl Etlinger

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 147
    - 31

    Richard Ricci, Marilyn Eastman, Duane Jones

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 121
    - 28

    Bryant Washburn, Mary Carr, William Hauber

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 143
    - 24

    the people's #1
    Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 110
    - 15

    Theodor Loos, Gerhard Bienert, Paul Kemp

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 65
    - 20

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    Vincent Price, Alan Marshal, Richard Long

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 82
    - 13

    Lil Dagover, Elsa Wagner, Friedrich Fehér

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 88
    - 8

    ranked low on reranks
    Lucie Mannheim, Peggy Ashcroft, Alfred Hitchcock

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 72
    - 14

    Vincent Price, Carolyn De Fonseca, Umberto Raho

    ) open buy at  
  10. 10
    + 53
    - 8

    Walter Huston, June Duprez, Queenie Leonard

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 54
    - 9

    Earl Gordon Bostwick, Ward Crane, Gibson Gowland

    ) open buy at  
  12. 12
    + 53
    - 10

    Ernest Torrence, Lon Chaney, Kate Lester

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 76
    - 11

    ranked low on reranks
    Rosalind Russell, Cliff Edwards, Ralph Bellamy

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
    + 42
    - 10

    William Dieterle, Camilla Horn, Werner Fuetterer

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 66
    - 31

    Joanna Lee, Tom Keene, Mona McKinnon

    ) open buy at  
  16. 16
    + 56
    - 25

    Jack Nicholson, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph

    ) open buy at  
  17. 17
    + 67
    - 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Wallace Ford, Frances O'Connor, Leila Hyams

    ) open buy at  
  18. 18
    + 46
    - 20

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    John Wayne, Stefanie Powers, Patrick Wayne

    ) open buy at  
  19. 19
    + 61
    - 11

    ranked low on reranks
    Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Malcolm Waite

    ) open buy at  
  20. 20
    + 29
    - 11

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bert Convy, Barboura Morris, Dick Miller

    ) open buy at  
  21. 21
    + 57
    - 12

    N. Poltavtseva, Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein

    ) open buy at  
  22. 22
    + 51
    - 11

    Candace Hilligoss, Reza Badiyi, Herk Harvey

    ) open buy at  
  23. 23
    + 50
    - 10

    Boris Karloff, Joe Keaton, Mike Donlin

    ) open buy at  
  24. 24
    + 63
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks
    James Coburn, Peter Stone, Stanley Donen

    ) open buy at  
  25. 25
    + 29
    - 8

    Theodore Roberts, Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry

    ) open buy at  
  26. 26
    + 33
    - 11

    Lewis Stone, Arthur Hoyt, Holmes Herbert

    ) open buy at  
  27. 27
    + 50
    - 8

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul Lukas, Googie Withers, Alfred Hitchcock

    ) open buy at  
  28. 28
    + 24
    - 10

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, King Vidor

    ) open buy at  
  29. 29
    + 25
    - 10

    William S. Burroughs, Benjamin Christensen, Ella La Cour

    ) open buy at  
  30. 30
    + 19
    - 5
    ) open buy at  
  31. 31
    + 41
    - 9

    Walter Brennan, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper

    ) open buy at  
  32. 32
    + 39
    - 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Edmond O'Brien, Neville Brand, Lynn Baggett

    ) open buy at  
  33. 33
    + 18
    - 9

    Lillian Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Frank Puglia

    ) open buy at  
  34. 34
    + 25
    - 17

    Robert Towne, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Antony Carbone

    ) open buy at  
  35. 35
    + 23
    - 13

    Charles Middleton, Buster Crabbe, Roland Drew

    ) open buy at  
  36. 36
    + 37
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks
    Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Carolyn Jones

    ) open buy at  
  37. 37
    + 15
    - 7

    often listed
    Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy, Richard Barthelmess

    ) open buy at  
  38. 38
    + 33
    - 8

    ranked low on reranks
    Patrick Magee, William Campbell, Eithne Dunne

    ) open buy at  
  39. 39
    + 19
    - 14

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dean Jagger, George Cleveland, Carl Stockdale

    ) open buy at  
  40. 40
    + 30
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Jean Del Val, Charles Middleton, Crane Whitley

    ) open buy at  
  41. 41
    + 22
    - 16

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jackey Neyman Jones, Robin Redd, Stephanie Nielson

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 30
    - 7

    ranked low on reranks
    Jack Mercer, Mae Questel, Gus Wickie

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 19
    - 14

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bela Lugosi, Sammy Petrillo, Billy Wilkerson

    ) open buy at  
  44. 44
    + 35
    - 12

    Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, Jack La Rue

    ) open buy at  
  45. 45
    + 8
    - 2

    often listed
    Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman

    ) open buy at  
  46. 46
    + 12
    - 4

    Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Russell

    ) open buy at  
  47. 47
    + 29
    - 9

    ranked low on reranks
    Clarence Muse, Bela Lugosi, John Harron

    ) open buy at  
  48. 48
    + 28
    - 9

    Frank Puglia, Faith Brook, Ralph Byrd

    ) open buy at  
  49. 49
    + 25
    - 7

    Mickey Rooney, Henry Stephenson, Freddie Bartholomew

    ) open buy at  
  50. 50
    + 26
    - 8

    Russ Tamblyn, Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy

    ) open buy at  
285 +

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