Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

7.7k votes 911 voters 224k views 326 items tags f p @

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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 5 ReRanks
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 210
    - 41
    Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

  2. 2
    + 175
    - 33
    Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Oliver Hardy, Larry Semon, Josef Swickard

    ;
  3. 3
    + 172
    - 33
    Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Nosferatu Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach

  4. 4
    + 176
    - 32
    Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

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

  5. 5
    + 138
    - 23
    M is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John

  6. 6
    + 115
    - 15
    The 39 Steps is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The 39 Steps Alfred Hitchcock, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Donat

  7. 7
    + 98
    - 15
    His Girl Friday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    His Girl Friday Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy

  8. 8
    + 75
    - 11
    The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Phantom of the Opera Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin

  9. 9
    + 97
    - 19
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

  10. 10
    + 81
    - 12
    Charade is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Charade Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Coburn

  11. 11
    + 93
    - 19
    Freaks is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Freaks Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates

  12. 12
    + 89
    - 21
    The Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Last Man on Earth Vincent Price, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Umberto Raho

  13. 13
    + 75
    - 14
    The Gold Rush is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Gold Rush Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Georgia Hale

  14. 14
    + 64
    - 12
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton

  15. 15
    + 80
    - 26
    House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

    most listed
    Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

    ;
  16. 16
    + 61
    - 14
    And Then There Were None is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    And Then There Were None Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Barry Fitzgerald

  17. 17
    + 63
    - 11
    The Lady Vanishes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Lady Vanishes Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas

  18. 18
    + 62
    - 15
    Battleship Potemkin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Battleship Potemkin Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov, Aleksandr Antonov

  19. 19
    + 57
    - 12
    The General is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The General Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin, Glen Cavender

  20. 20
    + 61
    - 18
    Carnival of Souls is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Carnival of Souls Reza Badiyi, Herk Harvey, Candace Hilligoss

  21. 21
    + 61
    - 24
    McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    McLintock! John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers

  22. 22
    + 69
    - 32
    The Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Little Shop of Horrors Jack Nicholson, Dick Miller, Mel Welles

  23. 23
    + 44
    - 14
    Faust is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    William Dieterle, Emil Jannings, Yvette Guilbert

    ;
  24. 24
    + 79
    - 40
    Plan 9 from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Tor Johnson, Bunny Breckinridge, Joanna Lee

    ;
  25. 25
    + 47
    - 11
    D.O.A. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    D.O.A. Edmond O'Brien, Beverly Garland, Neville Brand

  26. 26
    + 45
    - 11


    Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan

    ;
  27. 27
    + 41
    - 9
    Superman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

  28. 28
    + 41
    - 14
    The Lost World is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Lost World Arthur Conan Doyle, Bessie Love, Wallace Beery

  29. 29
    + 39
    - 10
    Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindba... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Mae Questel, Jack Mercer, Gus Wickie

    ;
  30. 30
    + 38
    - 10
    Dementia 13 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Patrick Magee, William Campbell, Luana Anders

    ;
  31. 31
    + 42
    - 14
    Road to Bali is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby

    ;
  32. 32
    + 41
    - 14
    A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou

    ;
  33. 33
    + 33
    - 11
    The Little Princess is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Little Princess Mary Pickford, ZaSu Pitts, Theodore Roberts

  34. 34
    + 33
    - 8


    Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Jean Parker

    ;
  35. 35
    + 34
    - 16
    A Bucket of Blood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    A Bucket of Blood Dick Miller, Paul Horn, Bert Convy

  36. 36
    + 32
    - 10
    Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Jungle Book John Qualen, Sabu Dastagir, Rosemary DeCamp

  37. 37
    + 32
    - 13
    Haxan: Witchcraft Through the ... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages William S. Burroughs, Benjamin Christensen, Elith Pio

  38. 38
    + 28
    - 8


    Peter Lorre, Dorothy Lamour, Lon Chaney

    ;
  39. 39
    + 24
    - 7
    Man with a Movie Camera is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Man with a Movie Camera

  40. 40
    + 30
    - 11


    José Ferrer, William Prince, Mala Powers

    ;
  41. 41
    + 33
    - 14
    White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    White Zombie Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy

  42. 42
    + 26
    - 8


    Basil Rathbone, Patricia Morison, Nigel Bruce

    ;
  43. 43
    + 27
    - 13
    Intolerance is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Intolerance Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Erich von Stroheim

  44. 44
    + 28
    - 11


    Mickey Rooney, Dolores Costello, C. Aubrey Smith

    ;
  45. 45
    + 23
    - 7


    John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey

    ;
  46. 46
    + 23
    - 3
    The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

    added by JaniceWells-Lipton
    The Sixth Sense Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

  47. 47
    + 28
    - 12


    Lon Chaney^! Jr., Sid Haig, Quinn K. Redeker

    ;
  48. 48
    + 27
    - 12


    Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett

    ;
  49. 49
    + 20
    - 7


    Carole Lombard, Hattie McDaniel, Margaret Hamilton

    ;
  50. 50
    + 25
    - 4
    Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

    added by JaniceWells-Lipton
    Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

327 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >