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. 51
    + 22
    - 6

    Bob Hope, Peter Lorre, Dorothy Lamour

    ) open
  2. 52
    + 25
    - 10

    Lon Chaney, Jr., Sid Haig, Mantan Moreland

    ) open
  3. 53
    + 8
    - 4

    often listed Jane Russell, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell

    ) open
  4. 54
    + 11
    - 11

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Attilio Dottesio, Nando Tamberlani, Paola Pitti

    ) open
  5. 55
    + 29
    - 14

    Dave O'Brien, Carleton Young, Harry Harvey Jr.

    ) open
  6. 56
    + 28
    - 14

    John Travolta, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy

    ) open
  7. 57
    + 19
    - 5

    Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ian Wolfe

    ) open
  8. 58
    + 19
    - 6

    Adolphe Menjou, Janet Gaynor, Fredric March

    ) open
  9. 59
    + 22
    - 8

    José Ferrer, William Prince, Mala Powers

    ) open
  10. 60
    + 19
    - 7

    Douglas Fairbanks, William Farnum, Maria Alba

    ) open
  11. 61
    + 17
    - 5

    Carole Lombard, Hattie McDaniel, Fredric March

    ) open
  12. 62
    + 30
    - 17

    John Ford, Lillian Gish, Raoul Walsh

    ) open
  13. 63
    + 20
    - 9

    Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lorre

    ) open
  14. 64
    + 20
    - 9

    John Carradine, Nils Asther, Jean Parker

    ) open
  15. 65
    + 16
    - 4

    John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey

    ) open
  16. 66
    + 16
    - 4

    Joan Blondell, Carole Landis, Roland Young

    ) open
  17. 67
    + 17
    - 6

    John Hamilton, George J. Lewis, Linda Stirling

    ) open
  18. 68
    + 11
    - 13

    often listed Pia Zadora, Ned Wertimer, Bill McCutcheon

    ) open
  19. 69
    + 21
    - 11

    James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis

    ) open
  20. 70
    + 9
    - 10

    often listed Tom Graeff, Thomas Lockyer, King Moody

    ) open
  21. 71
    + 15
    - 5

    Bela Lugosi, Dave O'Brien, J. Farrell MacDonald

    ) open
  22. 72
    + 13
    - 2

    Dolores Faith, Richard Kiel, Merissa Mathes

    ) open
  23. 73
    + 16
    - 5

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas

    ) open
  24. 74
    + 19
    - 10

    Marilyn Hanold, Eddie Carmel, Jason Evers

    ) open
  25. 75
    + 19
    - 10

    Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, George E. Stone

    ) open
  26. 76
    + 13
    - 3

    Edward G. Robinson, Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun

    ) open
  27. 77
    + 17
    - 8

    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Darla Hood

    ) open
  28. 78
    + 16
    - 7

    Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Dorothy Ford

    ) open
  29. 79
    + 18
    - 10

    Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Shemp Howard

    ) open
  30. 80
    + 17
    - 10

    Richard Carlson, Lillian Adams, Larissa Wilson

    ) open
  31. 81
    + 16
    - 8

    Claude Rains, Anne Baxter, Paul Muni

    ) open
  32. 82
    + 15
    - 8

    Irving Berlin, Johnny Weissmuller, Eddie Cantor

    ) open
  33. 83
    + 15
    - 8

    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Betty Compson

    ) open
  34. 84
    + 17
    - 9

    Danny DeVito, Charlton Heston, James Woods

    ) open
  35. 85
    + 12
    - 4

    George Wallace, Peter Brocco, Aline Towne

    ) open
  36. 86
    + 16
    - 10

    Mickey Hargitay, Femi Benussi, Alfredo Rizzo

    ) open
  37. 87
    + 15
    - 6

    Danny Kaye, Elsa Lanchester, Gene Lockhart

    ) open
  38. 88
    + 15
    - 8
    ) open
  39. 89
    + 14
    - 6

    Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves, Primo Carnera

    ) open
  40. 90
    + 15
    - 8

    Anthony Eisley, Susan Cabot, Roy Gordon

    ) open
  41. 91
    + 13
    - 7
    ) open
  42. 92
    + 13
    - 6

    Barbara Steele, William Campbell, Paul Muller

    ) open
  43. 93
    + 11
    - 4

    Steve Reeves, Herbert Rawlinson, Lyle Talbot

    ) open
  44. 94
    + 13
    - 3

    Cab Calloway, Mae Questel

    ) open
  45. 95
    + 10
    - 3

    Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard

    ) open
  46. 96
    + 12
    - 6

    Darla Hood, Darwood Kaye

    ) open
  47. 97
    + 12
    - 5

    Ernie Morrison, Allen Hoskins, Jackie Condon

    ) open
  48. 98
    + 14
    - 8

    Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard

    ) open
  49. 99
    + 13
    - 6

    Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

    ) open
  50. 100
    + 12
    - 6

    Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan

    ) open
285 +

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