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.
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  1. 51
    + 24
    - 11


    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Darla Hood

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  2. 52
    + 25
    - 12
    Beat the Devil is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lorre

    ;
  3. 53
    + 26
    - 16
    Flash Gordon Conquers the Univ... is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Buster Crabbe, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne

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  4. 54
    + 19
    - 10


    Lillian Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Dorothy Gish

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  5. 55
    + 22
    - 10


    Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard

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  6. 56
    + 25
    - 13


    Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Lionel Atwill

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  7. 57
    + 26
    - 14
    The Killer Shrews is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Ken Curtis, James Best, Ingrid Goude

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  8. 58
    + 22
    - 10


    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas

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  9. 59
    + 30
    - 18
    The Boy in the Plastic Bubble is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    John Travolta, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy

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  10. 60
    + 18
    - 6


    Cab Calloway, Mae Questel

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  11. 61
    + 21
    - 10
    Jack and the Beanstalk is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Jack and the Beanstalk Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Dorothy Ford

  12. 62
    + 35
    - 23
    The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Birth of a Nation Lillian Gish, John Ford, Raoul Walsh

  13. 63
    + 25
    - 14
    The Brain That Wouldn't Die is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Brain That Wouldn't Die Marilyn Hanold, Eddie Carmel, Jason Evers

  14. 64
    + 32
    - 21
    Reefer Madness is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


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

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  15. 65
    + 18
    - 8


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

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  16. 66
    + 18
    - 8


    Joan Blondell, Carole Landis, Roland Young

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  17. 67
    + 23
    - 13


    John Carradine, Nils Asther, Jean Parker

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  18. 68
    + 22
    - 12


    Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou

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  19. 69
    + 18
    - 8


    Ernie Morrison, Allen Hoskins, Mickey Daniels

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  20. 70
    + 18
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

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  21. 71
    + 18
    - 8
    The Giant Gila Monster is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Giant Gila Monster Fred Graham, Shug Fisher, Don Sullivan

  22. 72
    + 27
    - 21
    Creature from the Haunted Sea is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Robert Towne, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Sonia Noemí

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  23. 73
    + 21
    - 12
    Mr. Robinson Crusoe is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Douglas Fairbanks, William Farnum, Maria Alba

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  24. 74
    + 19
    - 10


    John Hamilton, George J. Lewis, Linda Stirling

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  25. 75
    + 15
    - 6


    Richard Kiel, Dolores Faith, Coleen Gray

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  26. 76
    + 22
    - 13


    Lou Costello, Shemp Howard, Hillary Brooke

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  27. 77
    + 17
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Julie London, Judith Anderson

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  28. 78
    + 10
    - 4


    Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman

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  29. 79
    + 16
    - 2
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

    added by JaniceWells-Lipton
    The Breakfast Club Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

  30. 80
    + 21
    - 16


    Dean Jagger, George Cleveland, Mantan Moreland

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  31. 81
    + 26
    - 21
    Manos: The Hands of Fate is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Harold P. Warren, William Bryan Jennings, Jackey Neyman Jones

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  32. 82
    + 19
    - 11


    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Betty Compson

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  33. 83
    + 13
    - 7
    The Outlaw is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Outlaw Jane Russell, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell

  34. 84
    + 20
    - 12


    Mae Questel, Jack Mercer, Gus Wickie

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  35. 85
    + 19
    - 11


    Anne Baxter, Claude Rains, Paul Muni

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  36. 86
    + 18
    - 10


    Barbara Steele, William Campbell, Paul Muller

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  37. 87
    + 15
    - 10
    Brutna Blommor is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Brutna Blommor Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy, Donald Crisp

  38. 88
    + 11
    - 3
    ;
  39. 89
    + 11
    - 3
    Detour is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Detour Ann Savage, Tom Neal, Tim Ryan

  40. 90
    + 14
    - 6


    Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Nigel Bruce

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  41. 91
    + 21
    - 17
    Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn G... is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Bela Lugosi, Martin Garralaga, Sammy Petrillo

    ;
  42. 92
    + 15
    - 8
    The Big Show is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    The Big Show Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette

  43. 93
    + 13
    - 6


    Steve Reeves, Herbert Rawlinson, Lyle Talbot

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  44. 94
    + 18
    - 11


    Anthony Eisley, Susan Cabot, Roy Gordon

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  45. 95
    + 13
    - 6


    Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard

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  46. 96
    + 19
    - 12
    Hercules is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Hercules Danny DeVito, James Woods, Charlton Heston

  47. 97
    + 12
    - 5


    Bela Lugosi, Angelo Rossitto, Joan Barclay

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  48. 98
    + 16
    - 9


    Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan

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  49. 99
    + 17
    - 10


    Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves, Primo Carnera

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  50. 100
    + 15
    - 8


    Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young

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327 +

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