Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

7.9k votes 933 voters 228k views 328 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
  • 6 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 51
    + 27
    - 16
    Flash Gordon Conquers the Univ... is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Buster Crabbe, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne

    ;
  2. 52
    + 20
    - 7


    Carole Lombard, Hattie McDaniel, Margaret Hamilton

    ;
  3. 53
    + 25
    - 12
    Beat the Devil is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lorre

    ;
  4. 54
    + 23
    - 10


    Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard

    ;
  5. 55
    + 19
    - 10


    Lillian Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Dorothy Gish

    ;
  6. 56
    + 24
    - 12


    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Darla Hood

    ;
  7. 57
    + 25
    - 13


    Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Lionel Atwill

    ;
  8. 58
    + 26
    - 14
    The Killer Shrews is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Ken Curtis, James Best, Ingrid Goude

    ;
  9. 59
    + 22
    - 10


    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas

    ;
  10. 60
    + 36
    - 23


    Lillian Gish, John Ford, Raoul Walsh

    ;
  11. 61
    + 30
    - 18
    The Boy in the Plastic Bubble is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    John Travolta, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy

    ;
  12. 62
    + 18
    - 6


    Cab Calloway, Mae Questel

    ;
  13. 63
    + 19
    - 8


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

    ;
  14. 64
    + 21
    - 10


    Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Dorothy Ford

    ;
  15. 65
    + 18
    - 10


    Barbara Steele, William Campbell, Paul Muller

    ;
  16. 66
    + 19
    - 8


    Joan Blondell, Carole Landis, Roland Young

    ;
  17. 67
    + 25
    - 14
    The Brain That Wouldn't Die is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Marilyn Hanold, Eddie Carmel, Jason Evers

    ;
  18. 68
    + 14
    - 6


    Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Nigel Bruce

    ;
  19. 69
    + 32
    - 21
    Reefer Madness is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


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

    ;
  20. 70
    + 23
    - 16


    Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster

    ;
  21. 71
    + 14
    - 2

    added by JaniceWells-Lipton
    Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis

    ;
  22. 72
    + 20
    - 10


    John Hamilton, George J. Lewis, Linda Stirling

    ;
  23. 73
    + 18
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Julie London, Judith Anderson

    ;
  24. 74
    + 22
    - 12


    Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou

    ;
  25. 75
    + 18
    - 8


    Ernie Morrison, Allen Hoskins, Mickey Daniels

    ;
  26. 76
    + 18
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

    ;
  27. 77
    + 22
    - 16


    Dean Jagger, George Cleveland, Mantan Moreland

    ;
  28. 78
    + 21
    - 12
    Mr. Robinson Crusoe is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Douglas Fairbanks, William Farnum, Maria Alba

    ;
  29. 79
    + 15
    - 6


    Richard Kiel, Dolores Faith, Coleen Gray

    ;
  30. 80
    + 22
    - 13


    Lou Costello, Shemp Howard, Hillary Brooke

    ;
  31. 81
    + 23
    - 14


    John Carradine, Nils Asther, Jean Parker

    ;
  32. 82
    + 20
    - 11


    Anne Baxter, Claude Rains, Paul Muni

    ;
  33. 83
    + 10
    - 4


    Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman

    ;
  34. 84
    + 18
    - 9


    Fred Graham, Shug Fisher, Don Sullivan

    ;
  35. 85
    + 19
    - 14
    Bloody Pit of Horror is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Mickey Hargitay, Femi Benussi, Alfredo Rizzo

    ;
  36. 86
    + 18
    - 13
    Tormented is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Richard Carlson, Lillian Adams, Larissa Wilson

    ;
  37. 87
    + 27
    - 22
    Creature from the Haunted Sea is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Robert Towne, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Sonia Noemí

    ;
  38. 88
    + 16
    - 11


    Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, Dick Miller

    ;
  39. 89
    + 19
    - 11


    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Betty Compson

    ;
  40. 90
    + 26
    - 21
    Manos: The Hands of Fate is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


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

    ;
  41. 91
    + 13
    - 7


    Jane Russell, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell

    ;
  42. 92
    + 11
    - 3
    ;
  43. 93
    + 15
    - 10


    Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy, Donald Crisp

    ;
  44. 94
    + 16
    - 8


    Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young

    ;
  45. 95
    + 18
    - 10


    Danny Kaye, Elsa Lanchester, Gene Lockhart

    ;
  46. 96
    + 11
    - 3


    Ann Savage, Tom Neal, Tim Ryan

    ;
  47. 97
    + 10
    - 5
    No image


    ;
  48. 98
    + 7
    - 2


    Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, José Torvay

    ;
  49. 99
    + 15
    - 11
    ;
  50. 100
    + 21
    - 17
    Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn G... is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Bela Lugosi, Martin Garralaga, Sammy Petrillo

    ;
329 +

Something missing? Add it!

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