Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

8.2k votes 999 voters 239k 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.
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  1. 51
    + 27
    - 12


    Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett

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  2. 52
    + 28
    - 16
    Flash Gordon Conquers the Univ... is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Buster Crabbe, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne

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  3. 53
    + 27
    - 13


    Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Lionel Atwill

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  4. 54
    + 20
    - 10


    Lillian Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Dorothy Gish

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  5. 55
    + 21
    - 8


    Carole Lombard, Hattie McDaniel, Margaret Hamilton

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  6. 56
    + 25
    - 12


    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Darla Hood

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  7. 57
    + 23
    - 10


    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas

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  8. 58
    + 27
    - 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

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  9. 59
    + 19
    - 10


    Barbara Steele, William Campbell, Paul Muller

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  10. 60
    + 15
    - 3


    Ann Savage, Tom Neal, Tim Ryan

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  11. 61
    + 26
    - 14
    The Brain That Wouldn't Die is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Marilyn Hanold, Eddie Carmel, Jason Evers

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  12. 62
    + 23
    - 11


    Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard

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  13. 63
    + 15
    - 6


    Basil Rathbone, Billy Bevan, Nigel Bruce

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  14. 64
    + 30
    - 18
    The Boy in the Plastic Bubble is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    John Travolta, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy

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  15. 65
    + 19
    - 7


    Cab Calloway, Mae Questel

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  16. 66
    + 24
    - 16


    Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster

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  17. 67
    + 33
    - 21
    Reefer Madness is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


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

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  18. 68
    + 17
    - 6


    Richard Kiel, Dolores Faith, Coleen Gray

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  19. 69
    + 21
    - 10


    John Hamilton, George J. Lewis, Linda Stirling

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  20. 70
    + 30
    - 22
    Creature from the Haunted Sea is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Robert Towne, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Sonia Noemí

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  21. 71
    + 16
    - 3

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

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  22. 72
    + 22
    - 11


    Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Dorothy Ford

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  23. 73
    + 37
    - 25


    Lillian Gish, John Ford, Raoul Walsh

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  24. 74
    + 19
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea

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  25. 75
    + 19
    - 9


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

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  26. 76
    + 18
    - 8


    Edward G. Robinson, Julie London, Judith Anderson

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  27. 77
    + 23
    - 13


    Lou Costello, Shemp Howard, Hillary Brooke

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  28. 78
    + 22
    - 12


    Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou

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  29. 79
    + 19
    - 9


    Joan Blondell, Carole Landis, Roland Young

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  30. 80
    + 18
    - 8


    Ernie Morrison, Allen Hoskins, Mickey Daniels

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  31. 81
    + 19
    - 9


    Fred Graham, Shug Fisher, Don Sullivan

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  32. 82
    + 20
    - 14
    Bloody Pit of Horror is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Mickey Hargitay, Femi Benussi, Alfredo Rizzo

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  33. 83
    + 19
    - 13
    Tormented is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Richard Carlson, Lillian Adams, Larissa Wilson

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  34. 84
    + 22
    - 16


    Dean Jagger, George Cleveland, Mantan Moreland

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  35. 85
    + 17
    - 11


    Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff, Dick Miller

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  36. 86
    + 17
    - 11
    ;
  37. 87
    + 21
    - 12
    Mr. Robinson Crusoe is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain


    Douglas Fairbanks, William Farnum, Maria Alba

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  38. 88
    + 15
    - 8


    Jane Russell, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell

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  39. 89
    + 27
    - 21
    Manos: The Hands of Fate is listed (or ranked) 89 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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  40. 90
    + 14
    - 5


    Bela Lugosi, Angelo Rossitto, Joan Barclay

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  41. 91
    + 23
    - 14


    John Carradine, Nils Asther, Jean Parker

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  42. 92
    + 20
    - 11


    Anthony Eisley, Susan Cabot, Roy Gordon

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  43. 93
    + 12
    - 3
    ;
  44. 94
    + 20
    - 11


    Anne Baxter, Claude Rains, Paul Muni

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  45. 95
    + 17
    - 8


    Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young

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  46. 96
    + 10
    - 4


    Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman

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  47. 97
    + 19
    - 11


    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Betty Compson

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  48. 98
    + 15
    - 10


    Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy, Donald Crisp

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  49. 99
    + 18
    - 10


    Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves, Primo Carnera

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  50. 100
    + 18
    - 10


    Danny Kaye, Elsa Lanchester, Gene Lockhart

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329 +

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