films Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

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List Rules 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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Metropolis Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich Theodor Loos

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Wizard of Oz Oliver Hardy, Larry Semon Josef Swickard

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Nosferatu Max Schreck, John Gottowt Alexander Granach

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

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M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen Georg John

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The 39 Steps Alfred Hitchcock, Madeleine Carroll Robert Donat

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His Girl Friday Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell Ralph Bellamy

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

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

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Freaks Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy Roscoe Ates

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Charade Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant James Coburn

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

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

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House on Haunted Hill Vincent Price, Richard Long Elisha Cook

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

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The Gold Rush Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain Georgia Hale

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Battleship Potemkin Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov Aleksandr Antonov

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The General is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
The General Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin Glen Cavender

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The Lady Vanishes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
The Lady Vanishes Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave Paul Lukas

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Carnival of Souls Reza Badiyi, Herk Harvey Candace Hilligoss

21
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Superman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Superman Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman Christopher Reeve

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McLintock! John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara Stefanie Powers

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

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Faust William Dieterle, Emil Jannings Yvette Guilbert

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Plan 9 from Outer Space Tor Johnson, Bunny Breckinridge Joanna Lee

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D.O.A. is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
D.O.A. Edmond O'Brien, Beverly Garland Neville Brand

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Meet John Doe is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Meet John Doe Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper Walter Brennan

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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

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Dementia 13 Patrick Magee, William Campbell Luana Anders

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The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
The Breakfast Club Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald Anthony Michael Hall

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Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor Mae Questel, Jack Mercer Gus Wickie

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A Bucket of Blood Dick Miller, Paul Horn Bert Convy

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A Farewell to Arms Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes Adolphe Menjou

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Road to Bali Bob Hope, Dean Martin Bing Crosby

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The Little Princess is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
The Little Princess Mary Pickford, ZaSu Pitts Theodore Roberts

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The Flying Deuces is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
The Flying Deuces Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy Jean Parker

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Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd Lea Thompson

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My Favorite Brunette is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
My Favorite Brunette Peter Lorre, Dorothy Lamour Lon Chaney

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Haxan: Witchcraft Through the ... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages William S. Burroughs, Benjamin Christensen Elith Pio

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Angel and the Badman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Angel and the Badman John Wayne, Gail Russell Harry Carey

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Man with a Movie Camera is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain

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Dressed to Kill is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Dressed to Kill Basil Rathbone, Patricia Morison Nigel Bruce

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Jungle Book John Qualen, Sabu Dastagir Rosemary DeCamp

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White Zombie Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse Madge Bellamy

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Intolerance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Intolerance Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks Erich von Stroheim

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Cyrano de Bergerac is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Cyrano de Bergerac José Ferrer, William Prince Mala Powers

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Spider Baby is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Spider Baby Lon Chaney, Jr. Sid Haig

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Father's Little Dividend is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Father's Little Dividend Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy Joan Bennett

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Beat the Devil Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida Peter Lorre

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Little Lord Fauntleroy is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain
Little Lord Fauntleroy Mickey Rooney, Dolores Costello C. Aubrey Smith