The holidays just aren't the same without old movies
December 23, 2010 10:03 PM   Subscribe

There are lots of great films in the public domain and many of them are online. OpenFlix has 600, including a bunch of Chaplin, sci-fi and horror B-movies, film noir and HD versions of The Kid, M and Night of the Living Dead. Drelb has 400, including Buster Keaton's The General and Steamboat Bill Jr., episodes of Bonanza and Dragnet and Three Stooges shorts. Crazeclassics has over a 100, including The Third Man, Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors, Bringing Up Baby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Ampopfilms has 80, including His Girl Friday, Reefer Madness, Destination Moon and the 1954 animated version of Animal Farm. Gravitas Ventures has 35, notably Vampyr, Death Rides a Horse and Borderline.
posted by Kattullus (19 comments total) 151 users marked this as a favorite
This ought to keep me off the streets and out if trouble for awhile! Thanks! ت
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:30 PM on December 23, 2010

Wheeeeeee!!! Thank you for saving me from Christmas TV!!
posted by ninazer0 at 10:32 PM on December 23, 2010

How can To Kill A Mockingbird possibly be in the public domain?
posted by bz at 10:57 PM on December 23, 2010

Great stuff! Now I know how I will spend my time off. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 11:08 PM on December 23, 2010

How can To Kill A Mockingbird possibly be in the public domain?

Might be, might not. I found conflicting evidence. There's an interesting discussion about the issue on the Wikipedia article's discussion page.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:16 PM on December 23, 2010

Apropos of this, I just noticed that the Internet Archive has "Gammera the Invincible", the (heavily-edited, recut, & dubbed) US release of the first Showa-era Gamera film.

AFAIK, though, the copyright status of the 1954 Animal Farm film is quite unclear. The story behind it is interesting (and I suspect not widely known), but it doesn't necessarily follow that it's in the public domain (especially since it was first copyrighted in the UK). Most of the PD claims seem to be based on the fact that knockoff prints were widely distributed in the US in 70's. The heirs to the animation studio believe they still hold the copyright to the film.
posted by Pinback at 11:17 PM on December 23, 2010

Crap. Related.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:19 PM on December 23, 2010

refer madness scaret da krap outta me
kopyrights whack

nice collection Kattullus but Dragnet is only good after reefer madness
Gleðileg jól!

posted by clavdivs at 11:32 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Similarly to IvoShandors ejaculation (I've always wanted to use in that context!) - a 1979 US copyright application, & a 1982 renewal application for the 1954 copyright, on Animal Farm.

There doesn't seem to be any similar entries for To Kill A Mockingbird - but the catalogue only goes back to 1978, so any applications or renewals prior to that can't be searched.
posted by Pinback at 11:50 PM on December 23, 2010

(Crap! 1979

And sorry to nitpick in your post, Kattullus. Rest assured I'll be watching 3 Stooges shorts to honour the birth of our Saviour tomorrow ;-)

posted by Pinback at 11:59 PM on December 23, 2010

And in case anyone hates the way Flash video works as much as I do, here's a patch that allows the video to stay full screen even when you move focus to some other window.
posted by Chuckles at 1:25 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Kattullus.
posted by rmmcclay at 4:10 AM on December 24, 2010

I also find it difficult to believe that the Halas and Batchelor Animal Farm is in the public domain. However, the studio has bequeathed its archive to the BFI recently, so perhaps I'm wrong.

Great stuff, though, I look forward to lots of quality films!
posted by dumdidumdum at 4:25 AM on December 24, 2010

Also not in the public domain: The Third Man.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:35 AM on December 24, 2010

Good stuff. I heartily recommend "M" to anyone who likes thrillers.
posted by caddis at 5:19 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Vampyr is one of the prettiest movies ever made.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:22 AM on December 24, 2010

Here's another collection of full movies on youtube, crazedigitalmovies, of equally dubious out-of-(c) status.
posted by hexatron at 6:52 AM on December 24, 2010

Don't forget the Internet Archive.

"The Kid"
"The Pharmacist" (WC Fields)
"The Sin of Harold Biddlebock" (Harold Lloyd, dir. Preston Sturges)
"The Navigator" (Buster Keaton)
"Panic in the Streets" (not sure how this is public domain ..... )
posted by blucevalo at 8:08 AM on December 24, 2010

There goes 2011...

Thanks Kattalus.
posted by afx237vi at 6:55 AM on December 25, 2010

« Older Halleluia! (Shhh!)   |   For the Love of Elephants Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments