This guide will provide a list of the Best Public Domain Movies available in 2023 and how to watch them on any device. While there are tons of ways to watch public domain movies, the options described below are the best and most reliable. Not only will you be able to view the best public domain movies available, but you will have access to thousands of other free streams as well.
Certain films and motion pictures have entered the public domain for several different reasons. Whether they were released without copyright notices, did not register with the Library of Congress, or failed to renew copyright licensing, these movies are now available for the public to stream or download for free.
Many of these Public Domain Movies can be found within popular Streaming Apps or Movie Streaming Websites. We explain how to watch these films in more detail following the list.
While there are hundreds of titles available, in my opinion, the list shown below encompasses the best public domain movies to watch.
Table of Contents
- Best Public Domain Movies
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
- The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
- McLintock! (1963)
- The Last Man on Earth (1964)
- Charade (1963)
- The Outlaw (1943)
- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
- The Gold Rush (1925)
- A Star is Born (1937)
- Gulliver’s Travels (1939)
- Dementia 13 (1963)
- A Bucket of Blood (1959)
- A Farewell to Arms (1932)
- Maniac (1934)
- Go For Broke (1951)
- His Girl Friday (1940)
- The General (1926)
- One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
- Other Notable Movies
- How to Watch Public Domain Movies
- Public Domain Movies FAQ
- What are the Best Public Domain Movies?
- Is Watching Public Domain Movies Online Legal?
- Do you need a VPN for Watching Public Domain Movies?
- How do I Watch Public Domain Movies?
- Do I have to Sign Up for an Account to Watch Public Domain Movies?
Best Public Domain Movies
I recommend bookmarking this page to keep you updated on the Best Public Domain Movies. This page is updated Monthly for your reference.
The following list was last updated on Thu, Nov, 02, 2023
We have selected these Public Domain movies based on popularity, quality, and overall appeal.
1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead tops our list of best public domain movies. This classic horror film is about a group of survivors fighting off a hoard of zombies from a small house. Night of the Living Dead can also be found on our list of Best Free Movies on YouTube.
2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s a Wonderful Life is a fantasy drama film directed by Frank Capra. This movie features James Stewart as the main character who strives to help others in his community.
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a drama directed by Wallace Worsley and is based on Victor Hugo’s novel.
4. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Phantom of the Opera is a silent horror movie directed by Rupert Julian. Lon Chaney also stars in this film as the main character as a phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House in the 1900s.
5. McLintock! (1963)
McLintock! is an American western movie directed by Andrew McLaglen during the 1960s. This movie features the famous John Wayne, Stefanie Powers, Jack Kruschen, and others.
6. The Last Man on Earth (1964)
The Last Man on Earth is one of the first notable post-apocalyptic movies directed by Sydney Salkow and Ubaldo Ragona. This film stars Vincent Price as the main character living in a world filled with plague and danger.
7. Charade (1963)
Charade is a popular romantic, mystery film directed by Stanley Donen in the 1960s. This movie stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn as the main characters and takes place in France.
8. The Outlaw (1943)
The Outlaw is another classic western film directed and produced by Howard Hughes in the 1940s. This movie features Jack Buetel and Jane Russell as the main stars and takes place in New Mexico.
9. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Santa Clause Conquers the Martians is a sci-fi, comedy movie directed by Nicholas Webster in the 1960s. This film stars John Call as Santa Clause and is based on the story written by Paul Jacobsen.
10. The Gold Rush (1925)
The Gold Rush is a comedy film directed and produced by Charlie Chapin in the 1920s. This movie features a story about a gold prospector‘s journey during the gold rush in Alaska.
11. A Star is Born (1937)
A Star is Born is an American romance film directed by William Wellman in the 1930s. This movie has since been remade several times, but the original stars Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.
12. Gulliver’s Travels (1939)
Gulliver’s Travels is a popular animated movie from the 1930s directed by Dave Fleischer. This public domain movie stars Pinto Colvig and Jack Mercer that takes place on a fictional island called “Lilliput.”
13. Dementia 13 (1963)
Dementia 13 is an independently produced film in the 1960s directed by Francis Coppola. The original movie stars William Campbell and Luana Anders and has been remade several times.
14. A Bucket of Blood (1959)
A Bucket of Blood is a comedy, horror movie from the 1950s directed and produced by Roger Corman. This movie stars Dick Miller as the main character and takes place during the beatnik culture in America.
15. A Farewell to Arms (1932)
A Farewell to Arms is a romance drama movie directed by Frank Borzage in the 1930s. This movie is based on Ernest Hemingway‘s famous novel and stars Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes.
16. Maniac (1934)
Maniac is a black and white horror film from the 1930s directed and produced by Dwain Esper. This movie stars William Woods who works as a lab assistant attempting to bring the dead back to life.
17. Go For Broke (1951)
Go For Broke is a black and white war movie directed by Robert Pirosh during the 1950s. This film stars Van Johnson as the main character and takes place during World War Two.
18. His Girl Friday (1940)
His Girl Friday is a drama, romance movie directed and produced by Howard Hanks in the 1940s. This film stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and has won several awards in the past.
19. The General (1926)
The General is a silent comedy film directed by Clyde Bruckman in the 1920s. This movie stars Buster Keaton and is based on the true Civil War story of the “Great Locomotive Chase.”
20. One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
One-Eyed Jacks is an American western film directed by Marlon Brando during the 1960s. Brando also plays one of the main characters. This movie is about a bank robbery in Mexico and has won some awards since its release.
Other Notable Movies
- The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
- Go For Broke (1951)
- Mr. Imperium (1951)
- Meet John Doe (1941)
- Fear and Desire (1953)
- House on Haunted Hill (1959)
- Carnival of Souls (1962)
How to Watch Public Domain Movies
All of the movies listed above are available for viewing at any time using any internet-connected device you would like. This includes the Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Roku, PC, phone, tablet, Android TV Boxes, and more.
For the best quality streaming links, integrations, and more, popular apps such as Cinema HD, Peacock TV, or Kodi are all reliable options. These options and more can be found within our lists of Best Streaming APKs and Best Firestick Apps for streaming public domain movies.
If using Kodi on your device we suggest viewing our Kodi Addons and Kodi Builds pages for the best options.
Downloading these public domain films via Torrent Websites is another option for viewing. Many use home media servers like Plex for torrenting files.
Important Note: Torrenting public domain titles are 100% legal since you are downloading movies within the public domain and not subject to copyright.
While public domain movies are always available for viewing, a VPN is strongly suggested to watch other forms of content. With a VPN installed on your device, you will be able to stream all your favorite content without worrying about your ISP (Internet Service Provider), hackers, watchdog groups, and more from monitoring what you are watching.
You can find all VPN setup guides by using the link below.[My Website] VPN Setup Guides
For more public domain content, check out our list of Best Public Domain TV Shows!
For a complete list of all movies in the Public Domain, we suggest viewing the link below.[Public Domain Movies Website]
Public Domain Movies FAQ
What are the Best Public Domain Movies?
The best public domain movies include Night of the Living Dead, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Star is Born, Gulliver’s Travels, Phantom of the Opera, The Outlaw, and others we include in this list.
Is Watching Public Domain Movies Online Legal?
Yes. Watching public domain movies online is 100% legal.
Do you need a VPN for Watching Public Domain Movies?
While a VPN is not required to watch public domain movies it is recommended, especially if you are located outside the US.
How do I Watch Public Domain Movies?
To watch public domain movies you can use free streaming apps or streaming websites outlined in this guide.
Do I have to Sign Up for an Account to Watch Public Domain Movies?
No. While some streaming apps and websites may require accounts, many do not. This page includes options that do not need an account to start watching.