List of films in the public domain in the United States (Old 2011)

by SelfCloak | created - 07 Nov 2011 | updated - 28 Aug 2013 | Public

This is a list of films that certain cited sources believe are in the public domain in the United States. Being in the public domain refers to cinematic, dramatic, literary, musical and artistic works that no government, organization, or individual owns, and as such is common property. Note: Films in this list may incorporate elements from other works that are still under copyright, even though the film itself is out of copyright. (Wikipedia) (This list was made in 2011. See "List of films in the public domain in the United States (New 2012)" for a newer list)

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1. Abraham Lincoln (1930)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne

Votes: 1,165

2. Ace Drummond (1936)

Approved | 255 min | Adventure, Action

This 13 chapter serial is based on the comic strip character Ace Drummond created by Eddie Rickenbacker. Ace is a 'G-Man of the sky' working out of Washington D.C. He is sent to Mongolia to... See full summary »

Directors: Ford Beebe, Clifford Smith | Stars: John 'Dusty' King, Jean Rogers, Noah Beery Jr., Guy Bates Post

Votes: 354

3. The Adventures of Smilin' Jack (1943)

Approved | 265 min | Action, Adventure, War

Just before World War II, the Chinese and American governments mount a joint operation to prevent the Germans and Japanese from taking over the strategic island of Mandon.

Directors: Lewis D. Collins, Ray Taylor | Stars: Tom Brown, Rose Hobart, Edgar Barrier, Marjorie Lord

Votes: 308

4. Africa Screams (1949)

Approved | 79 min | Adventure, Comedy

Abbott & Costello search for diamonds in Africa, along the way meeting a visually-impaired gunner, a hungry lion, and a tribe of cannibals...

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Clyde Beatty, Frank Buck

Votes: 3,123

5. Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939)

Approved | 22 min | Animation, Short, Action

Working in the story department of Surprise Pictures, Olive Oyl writes a script based on the story of Aladdin, casting Popeye as the thief and herself as the Princess.

Director: Dave Fleischer | Stars: Margie Hines, Jack Mercer, Carl Meyer

Votes: 428

6. Algiers (1938)

Unrated | 96 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 2,058

7. All This and Rabbit Stew (1941)

Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Short

Bugs heckles a black hunter and escapes from a bear.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Mel Blanc, Danny Webb

Votes: 570

8. The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

Approved | 78 min | Film-Noir, Horror, Thriller

On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Vorhaus | Stars: Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O'Donnell, Richard Carlson

Votes: 1,195

9. The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

Approved | 58 min | Sci-Fi

A crazed scientist invents an invisibility formula. He plans to use the formula to create an army of invisible zombies.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault

Votes: 1,867

10. And Then There Were None (1945)

Approved | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Seven guests, a newly hired personal secretary and two staff are gathered on an isolated island by an absent host and someone begins killing them off one by one. They work together to determine who is the killer?

Director: René Clair | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young

Votes: 10,903

11. Angel and the Badman (1947)

Approved | 100 min | Romance, Western

Quirt Evans, an all round bad guy, is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth, a Quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.

Director: James Edward Grant | Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 4,486

12. Angel on My Shoulder (1946)

Approved | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

The Devil arranges for a deceased gangster to return to Earth as a well-respected judge to make up for his previous life.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains, Onslow Stevens

Votes: 2,035

13. Angels Hard as They Come (1971)

R | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Sex, violence, and bikers on an action filled ride, in this film produced and co-written by Jonathan Demme.

Director: Joe Viola | Stars: Scott Glenn, Charles Dierkop, James Iglehart, Gilda Texter

Votes: 257

14. The Ape (1940)

Approved | 62 min | Horror

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Boris Karloff, Maris Wrixon, Gene O'Donnell, Dorothy Vaughan

Votes: 1,394

15. The Ape Man (1943)

Passed | 64 min | Action, Drama, Horror

A crazed scientist accidentally turns himself into a half ape, half human creature, and scrambles to find a cure.

Director: William Beaudine | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford, Henry Hall

Votes: 964

16. Assassin of Youth (1938)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama

A high-school girl gets involved with a ring of teenage marijuana smokers and starts down the road to ruin. A reporter poses as a soda jerk to infiltrate the gang of teen dope fiends.

Director: Elmer Clifton | Stars: Luana Walters, Arthur Gardner, Dorothy Short, Earl Dwire

Votes: 319

17. At War with the Army (1950)

Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy, Musical, War

Alvin Corwin is low man on the totem pole, and goes from one mishap to another at an army training camp in World War II.

Director: Hal Walker | Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Mike Kellin, Jimmie Dundee

Votes: 1,871

18. Atom Age Vampire (1960)

Unrated | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A stripper is horribly disfigured in a car accident. A brilliant scientist develops a treatment that restores her beauty and falls in love with her. To preserve her appearance the doctor ... See full summary »

Director: Anton Giulio Majano | Stars: Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, Sergio Fantoni, Franca Parisi

Votes: 1,271

Alternate title: Atom Age Vampire

19. Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

Approved | 62 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A backwoods game warden and a local doctor discover that giant leeches are responsible for disappearances and deaths in a local swamp, but the local police don't believe them.

Director: Bernard L. Kowalski | Stars: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepard, Michael Emmet

Votes: 3,448

20. The Bat (1959)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A crazed killer known as "The Bat" is on the loose in a mansion full of people.

Director: Crane Wilbur | Stars: Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon, John Sutton

Votes: 3,485

21. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 46,732 | Gross: $0.05M

22. Beachcombers (1936)

9 min | Animation, Short

Oswald Rabbit, his dog and a duck family are going to the beach. While Oswald goes fishing, his dog and the unattended little ducklings are teasing each other with pranks and high jinks ensue.

Director: Walter Lantz | Star: Bernice Hansen

Votes: 31

23. Bear Shooters (1930)

Approved | 20 min | Family, Comedy, Short

While on a camping trip, the gang comes across poachers.

Director: Robert F. McGowan | Stars: Norman 'Chubby' Chaney, Jackie Cooper, Allen 'Farina' Hoskins, Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins

Votes: 202

24. Beat the Devil (1953)

Approved | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

On their way to Africa are a group of rogues who hope to get rich there, and a seemingly innocent British couple. They meet and things happen...

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley

Votes: 7,110

25. Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952)

Not Rated | 74 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

Two goofy entertainers meet a mad scientist on a jungle island.

Director: William Beaudine | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Duke Mitchell, Sammy Petrillo, Charlita

Votes: 1,349

26. Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953)

Approved | 102 min | Adventure

Fierce competition among sponge fishermen forces a Greek-American family to fish in the dangerous 12-mile reef area off the western coast of Florida.

Director: Robert D. Webb | Stars: Robert Wagner, Terry Moore, Gilbert Roland, J. Carrol Naish

Votes: 976

27. The Bigamist (1953)

Approved | 80 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A man secretly married to two women feels the pressure of his deceit.

Director: Ida Lupino | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn, Edmond O'Brien

Votes: 2,092

28. The Big Show (1936)

Passed | 71 min | Action, Comedy, Music

At the Texas Centennial in Dallas Autry confuses two girls by being himself and his own stunt double.

Directors: Mack V. Wright, Joseph Kane | Stars: Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Kay Hughes, Sally Payne

Votes: 206

29. Black Dragons (1942)

Approved | 64 min | Thriller, War

A cabal of American industrialists, all fifth-columnists intent on sabotaging the war effort, are methodically murdered by the malevolent Monsieur Colomb. It is only until detective Dick ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, George Pembroke, Clayton Moore

Votes: 867

30. The Blood of Jesus (1941)

Approved | 57 min | Drama, Fantasy

An atheist accidentally shoots his Baptist wife. She dies and goes to a crossroads, where the devil tries to lead her astray.

Director: Spencer Williams | Stars: Cathryn Caviness, Spencer Williams, Juanita Riley, Reather Hardeman

Votes: 380

31. Bloody Pit of Horror (1965)

Unrated | 87 min | Horror

A photographer and his models go to an old, abandoned castle to shoot some sexy covers for horror novels. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is inhabited by a lunatic who believes himself to ... See full summary »

Director: Massimo Pupillo | Stars: Mickey Hargitay, Walter Brandi, Luisa Baratto, Ralph Zucker

Votes: 1,355

Alternate title: Bloody Pit of Horror

32. Bloodtide (1982)

R | 82 min | Adventure, Horror

An adventurer hunting for treasure in Greece accidentally frees a monster that forces local villagers to sacrifice virgins.

Director: Richard Jefferies | Stars: James Earl Jones, José Ferrer, Lila Kedrova, Mary Louise Weller

Votes: 996

33. Bluebeard (1944)

Passed | 72 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

In Paris, an artist hires portrait models, and after he finishes their portraits, he strangles them.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: John Carradine, Jean Parker, Nils Asther, Ludwig Stössel

Votes: 1,424

34. Bowery at Midnight (1942)

Approved | 61 min | Crime, Thriller

Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Karl Wagner uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace Fox | Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Wanda McKay, Tom Neal

Votes: 828

35. Boy Meets Dog (1938)

9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A commercial short made for the Bristol-Myers Co. (plugging their toothpaste) that features the characters from the "Reg'lar Fellers" syndicated newspaper comic strip by Gene Byrnes. The ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lantz | Stars: Billy Bletcher, Walter Tetley, Danny Webb

Votes: 83

36. The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976 TV Movie)

PG | 96 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

The girl next door makes a teen born with immune deficiencies want to leave his germ-free bubble.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: John Travolta, Glynnis O'Connor, Robert Reed, Diana Hyland

Votes: 3,951

37. Boys Beware (1961)

10 min | Drama, Short

This anti-homosexual social "scare" short film focuses on the dangers of young boys talking to strangers.

Star: Sid Davis

Votes: 435

38. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

Director: Joseph Green | Stars: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna, Adele Lamont

Votes: 5,376

39. Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

Passed | 70 min | Horror

The owner of a plantation in the jungle marries a beautiful woman. Shortly afterward, he is plagued by a strange voodoo curse which transforms him into a gorilla.

Director: Curt Siodmak | Stars: Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr., Raymond Burr, Tom Conway

Votes: 926

40. Brideless Groom (1947)

Approved | 17 min | Comedy, Short

To inherit a fortune, voice teacher Shemp must marry before six o'clock, but no girl will accept his proposal. Finally one of his repulsive students agrees to marry him, just in the nick of... See full summary »

Director: Edward Bernds | Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Dee Green

Votes: 877

41. A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Approved | 66 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A dim-witted busboy finds acclaim as an artist for a plaster-covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. The desire for more praise soon leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton

Votes: 4,795

42. Bulldog Drummond (1929)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A bored WWI veteran helps out a young woman, whose uncle is being held hostage by embezzlers.

Director: F. Richard Jones | Stars: Ronald Colman, Claud Allister, Lawrence Grant, Montagu Love

Votes: 743

43. Burn 'Em Up Barnes (I) (1934)

Passed | 210 min | Action, Adventure

Marjorie Temple, owner of a bus line and an apparently worthless plot of land, is set upon by rich oil speculators who know her land actually is worth millions. When they try to put her out... See full summary »

Directors: Colbert Clark, Armand Schaefer | Stars: Jack Mulhall, Frankie Darro, Lola Lane, Julian Rivero

Votes: 58

44. Captain Kidd (1945)

Approved | 90 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

The unhistorical adventures of pirate Captain Kidd revolve around treasure and treachery.

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, Reginald Owen

Votes: 1,318

45. Carnival of Souls (1962)

PG | 78 min | Horror, Mystery

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey | Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison

Votes: 16,865

46. Cause for Alarm! (1951)

Passed | 74 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An invalid husband wrongly believes his wife and doctor are conspiring to kill him and outlines that suspicion in a letter, which causes a serious concern when he ends up dying anyway.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Loretta Young, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Cowling, Margalo Gillmore

Votes: 1,456

47. Chained for Life (1952)

81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A Siamese twin kills the husband who left her. The courts have to decide if she is convicted of murder, how can they punish her sister, who had nothing to do with the crime?

Director: Harry L. Fraser | Stars: Violet Hilton, Daisy Hilton, Mario Laval, Allen Jenkins

Votes: 326