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Watch Classic Movies for Free Online

Techygran enjoys sharing current information to help herself and others delight in fully creative and healthy, comfortable lives.

Ahhh.... watch these grainy but lovely old classic movies, now fallen into the Public Domain, on your laptop or other devices.

Ahhh.... watch these grainy but lovely old classic movies, now fallen into the Public Domain, on your laptop or other devices.

Classic Movies in Public Domain

Dreaming backwards to those old Classic Movies of yesteryear? Well, I'm happy to say that there are a ton of movies made before 1970(for most of us boomers, those were our teen years-- classics like "Beach Blanket Bingo" and all those gorgeous Audrey Hepburn flicks and Hayley Mills and Gidget and Gigi and "South Pacific" and Elvis and on and on (*sigh*)that have likely all "fallen into" the Public Domain now). That means that we can watch them on our laptops, iPads, and various other devices in bed... sort of like the old drive-in movie experience, but closer up. With no awkward girl-boy stuff. Free. Streaming. You don't have to sign up with any of those rip-off online sites that promise more than they deliver... or who deliver a pile of viruses in lieu of your classic movies.

So I Can Watch Any Classic Movie Made Before 1970?

Well, unfortunately, not necessarily. Films have slightly more complex rights than other media (such as books, paintings, etc.) Films, the category in which classic films belong, are actually a "package" of copyrights made up of cinematography, drama, literature, art, musical score, and even something as esoteric as 'trademark'. So, while the book that the film was based on might have 'fallen into' public domain, perhaps there are copyrights made later than 1970 on the screenplay or some music that was inserted at the last minute in the production. And, of course, there is the inevitable adversarial legal system with its hand in the matter-- disagreeing legal counsel is not obliged to do as the public would wish them to.

So where do I go to watch Full-length Classic Movies?

There are no exhaustive lists of actual available movies at this time, but there are a number of 'lists' of possibly available movies on sites online, some more reliable than others. Some of these sites -- maybe most-- are looking to harvest your contact information for the privilege of downloading the movie from what looks like a park on their site... when the movie is likely stored on another site altogether. Researcher-reviewer Wendy Boswell from lists the following as her picks for the Top Five websites to download full-length classic movies. While I really appreciate this review, I am disappointed that because of certain governmental laws and regulations, many of the sites on the top end of the review (like HULU) can only be streamed into the United States. There will be challenges to finding the movie-offering sites with the full-length classic movies you want to view, but you WILL find many so just hang in there! (Get your grandchild or a neighbor child to help you if need be). There are lots of Zombie movies, of course. If that was a genre you enjoyed as a teenager, you might want to revisit them.



HULU and GOOGLE are supposed to be incompatible, which means you are not supposed to be able to watch HULU videos on GOOGLE TV (and remember that Google is the Boss), but apparently with a few little adjustments you are able to do that... it likely won't last long, may already be gone (let me know it that is the case, okay?)  Go here to read about the micro-adjustments you make (a matter of seconds for real techs).


Robert Sacchi on July 31, 2020:

Yes, there is a lot to be said about these vintage films.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 30, 2020:

Dear Robert

Thanks for coming by and offering up your knowldgeable information on "Its a Wonderful Life." These old classics are hard to beat!

Robert Sacchi on July 30, 2020:

Thank you for pointing this out. Yes, Creature Feature type shows often exclusively show movies in the science fiction/fantasy/horror genres. An odd thing happened with "It's a Wonderful Life", for a short time it was in public domain. It seemed in the US every channel was showing it at Christmas Time. An episode of "Married With Children" even made fun of that fact. This bombardment made "It's a Wonderful Life" if a perennial Christmas Classic. It probably wouldn't have achieved that hadn't a clerical error put the movie in the Public Domain for a time.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 01, 2015:

Thank you Jojoy for your comment and suggestion that I post some other similar articles-- I might just take you up on that! (Perhaps you would like to write a hub about something similar-- this is a wonderfully nurturing community and your input would be much appreciated!)

Jojoy on December 28, 2014:

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From the article I can tell you know what your tankilg about. Thank you for sharing this quality information. Please post some other articles on the same topic.

Insightful Tiger on April 26, 2013:

You are so right about that! Many movies and shows today add many things that are unnecessary to the plot.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on April 26, 2013:

You're welcome Insightful Tiger... this hub was done quite a while ago so if you find that the sites mentioned here are no longer up, please let me know! (so lazy, sorry) And yes, our mothers are our movie touchstones, I believe! There certainly used to be more movies that one was not embarrassed to watch with one's mom...

Insightful Tiger on April 26, 2013:

I love classic movies. It reminds me of watching them with my mom. I will be checking some out soon thanks to your hub. Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 30, 2012:

Hi Hypenbird! Best of luck! I have some 'obscure' favourites from my childhood as well to look up... you've inspired me!

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 30, 2012:

I am going to look up some of your suggestions. I have found some on Amazon free with my Prime membership and some on Netflix which we pay $8 a month to watch. But I cannot find The Unfinished Dance which is a beloved favorite since I was little. Thanks for the ideas and tips.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 17, 2010:

You're very welcome Mary! Hope you find some old favourites to enjoy with your dried apples :-) ~Cynthia

Mary Dicerni on October 17, 2010:

Thank you so much. I have been looking for these old movies on safe sites. I enjoy munching on my dried apple slices while watching them. Ketch-ya later...

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 10, 2010:

thanks Andy-- I hear ya re preferring to watch movies on TV but there is also something so sort of sweet about the grainy old classic movies up close and personal on the laptop. Thank you so much for your lead to "Penny Serenade" and the link! Cheers!

Andy Webb on October 08, 2010:

I must admit I prefer to watch movies on a proper TV, rather than streaming but I do like the fact that some older movies which are no longer broadcast can be found to watch for free - legally. One site I discovered whilst looking for info on "Penny Serenade" is the internet archive which has a lot of old fims available to watch -

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