Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Dinsey+, and Amazon Prime made the life of movie lovers so much easier. After all, we can discover a plethora of great movies from all over the world with the simple click of a remote. However, as great as these streaming services are, they aren’t very cheap. Paying a hefty subscription fee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
What if we told you that there’s a great collection of movies available free of cost? YouTube, apart from having tons of cute pet videos and evergreen songs, also has an amazing roster of classic movies. Many of these classic films are not easy to find on streaming services, so having them only a click away on YouTube is a relief for many cinema buffs. From comedy classics to gripping thrillers, these rare gems are just waiting to be watched by you… for free (and completely legally, we promise)!
There’s no better way to elevate your mood than watching the antics of Charlie Chaplin, and The Kid is one of his very best. In this 1921 feature, the lovable tramp strikes a friendship with an orphan child and decides to take him under his wing. However, a few unexpected events put that relationship in jeopardy.
This beautiful film genuinely makes you feel emotional, and the bond between Charlie and the child is so pure and charming that the movie is worth watching just for that alone.
If you enjoy Charlie Chaplin, then you will also love a healthy dose of Buster Keaton. Fondly remembered as one of the greatest comic actors of all time, Keaton starred in several shorts and feature films. In The General, he faces off Union soldiers during the American Civil War, leading to some truly bizarre and uproarious comic action scenes. Keaton's boundless wit and energy are on full display here and will have you cackling through and through.
This award-winning silent masterpiece is a typical nineteenth-century domestic melodrama centered on a rural couple known only as the Man (George O’Brien) and the Wife (Janet Gaynor). The man, who is seemingly bored with his routine life at the farm encounters a temptress (Margaret Livingston) who convinces him to murder his wife and run away with her.
When the wife becomes suspicious of his plan and runs away to the city, the husband follows her, and the two rediscover their love. Sunrise is surprisingly gritty for a silent movie, and its iconography and melodramatic structure still impress viewers today.
If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, don’t miss out on M by the German director Fritz Lang. The movie follows a city-wide hunt by the police for a child murderer. But when the ineptness of the police and public apathy cannot solve the crime, vigilante law takes over.
Released in 1931, the film was way ahead of its time and was lauded for its masterly use of groundbreaking lighting techniques and off-screen sound to heighten the elements of thrill and suspense. Watch it for Lang’s iconic filmography and the superb narrative.
Classic comedies don’t get better than this. My Man Godfrey is a Depression-era screwball comedy featuring the inimitable Carole Lombard as Irene Bullock, a spoiled socialite who hires a hapless homeless man (William Powell) as a butler for her nutty family. Things take a turn when Irene falls for the butler and learns a lesson or two from him.
This riotously fun film filled with zany characters consistently delivers the chuckles.
The Lady Vanishes is a perfect Alfred Hitchcock mystery. The plot is interesting – a kindly old music teacher vanishes aboard a train across Europe, but the passengers deny that such a person even existed. A young woman begins to investigate the mystery with another traveler.
Based on the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White, this locomotive caper is charming and captivating in equal measure.
Starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday revolves around a New York newspaper editor named Walter Burns who discovers that his ex-wife, Hildy Johnson, is about to remarry and does everything he can to stop it. The movie is fondly remembered for its high-speed dialogue and witty comedy that still hold up amazingly well today. Watching Burns and Hildy constantly running rings around each other is pure joy, and it reminds us why we all love ‘40s Hollywood so much.
A dark highway tale of love lost and trouble found, Detour is a low-budget film noir that will leave you on the edge of your seat throughout its short 68-minute runtime. Shot in just six days, this is the tale of a hapless hitchhiker who steals a car from a dead man and assumes his identity. But he soon comes across a mysterious femme fatale who seems to know all about his true identity.
This is a terrific film for such a low budget. It has a solid script and great acting from the lead characters.
One of the most magical musicals of the 1950s, Royal Wedding stars Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as siblings who are planning to take their successful Broadway show across the pond. A film with Fred Astaire means you can expect to see some great dancing, and the movie certainly doesn’t disappoint on that end.
Filled with charming music and delightful dance numbers, this musical is downright hilarious and is great for a family viewing experience. The music is on par with the dancing. In fact, Royal Wedding was nominated for an Academy Award for one of its songs. Don’t miss this one!
A light-hearted romantic comedy, Minnie and Moskowitz tells the story of a depressed and jaded museum curator, Minnie Moore (Gena Rowlands), who falls in love with a crazy parking attendant, Seymour Moskowitz (Seymour Cassel). The two characters are poles apart, but they are slowly drawn towards each other, and an unlikely romance blossoms between them.
This is independent cinema at its purest and most unrefined. The film provides a strange and intriguing look at love through the eyes of two compelling characters.
The Heartbreak Kid follows Leonard Cantrow, a three-year Army veteran, who marries Lila Kolodny, a 21-year-old woman. However, on their honeymoon, he gets put off by her unrefined personality and falls for the beautiful and sophisticated Kelly instead, whom he meets on the beach. Soon, he begins piling one absence excuse on Lila after another to sneak off and meet Kelly. But things are about to take a hilarious twist...
This is a wonderfully witty comedy that humorously reveals the depths that sheer will can take us to.
Looking for a thrilling African adventure with lions? Look no further than Savage Harvest. The story is about a farming family that finds themselves under attack by a pack of ravenous lions in Kenya during a severe drought. The family patriarch (Tom Skerritt) must then devise a plan to protect his loved ones and escape the clutches of the hungry beasts.
The ferocity of the lions toward one another is just as unsettling as the attacks on the characters. Furthermore, a few lion attack scenes will certainly chill your very bones. Ultimately, Savage Harvest isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch, but it’s highly entertaining and a must-watch for those who love Africa and lions.
The networks never released it on DVD, and hence, this film is increasingly hard to find on any streaming service. Thankfully, you have YouTube.
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