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Hollywood Screw Ups And Free Movies

By Kenneth J. McCormick
(All references to the Public Domain refer to U.S. Law. Laws may be different in other countries)
Copyrights and patents seem to be on everything. But I shouldn't talk since all of my articles are copyrighted. The only reason that I mention this is the fact that some artistic works don't have a copyright. Usually this is because something went wrong in the copyright process or they were meant to be free. I was stunned to find that there were Hollywood movies that are not copyrighted.

hollywood free movies

An example of this is the 1941 movie, Meet John Doe, which was directed by Frank Capra and produced by Warner Brothers. If you look it up on the Internet Archive you will see it is clearly marked Public Domain under the Creative Commons license. We are talking about a film staring such greats as Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold and Walter Brennan. Someone really screwed up with this film.
Another big film that is in the Public Domain is Charade. We are talking about a Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn film. Someone forgot to put the required copyright notice in the released print. I bet he or she was looking for another job right after that. The film was released in 1963.
A film entitled Salt Of The Earth was produced in 1954. What made it unusual was the fact that it was made by people who were blacklisted. This usually happened because Senator McCarthy had accused them of being Communists. The film stared Wil Geer and Rosaura Revueltas. and is also in the Public Domain. I have no idea why this is.

Till The Clouds Roll By was released in 1946 and is the life story of famous composer Jerome Kern and is another film that fell into the Public Domain. It had quite a cast, June Allyson, Robert Walker, Lucille Bremer, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Frank Sinatra.
Here is one of my favorite movies, I still can't believe it is Public Domain but it is listed as such by the Internet Archive. It is DOA. It was released in 1950 and starred Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Neville Brand and Lawrence Dobkin. The story line is about a man trying to find the person that gave him a slow acting poison. If you are going to download any films make sure this is one of them, you won't be disappointed.
Then there are those films that you might never have gone to see anyway.

In 1956 Dementia a/k/a Daughter of Horror was released. It stared Richard Barron and Adrienne Barret. This is a shorty, running only 56 minutes. Public Domain at its worst, even if it wasn't meant to be Public Domain.
Radar Men From The Moon. Its a serial and is part one. But part one landed up as Public Domain. It is a Commando Cody serial for those of you old enough to remember who he was.

These films are too large for me to store them on my website for download but you can go to The Internet Archive and download these films. You should click on 'moving images' first then select 'feature films' as the search type. Next type in the name of the movie to download in the search box. You will get a few free movies out of this if you can download big files.

If you check you should also be able to find many free animations such as Superman. Enjoy yourself.

Ken is the webmaster of About Facts Net. This is an interesting free internet magazine. The articles are suitable for family viewing and often contain photos, video and audio. Copyright © 2005 by About Facts Net and its licensors. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reprint this article if all links are left intact and no changes made. This means that everything including this notice must be copied


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