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Contrary to what some people think, there are a lot of entertaining old movies, some of which have fallen into the public domain, and can now be downloaded from Internet Archive completely free of charge.
The only problem is that like now, back in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s when many of these films were made, there were also many poor films made as well.
The challenge for the online film buff is to pick the gems, and not waste time with movies that have not aged well, or just weren’t very good to start with.
So here are five great movies that were great in their day, and still offer the modern viewer entertainment. Don’t be put off by the fact that they’re in black and white. What makes these movies entertaining are their tight scripts and good stories (some thing that’s missing from many modern movies).
The movies are available as 64Kb MPEG4 or 245Kb MPEG4 streams or downloads, or as MPEG1 or MEG2 downloads.
Just click on the titles to go their download page.
Duration: 81 minutes
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll
A man is suspected of murdering a spy. As police pursue him across Scotland, the real murderers become apparent.
While there have been two other movie versions of this story (based on a novel by John Buchan), Hitchcock’s version stands as the most acclaimed.
Duration: 92 minute
Directed by Howard Hawks, starring Carry Grant (pictured) and Rosalind Russell.
Russell plays a reporter who is planning on getting out of the newspaper game after divorcing her publisher husband played by Grant. Just about as she is about to make her exit, Grant asks her to cover breaking news.
Described by one reviewer as one of the “fastest of all movies, from line to line, and from gag to gag”.
Duration: 98 minutes
Directed by George A Romero, starring Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones.
Rating: Very good
One of the most influential horror films of all time. The heroine finds herself trapped in a farmhouse with an assortment of characters as flesh eating zombies attack.
A lot of old horror movies haven’t really stood the test of time. This one does, and many argue that it’s better than the 1990 remake.
Interestingly, this movie was made on a budget of $114,000, but had managed to make $30 million within ten years.
By the way, the opening scene gets my nomination for “just deserts for a real jerk” award — you’ll know what I mean when you see it.
D.O.A. (Dead on arrival)
Genre: Film noir drama
Duration: 83 minutes
Directed by Rudolph Mate, starring Edmond O’Brien
A man tries to find out who has poisoned him, and why, with slow acting Radium.
D.O.A is considered by many to be a classic film noir movie.
Duration: 96 minutes
Directed by Elia Kazan, starring Richard Widmark, Jack Palance
Rating: Very Good
In this semidocumentary film, Heath officials attempt to find a carrier of Bubonic plague on the New Orleans waterfront.
Why are some commercial films in the public domain?
Movies made before 1923 are generally in the public domain (but not restored versions, which usually contain their own updated copyright notices).
Movies made after 1923 may be in the public domain unless their copyright has been renewed. So why doesn’t every studio simply renew the copyright of its movies?
In the case of D.O.A, for example, the producer Leo C Popkin made the film for his short-lived studio Cardinal Pictures, but then didn’t renew the copyright when he had the chance in 1977.
Other times, movies fall into the public domain because someone screwed up.
In the case of Night of the Living Dead, the original theatric distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, forgot to place a copyright notice on the title of the film prints when it changed the name of the movie from Night of the Flesh Eaters to Night of the Living Dead. In 1968 copyright laws in the US required that proper notice be given.
Oh well, their loss, our gain.
Herman Van Veen - LPs (Mania Collectie)
De LP's heb ik eerst gewassen,
toen opgenomen met Marantz 6100,
Sansui au-X501 en SB Audigy 2
Lame 3.97 voor conversie naar 320Kpbs MP3
by Mania (FTD)
Alfred J. Kwak - LP - 1978
Alles - LP - 1973
Amsterdam Carré III - 2LP - 1976
Anne - LP - 1986
Blauwe Plekken - LP - 1990
Bloesem - LP - 1972
Carré Amsterdam I - 2LP - 1971
De Wondere Avonturen - LP - 1979
De Zaal Is Er (Carré V) - LP - 1987
Een Voorstelling (Carré IV) - 2LP - 1979
En Nooit Weerom - LP - 1974
Goed Voor Een Glimlach - LP - 1971
Herman En De Zes - LP - 1980
Herman Van Veen I - LP - 1967
Herman Van Veen II - LP - 1969
Het Een En Ander - 2LP - 1984
Het Verhaal Van De Clowns - 2LP - 1988
Iets Van Een Clown - LP - 1981
Jukebox 2008 - LP - 1976
Kerstliederen - LP - 1979
Op Handen - LP - 1978
Overblijven - 2LP - 1977
Pol - LP - 1988
Suzanne - LP - 1973
Tien Jaar - 2LP - 1975
Toegift Antwerpen - LP - 1980
Uit Elkaar - LP - 1979
Voor Een Verre Prinses - LP - 1970
Zo Leren Kijken (Carré II) - LP - 1973
Zolang De Voorraad Strekt - LP - V1 - 1982
Zolang De Voorraad Strekt - LP - V2 - 1983