List of films in the public domain in the United States

This is a non-definitive list of films in the public domain in the United States. A number of films exist 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.[1] This list is not comprehensive; the vast majority of public domain films are not included here for various reasons.

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.

Copyrightable elements of a film

There is no official list of films (or other works) in the public domain. It is difficult to determine the public domain status of a film because it can incorporate any or all of the following copyrightable elements:

Film copyright involves the copyright status of multiple elements that make up the film.[4] A film can lose its copyright in some of those elements while retaining copyright in other elements.[4] Experts in the field of public domain sometimes differ in their opinions as to whether a particular film is in the public domain.

The use of music in a film can cause uncertainty with regard to copyright. As of 2010, it is not known whether the use of music in a film constitutes publication of the music for the purpose of copyright.[5] Unpublished works are treated differently from published works under US copyright law.[6]

Judicial interpretation of public domain

Judges, too, differ in their interpretation of the laws governing copyright protection. The United States is a "patchwork quilt" of inconsistent copyright rules in different federal judicial districts. The courts of one jurisdiction are not obliged to follow the decisions of another.[7] The Supreme Court of the United States (which could resolve those inconsistencies) very seldom decides copyright cases, and then only when an important principle is involved.

Documenting public domain status

If a film appears on the list below, there is a high probability it has lost some or all of its United States copyright protection or in the case of U.S. government films, was never protected by copyright.

There is no single method for determining if a film, or parts of it, is in the public domain. There are several methods that can be used to document a film's public domain status. These include the following:

Lack of renewal

Prior to 1988, all motion picture films published after 1909 with a copyright notice where the 28th year of copyright would occur before 1988, had to be registered and before the 28th year, the registration had to be renewed, or the copyright for the film would expire and it would enter the public domain. This would apply to all films registered for copyright prior to 1960. Copyright renewals became optional in 1988.

Prior to 1978, films had to contain a valid copyright notice in order to claim copyright; at the bare minimum, the copyright notice had to list the word "copyright" (or, as an acceptable abbreviation, a circled C), the year of publication (which could not be more than one year ahead of the actual publication), and the name of the entity claiming the copyright. From 1978 to 1988, if a work was published without a notice, the creator had five years to claim a copyright by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Board.[8]

For an example, note the case of the television series The New 3 Stooges, pictured. Episodes of the series were published with an incomplete copyright notice with a year and copyright symbol but no claimant. Had the series been published under the terms of the post-1988 Berne Convention, and automatic copyright granted, it would be an orphan work, since it would be unclear which of the three companies involved in its production; Cambria Studios, C3 Entertainment and Normandy Productions; could claim to own the series. Because it was published before the U.S. joined the Berne Convention, its laws requiring the claimant to be explicitly stated ensured the series immediately lapsed into the public domain.

Date of publication

All motion pictures made and exhibited before 1924 are indisputably in the public domain in the United States. This date will move forward one year, every year, meaning that films released in 1924 will enter the public domain in 2020, films from 1925 in 2021, and so on.

Before the passage of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) in 1998, the term of copyright in the U.S. was a maximum of 75 years, with the work entering the public domain on January 1 of the 76th year from creation (so, for example, a film made in 1930 whose copyright was properly registered and renewed would enter the public domain on January 1, 2006). As such, all films released before 1923 would have entered the public domain by January 1, 1998. Although the CTEA added 20 years to the terms of all existing copyrights, until 2019, it explicitly refused to revive any copyrights that had expired prior to its passage. On January 1, 2019, the 20-year extension expired and new works began entering the public domain each year thereafter.

Work of the United States government

All copyrightable works made by United States government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain from their creation. The status of works made by contractors is dependent on the terms of their contract. Note that this applies only to the federal government, and not to state or local governments, which may or may not claim copyright depending on state laws.

Motion picture copyright registrations prior to 1978 were published in semi-annual Copyright Catalogs. The Library of Congress also published cumulative Copyright Catalogs of motion picture registrations for the periods

  • 1894–1911
  • 1912–1939[9]
  • 1940–1949
  • 1950–1959
  • 1960–1969
  • 1970–1979
  • 1980–1989

All are out of print. However, the Film Superlist series is a complete reprint of all registrations in the Copyright Catalogs for 1894 through 1959. There is no cumulative Copyright Catalog for 1970–1977; the Copyright Office published 16 semi-annual Copyright Catalog booklets covering that eight-year period, but all are out of print and extremely rare. All copyright registrations from 1978 onward are online at the Library of Congress website.

Some decades of The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures include copyright registration information for feature films (not shorts) of United States origin. This can include a statement that research failed to disclose copyright registration for a particular film. Copyright registration information is given in the following:

  • The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures, 1931–1940; ISBN 0-913616-00-1
  • The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures, 1941–1950; ISBN 0-913616-39-7

The United States copyright website catalogs all the works prior to 1978 that have been renewed.[10] Several pieces of work have been renewed in the form of collections, thus giving the collection as a whole copyright protection.

For films registered in 1923–1963 inclusive, it is essential to know the renewal status. The semi-annual Copyright Catalog booklets have virtually complete (at least 99.99%) lists of renewals for the films registered 28 years earlier. Those semi-annual booklets all are out of print. However, for 1923 through 1959, the Film Superlist books match copyright renewals with earlier registrations. Copyright registrations and renewals can be found in

In 1992, Congress changed the copyright law to make renewal automatic for copyrights registered in 1964 and later.

Underlying rights

Many of the movies listed below are based on plays, novels, magazine stories or a combination of those sources. In some cases, a film's copyright has lapsed because of non-renewal while the underlying literary or dramatic source is still protected by copyright. For example, the movie His Girl Friday (1940) became a public domain film in 1969 because it was not renewed, but it is based on the 1928 play The Front Page, which is still under copyright until 2024 and thus as a practical matter the film cannot be used without permission.[4]


All films that were released before 1924, or are the work of the United States Government, are now in the public domain in the United States. They are not listed here in order to keep this list to a manageable size. See Category:Films by year for pre-1924 films.

Note: This list is not comprehensive; the vast majority of public domain films are not listed here. This list includes a selection of notable films where a reliable secondary source is available that discusses public domain status.
Film titleRelease yearDirectorStudio / DistributorEntered PD in (year)Reason for entering PDNote(s)
Abraham Lincoln1930D. W. GriffithUnited Artists1958[11]Copyright not renewed.[11]
Africa Screams1949Charles BartonUnited Artists1977Copyright not renewed.[12][13]
Algiers1938John CromwellUnited Artists1966Copyright not renewed.[14]
The Amazing Mr. X1948Bernard VorhausEagle-Lion Films[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][15]Also known as The Spiritualist.
Angel and the Badman1947James Edward GrantRepublic Pictures1975Copyright not renewed.[16]
The Animal Kingdom1932Edward H. GriffithRKO Radio Pictures1960Copyright not renewed.[14]
At War with the Army1950Hal WalkerParamount Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][17]
Attack of the Giant Leeches1959Bernard L. KowalskiAmerican International Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][18]
The Bat1959Crane WilburAllied Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][19]
Beat the Devil1953John HustonUnited Artists1980Copyright not renewed.[20]The 2016 restoration is not public domain.
Beau Brummel1924Harry BeaumontWarner Bros.1952Copyright not renewed.[21]
Beau Ideal1931
(copyright notice: 1930)
Herbert BrenonRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Becky Sharp1935Rouben MamoulianRKO Radio Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][22]
Behind Office Doors1931Melville W. BrownRKO Radio Pictures1959Copyright not renewed.[21]
Bird of Paradise1932King VidorRKO Radio Pictures1960Copyright not renewed.[14]
Blood on the Sun1945Frank LloydUnited Artists1973Copyright not renewed.[16]
Blue Steel1934Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
Bowery at Midnight1942Wallace FoxMonogram Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][24]
The Brain That Wouldn't Die1962
(completed: 1959)
Joseph GreenAmerican International Pictures1962Missing copyright notice[25]Originally completed in 1959 under the title The Black Door or The Head That Wouldn't Die, it was not released until May 3, 1962 where failure to add the copyright notice resulted in the film entering the public domain.[25]
Brideless Groom1947Edward BerndsColumbia Pictures1960s[26]Copyright not renewed.[26]
A Bucket of Blood1959Roger CormanAmerican International Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][27]
Captain Kidd1945Rowland V. LeeUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][28]
Carnival of Souls1962Herk HarveyHerts-Lion International Corp.1962Missing copyright notice[29]There was a dispute about the rights to the film from 1990 to 1995. [30] The entirety of the movie rights might have been granted to John Clifford in 1996.[31]
Charade1963Stanley DonenUniversal Pictures1963Defective copyright notice.[32]Original music still in copyright.[33] Original story by Peter Stone still in copyright.[32][34]
Check and Double Check1930Melville W. BrownRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[35]
Conspiracy1930Christy CabanneRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Cyrano de Bergerac1950Michael GordonUnited Artists1980s[Data unknown/missing][36][37]
The Dance of Life1929John CromwellParamount Pictures1957Copyright not renewed.[14]
Danger Lights1930George B. SeitzRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Deadly Companions1961Sam PeckinpahPathé-America1961Missing copyright notice[38]
Debbie Does Dallas1978Jim ClarkVCX1981Missing copyright notice[39]Dallas Cowboys hold veto power on commercial publication due to unauthorized use of their cheerleaders' trademarks.[40]
Dementia 131963Francis Ford CoppolaAmerican International Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][18]Also known as The Haunted and the Hunted.
Detour1945Edgar G. UlmerProducers Releasing Corporation[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[41]
The Devil Bat1940Jean YarbroughProducers Releasing Corporation[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][24]
Disorder in the Court1936Preston BlackColumbia Pictures1960s[26]Copyright not renewed.[26]
Dixiana1930Luther ReedRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[35]
D.O.A.1949Rudolph MatéUnited Artists1977Copyright not renewed.[42]
Ella Cinders1926Alfred E. GreenFirst National Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][43]
The Emperor Jones1933Dudley MurphyUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][44]
Father's Little Dividend1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Vincente MinnelliMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
A Farewell to Arms1932Frank BorzageParamount Pictures1960Copyright not renewed.[46]Based on copyrighted (R177406) novel by Ernest Hemingway.
Fear and Desire1953Stanley KubrickJoseph Burstyn[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[47]
The Front Page1931Lewis MilestoneUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][48]Source material (stage play The Front Page) rights copyright until 2024.[49]
The General1927Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton
United Artists1955Copyright not renewed.[49]
Glen or Glenda1953Ed WoodColumbia Classics[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][50]
Go for Broke!1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Robert PiroshMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
God's Little Acre1958Anthony MannUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][51]Colorized version not in public domain.[51]
The Gold Rush1925Charlie ChaplinUnited Artists1953Copyright not renewed.[49]1942 revised version in copyright. Original 1925 version possibly copyrighted.[52]
The Gorilla1939Allan Dwan20th Century Fox[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][53]
The Great Flamarion1945Anthony MannRepublic Pictures[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[54]
Gulliver's Travels1939Dave FleischerParamount Pictures1967Copyright not renewed.[55][56]
Half Shot at Sunrise1930Paul SloaneRKO Radio Productions1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
His Girl Friday1940
(copyright date: 1939)
Howard HawksColumbia Pictures1967Copyright not renewed.[49]Source material (stage play The Front Page) rights copyright until 2024.[49]
The Hitch-Hiker1953Ida LupinoRKO Radio Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][57]
Hook, Line and Sinker1930Edward F. ClineRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
House on Haunted Hill1959William CastleAllied Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][58][59]
Indestructible Man1956Jack PollexfenAllied Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][60]
Inside the Lines1930Roy PomeroyRKO Radio Productions1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Inspector General1949Henry KosterWarner Bros.[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][61]
It's a Wonderful Life1946
(copyright notice: 1947)
Frank CapraLiberty Films
RKO Pictures
1975Copyright not renewed.[62]While the film images are public domain, under rulings of Stewart v. Abend, the film text (script) is based on the copyrighted short story "The Greatest Gift".[62][63][64] Republic also purchased exclusive rights to the movie's copyrighted music to further shore up its rights.[65]
The Jackie Robinson Story1950Alfred E. GreenEagle-Lion Films[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][66]Ancillary rights owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The Joe Louis Story1953Robert GordonUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][67]
Kansas City Confidential1952Phil KarlsonUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[68]
Kept Husbands1931Lloyd BaconRKO Radio Productions1959Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Lady Refuses1931George ArchainbaudRKO Radio Productions1959Copyright not renewed.[21]
A Lady to Love1930Victor SjöströmMGM1958Copyright not renewed.[14]Based on the play They Knew What They Wanted.
Last Clear Chance1959Robert CarlisleUnion Pacific Railroad1959Not registered for copyright.[69]
The Last Man on Earth1964Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney SalkowAmerican International Pictures, 20th Century Fox1992[70]Copyright not renewed.[70]
The Last Time I Saw Paris1954
(copyright notice: 1944)
Richard BrooksMGM1972Defective copyright notice.[71]Music score still protected by copyright.[72]
Lawful Larceny1930Lowell ShermanRKO Radio Productions1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Leathernecking1930Edward F. ClineRKO Radio Productions1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Letter of Introduction1938John M. StahlUniversal Pictures1966Copyright not renewed.[73]
Life with Father1947Michael CurtizWarner Bros.1975Copyright not renewed.[74]
The Little Princess1939Walter Lang20th Century Fox1967Copyright not renewed.[62]
Little Shop of HorrorsThe Little Shop of Horrors1960Roger CormanFilmgroup1988Copyright not renewed.[49][75]
Lonely Wives1931Russell MackRKO Radio Pictures1959Copyright not renewed.[21]
Love Affair1939Leo McCareyRKO Radio Pictures1967Copyright not renewed.[14]
Love Laughs at Andy Hardy1945Willis GoldbeckMGM[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[76]
The Lucky Texan1934Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
Made for Each Other1939John CromwellUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][77]
Malice in the Palace1949Jules WhiteColumbia Pictures1960s[26]Copyright not renewed.[26]
The Man from Utah1934Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
The Man with the Golden Arm1955Otto PremingerUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][78]
Maniac1934Dwain EsperRoadshow Attractions[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][79]Also known as Sex Maniac.
Manos: The Hands of Fate1966Harold P. WarrenEmerson Film Enterprises1968Failure to display copyright notice.[80]Original script may have been copyrighted.[80]
March of the Wooden Soldiers1950Gus MeinsLippert Pictures1950Failure to display copyright notice.[32]This is a later abridgement of Babes in Toyland (1934), which is still in copyright. Public domain status unclear.[32]
McLintock!1963Andrew V. McLaglenUnited Artists1991Copyright not renewed.[81][82]Music score still under copyright.[81]
Meet John Doe1941Frank CapraWarner Bros.1969Copyright not renewed.[62]
Millie1931John Francis DillonRKO Radio Pictures1959Copyright not renewed.[21]
Mr. Imperium1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Don HartmanMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
My Dear Secretary1948Charles MartinUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][83]
My Favorite Brunette1947Elliott NugentParamount Pictures1975Copyright not renewed.[16]
My Man Godfrey1936Gregory La CavaUniversal Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][84]While the film images are public domain, under rulings of Stewart v. Abend, the film text (script) is based on the copyrighted 1935 book My Man Godfrey by Eric S. Hatch.[85]
Night of the Living Dead1968George A. RomeroWalter Reade1968Missing copyright notice and errors from the distributor[86]
Nothing Sacred1937William A. WellmanSelznick,
United Artists
1965Copyright not renewed.[49]
Of Human Bondage1934John CromwellRKO Radio Pictures1962Copyright not renewed.[14]
Our Town1940Sam WoodUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][87]
The Outlaw1943Howard HughesHoward Hughes Prod., United Artists1971Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Painted Hills1951Harold F. KressMGM1979Copyright not renewed.[45]
The Pay-Off1930Lowell ShermanRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Penny Serenade1941George StevensColumbia Pictures1968Copyright not renewed.[88]
The Phantom of the Opera1925Rupert JulianUniversal Studios1953Copyright not renewed.[75]
Plan 9 from Outer Space1959Ed WoodDistributors Corporation of America1987[Data unknown/missing][89]
Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves1937Dave FleischerParamount Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][90]Second of three Popeye Technicolor two-reel specials.
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor1936Dave FleischerParamount Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][90]First of three Popeye Technicolor two-reel specials.
Pot o' Gold1941George MarshallUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][91]
Quicksand1950Irving PichelUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][92]
Rage at Dawn1955Tim WhelanRKO Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][93]
Rain1932Lewis MilestoneUnited Artists1960Copyright not renewed.[16]
Randy Rides Alone1934Harry L. FraserLone Star Pictures1934Copyright notice lacks claimant.[23]
The Red House1947Delmer DavesUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][94]
Reefer Madness1936Louis J. GasnierMotion Picture Ventures1936Improper copyright notice.[95][96]Also called The Burning Question, Dope Addict, and Tell Your Children.
Riders of Destiny1933Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
Road to Bali1952Hal WalkerParamount Pictures1980Copyright not renewed on time.[97][98]Ancillary rights now owned by FremantleMedia.
Rock, Rock, Rock!1956Will PriceDistributors Corporation of America1984Copyright not renewed.[75]The Chuck Berry soundtrack may not be in the public domain.
The Royal Bed1931
(copyright notice: 1930)
Lowell ShermanRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Royal Wedding1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Stanley DonenMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
Sagebrush Trail1933Armand SchaeferLone Star Pictures1933Copyright notice lacks claimant.[99]Remake of Partners of the Trail (Wallace Fox, 1931)
Salt of the Earth1954Herbert BibermanIndependent Productions[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][100]
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians1964Nicholas WebsterEmbassy Pictures Corporation[Data unknown/missing]Missing copyright notice[101][102]Musical score owned by Famous Music.
Santa Fe Trail1940Michael CurtizWarner Bros.1968Copyright not renewed.[103][104]
Scarlet Street1945Fritz LangUniversal Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][105][106]
The Screaming Skull1958Alex NicolAmerican International Pictures1958Not registered for copyright.[107][18]
Second Chorus1940H.C. PotterParamount Pictures[Data unknown/missing]Copyright not renewed.[108]
The Secret Hour1928Rowland V. LeeParamount Pictures1956Copyright not renewed.[14]Based on the play They Knew What They Wanted.
The Silver Horde1930George ArchainbaudRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Sin Takes a Holiday1930Paul L. SteinRKO Radio Pictures1958Copyright not renewed.[21]
Sing a Song of Six Pants1947Jules WhiteColumbia Pictures1960s[26]Copyright not renewed.[26]
Sinners in Paradise1938James WhaleUniversal Pictures1966Copyright not renewed.[73]
Smouldering Fires1925Clarence BrownUniversal Pictures1953Copyright not renewed.[75]
The Snows of Kilimanjaro1952Henry King20th Century Fox[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][109]
The Southerner1945Jean RenoirUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][110]
A Star Is Born1937William A. WellmanSelznick,
United Artists
1965Copyright not renewed.[46][49]
The Star Packer1934Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers1946Lewis MilestoneParamount Pictures1974Copyright not renewed.[16]
The Stranger1946Orson WellesInternational Pictures, RKO Radio Productions1973Copyright not renewed.[111]
Suddenly1954Lewis AllenUnited Artists1983Copyright not renewed.[112]
Superman (1940s cartoons) 1941-1943Dave Fleischer, VariousParamount Pictures[Data unknown/missing][113][Data unknown/missing][113]Although all entries are in the public domain, ancillary rights such as merchandising contract rights, as well as the original 35mm master elements, are owned today by Warner Bros. Animation. Warner has owned Superman publisher DC Comics since 1969.
Swing High, Swing Low1937Mitchell LeisenParamount Pictures1965Copyright not renewed.[14]
Teenagers from Outer Space1959Tom GraeffWarner Bros.1987Copyright not renewed.[49]
The Terror1963Roger CormanAmerican International Pictures, Filmgroup1963Missing copyright registration[114]In the early 1990s, Corman asked Mark Griffiths to shoot 12 minutes of additional footage starring Dick Miller, thus making a new film titled The Return of the Terror (1991) so Corman could claim his copyright.[115]
Three Guys Named Mike1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Charles WaltersMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
Till the Clouds Roll By1946Richard WhorfMGM1974Copyright not renewed.[45]
Too Late for Tears1949Byron HaskinUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][116]
Topper Returns1941Roy Del RuthUnited Artists1969Copyright not renewed.[75]
Vengeance Valley1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Richard ThorpeMGM1978Copyright not renewed.[45]
The Wasp Woman1959Roger CormanFilmgroup[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][117]
West of the Divide1934Robert N. BradburyLone Star Pictures[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing].[23]
White Zombie1932Victor HalperinUnited Artists[Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing][118]Source material for the film may not be in the public domain.[119]
Wives Under Suspicion1938James WhaleUniversal Pictures1966Copyright not renewed.[73]

See also



  1. "An Introduction to Films and Motion Pictures" at Retrieved August 4, 2009
  2. Rich, Lloyd L. (1998). "Protection of Graphic Characters". The Publishing Law Center. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  3. Adler, Kenneth A. (October 1, 1999). "Using Dramatic Characters in Multimedia Works – Avoiding the Pitfalls". Thelen LLP. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  4. Fishman (2010), p. 180.
  5. Fishman (2010), p. 181.
  6. Hirtle, Peter B. (October 4, 2010). "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  7. Film Superlist: Motion Pictures in the U.S. Public Domain (1940–1949), page xii.
  8. "Copyright Notice". Copyright Registration and Renewal Information Chart and Web Site. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  9. Catalog of Copyright Entries: Cumulative Series. Motion Pictures 1912-1939 (51,112 films), published in 1951. L.C. card, 51-60018. (copy)
  10. "United States Copyright Office Public Catalog". Retrieved October 10, 2009.
  11. Paolo Cherchi Usai (2008). The Griffith Project: Essays on D.W. Griffith. British Film Institute. p. 208. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  12. Bob Furmanek (February 6, 2004). "8 Abbott & Costello Films Coming!". Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  13. John M. Miller, "Africa Screams, Home Video Reviews", Turner Classic Movies
  14. Pierce (2007), pp. 131-134.
  15. Sullivan, Monica (1998). VideoHound's independent film guide. Visible Ink Press. pp. 12–13.
  16. Pierce, David (March 29, 2001). Legal Limbo: How American Copyright Law Makes Orphan Films (mp3 in "file3"). Orphans of the Storm II: Documenting the 20th Century. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  17. Erickson, Hal (2012). Military Comedy Films: A Critical Survey and Filmography of Hollywood Releases Since 1918. McFarland. ISBN 68
  18. Smith, Gary A. (2009). The American International Pictures video guide. McFarland & Company. p. 8.
  19. Thompson, Nathaniel. "The Bat". Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  20. Bailey, Jason (February 15, 2017). "A New Cut and Restoration Reframes Bogart and Huston's Strangest Film". Flavorwire. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  21. Pierce (2007), pp. 140-143.
  22. Slide, Anthony (2013). Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States. McFarland. ISBN 9781476604572.
  23. Eyman, Scott (2014). John Wayne. The Life and Legend. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4391-9958-9.
  24. Lennig, Arthur (2003). The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 465.
  25. Nathaniel Thompson, "Cult Movies, The Brain that Wouldn't Die", Turner Classic Movies
  26. Hogan, David (2011). Three Stooges FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Eye-Poking, Face-Slapping Head-Thumping Geniuses. Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.
  27. Coffel, Chris (November 24, 2015). "HOME VIDEO[Blu-ray Review] 'A Bucket of Blood' is a Bucket of Fun!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  28. Edgerton, Gary R.; Rollins, Peter C. (2015). Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 274
  29. Blake, Marc (2013). Writing the Horror Movie. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. p. 91.
  30. "Papers of Herk Harvey". Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  31. "Carnival Of Souls 720p 1962 | Public Domain Movies". Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  32. Pierce (2007), p. 130.
  33. Online search results for keywords "Henry Mancini Charade", from US Copyright Office.
  34. The original story basis for Charade is The Unsuspecting Wife by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, which appeared in the July 1961 issue of Redbook magazine. The copyright to the story was renewed by Stone in 1989 (see source: David Pierce (2007), Note #20, pg. 141).
  35. Pierce (2007), p. 137.
  36. Zuckerman, Faye (March 23, 1985). "Prism Into Public Domain: 24 Film Classics Set for Release". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  37. Marianne Gray (1991). Depardieu. Sinclair-Stevenson, Limited. p. 160. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  38. Hal Erickson, "New DVDs, Peckinpah's Deadly Companions and Major Dundee", New York Times
  39. M & A Associates v. VCX, 657 F.Supp. 454, conclusions: 27 (United States District Court April 8, 1987) ("Although Arno asked Weisberg for copyright protection of the film in early 1979, Weisberg first became aware of the legal significance of the omission of the copyright notice from the film in January of 1981. Weisberg thus received "notice" of the defect at that latter date. See M. Kramer Mfg. Co. v. Andrews, 783 F.2d 421, 443 & n. 21 (4th Cir. 1986). Weisberg's failure to take reasonable [657 F.Supp. 463] efforts resulted in the film being irretrievably injected into the public domain "several months" later.").
  40. Miller, Jeffrey (2002). Ardor in the Court!: Sex and the Law. ECW Press. p. 152. ISBN 1-55022-528-6.
  41. Herzogenrath, Bernd (2009). The Films of Edgar G. Ulmer. Scarecrow Press. p. 151.
  42. Researching the Copyright Status of a Work from Copyright Registration and Renewal Information Chart and Web Site
  43. Codori, Jeff (February 28, 2012). Colleen Moore: A Biography of the Silent Film Star. McFarland. p. 251. ISBN 0-786-48899-9. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  44. Slide, Anthony (2013). Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States. McFarland. ISBN 9781476604572.
  45. Pierce (2007), pp. 138-139.
  46. Pierce (2007), pp. 134-137.
  47. Hutchinson, Sean (April 6, 2017). "Fear and Desire: The Movie Stanley Kubrick Didn't Want You to See". Mental Floss. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  48. Ladwig, Samantha (September 5, 2017). "30 Hollywood Classics Streaming for Free in the Public Domain". Retrieved March 10, 2018. ... with the first being the 1931 Lewis Milestone–directed The Front Page, which also fell into the public domain.
  49. Fishman (2010), pp. 174-180.
  50. Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywoods Worst. Hachette Book Group.
  51. Stim, Richard (2016). Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off. Nolo. ISBN 268
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  53. Peros, Mike (2016). Dan Duryea: Heel with a Heart. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781496809933. The Great Flamarion is among Duryea's more visible efforts because it fell into the public domain when the original copyright lapsed.
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  85. Night of the Living Dead entered the public domain because the original theatrical distributor, the Walter Reade Organization, neglected to place a copyright indication on the prints. In 1968, United States copyright law required a proper notice for a work to maintain a copyright. See U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 92, Copyright Law of the United States of America, Chapter 4: Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration, Omission of notice on certain copies and phonorecords. Image Ten displayed such a notice on the title frames of the film beneath the original title, Night of the Flesh Eaters but the distributor removed the statement when it changed the title. See Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie (June 16, 2011). "Introduction: Generation Z, the Age of Apocalypse". In Boluk, Stephanie; Lenz, Wylie (eds.). Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. Jefferson, North Carolina, US: McFarland & Company. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7864-6140-0. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
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  110. Gerald Peary (October 10, 2010). "He's on the hunt for lost movie treasures". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 29, 2015. Orson Welles's "The Stranger is their newest HD release, made feasible because the RKO picture has fallen into public domain.
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