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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 filmEdit

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is not known whether the use of music in a film constitutes publication of the music for the purpose of copyright.[5] Unpublished works are treated differently from published works under US copyright law.[6]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 domainEdit

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.[citation needed]

Documenting public domain statusEdit

Screenshot of copyright notice that does not contain a claimant[8]
Expanded view of missing claimant[8]

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 renewalEdit

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.

Missing or flawed copyright noticeEdit

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 publicationEdit

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 governmentEdit

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.[citation needed]

Determine copyright registrationEdit

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.

Copyright renewal statusEdit

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 rightsEdit

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 title Release year Director Studio / Distributor Entered PD in (year) Reason for entering PD Note(s)
Abraham Lincoln 1930 D. W. Griffith United Artists 1958[11] Copyright not renewed.[11]
Africa Screams 1949 Charles Barton United Artists 1977 Copyright not renewed.[12][13]
Algiers 1938 John Cromwell United Artists 1966 Copyright not renewed.[14]
The Amazing Mr. X 1948 Bernard Vorhaus Eagle-Lion Films [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][15] Also known as The Spiritualist.
Angel and the Badman 1947 James Edward Grant Republic Pictures 1975 Copyright not renewed.[16]
The Animal Kingdom 1932 Edward H. Griffith RKO Radio Pictures 1960 Copyright not renewed.[14]
At War with the Army 1950 Hal Walker Paramount Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][17]
Attack of the Giant Leeches 1959 Bernard L. Kowalski American International Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][18]
The Bat 1959 Crane Wilbur Allied Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][19]
Beat the Devil 1953 John Huston United Artists 1980 Copyright not renewed.[20] The 2016 restoration is not public domain.
Beau Brummel 1924 Harry Beaumont Warner Bros. 1952 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Beau Ideal 1931
(copyright notice: 1930)
Herbert Brenon RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Becky Sharp 1935 Rouben Mamoulian RKO Radio Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][22]
Behind Office Doors 1931 Melville W. Brown RKO Radio Pictures 1959 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Bird of Paradise 1932 King Vidor RKO Radio Pictures 1960 Copyright not renewed.[14]
Blood on the Sun 1945 Frank Lloyd United Artists 1973 Copyright not renewed.[16]
Blue Steel 1934 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
Bowery at Midnight 1942 Wallace Fox Monogram Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][24]
The Boy in the Plastic Bubble 1976 Randal Kleiser Spelling-Goldberg Productions [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][25]
The Brain That Wouldn't Die 1962
(completed: 1959)
Joseph Green American International Pictures 1962 Missing copyright notice[26] 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.[26]
Brideless Groom 1947 Edward Bernds Columbia Pictures 1960s[27] Copyright not renewed.[27]
A Bucket of Blood 1959 Roger Corman American International Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][28]
Captain Kidd 1945 Rowland V. Lee United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][29]
Carnival of Souls 1962 Herk Harvey Herts-Lion International Corp. 1962 Missing copyright notice[30]
Charade 1963 Stanley Donen Universal Pictures 1963 Defective copyright notice.[31] Original music still in copyright.[32] Original story by Peter Stone still in copyright.[31][33]
Check and Double Check 1930 Melville W. Brown RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[34]
Conspiracy 1930 Christy Cabanne RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Cyrano de Bergerac 1950 Michael Gordon United Artists 1980s [Data unknown/missing.][35][36]
The Dance of Life 1929 John Cromwell Paramount Pictures 1957 Copyright not renewed.[14]
Danger Lights 1930 George B. Seitz RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Deadly Companions 1961 Sam Peckinpah Pathé-America 1961 Missing copyright notice[37]
Debbie Does Dallas 1978 Jim Clark VCX 1981 Missing copyright notice[38] Dallas Cowboys hold veto power on commercial publication due to unauthorized use of their cheerleaders' trademarks.[39]
Dementia 13 1963 Francis Ford Coppola American International Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][18] Also known as The Haunted and the Hunted.
Detour 1945 Edgar G. Ulmer Producers Releasing Corporation [Data unknown/missing.] Copyright not renewed.[40]
The Devil Bat 1940 Jean Yarbrough Producers Releasing Corporation [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][24]
Disorder in the Court 1936 Preston Black Columbia Pictures 1960s[27] Copyright not renewed.[27]
Dixiana 1930 Luther Reed RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[34]
D.O.A. 1949 Rudolph Maté United Artists 1977 Copyright not renewed.[41]
The Driller Killer 1979 Abel Ferrara Rochelle Films [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][42]
Ella Cinders 1926 Alfred E. Green First National Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][43]
The Emperor Jones 1933 Dudley Murphy United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][44]
Father's Little Dividend 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Vincente Minnelli MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
A Farewell to Arms 1932 Frank Borzage Paramount Pictures 1960 Copyright not renewed.[46] Based on copyrighted (R177406) novel by Ernest Hemingway.
The Front Page 1931 Lewis Milestone United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][47]
The General 1927 Clyde Bruckman
Buster Keaton
United Artists 1955 Copyright not renewed.[48]
Glen or Glenda 1953 Ed Wood Columbia Classics [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][49]
Go for Broke! 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Robert Pirosh MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
God's Little Acre 1958 Anthony Mann United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][50] Colorized version not in public domain.[50]
The Gold Rush 1925 Charlie Chaplin United Artists 1953 Copyright not renewed.[48] 1942 revised version in copyright. Original 1925 version possibly copyrighted.[51]
The Gorilla 1939 Allan Dwan 20th Century Fox [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][52]
The Great Flamarion 1945 Anthony Mann Republic Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] Copyright not renewed.[53]
Gulliver's Travels 1939 Dave Fleischer Paramount Pictures 1967 Copyright not renewed.[54][55]
Half Shot at Sunrise 1930 Paul Sloane RKO Radio Productions 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
His Girl Friday 1940
(copyright date: 1939)
Howard Hawks Columbia Pictures 1967 Copyright not renewed.[48] Source material (stage play The Front Page) rights copyright until 2024.[48]
The Hitch-Hiker 1953 Ida Lupino RKO Radio Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][56]
Hook, Line and Sinker 1930 Edward F. Cline RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
House on Haunted Hill 1959 William Castle Allied Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][57][58]
Indestructible Man 1956 Jack Pollexfen Allied Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][59]
Inside the Lines 1930 Roy Pomeroy RKO Radio Productions 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Inspector General 1949 Henry Koster Warner Bros. [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][60]
It's a Wonderful Life 1946
(copyright notice: 1947)
Frank Capra Liberty Films
RKO Pictures
1975 Copyright not renewed.[61] 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".[61][62][63] Republic also purchased exclusive rights to the movie's copyrighted music to further shore up its rights.[64]
The Jackie Robinson Story 1950 Alfred E. Green Eagle-Lion Films [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][65] Ancillary rights owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The Joe Louis Story 1953 Robert Gordon United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][66]
Kansas City Confidential 1952 Phil Karlson United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] Copyright not renewed.[67]
Kept Husbands 1931 Lloyd Bacon RKO Radio Productions 1959 Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Lady Refuses 1931 George Archainbaud RKO Radio Productions 1959 Copyright not renewed.[21]
A Lady to Love 1930 Victor Sjöström MGM 1958 Copyright not renewed.[14] Based on the play They Knew What They Wanted.
Last Clear Chance 1959 Robert Carlisle Union Pacific Railroad 1959 Not registered for copyright.[68]
The Last Man on Earth 1964 Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow American International Pictures, 20th Century Fox 1992[69] Copyright not renewed.[69]
The Last Time I Saw Paris 1954
(copyright notice: 1944)
Richard Brooks MGM 1972 Defective copyright notice.[70] Music score still protected by copyright.[71]
Lawful Larceny 1930 Lowell Sherman RKO Radio Productions 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Leathernecking 1930 Edward F. Cline RKO Radio Productions 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Letter of Introduction 1938 John M. Stahl Universal Pictures 1966 Copyright not renewed.[72]
Life with Father 1947 Michael Curtiz Warner Bros. 1975 Copyright not renewed.[73]
The Little Princess 1939 Walter Lang 20th Century Fox 1967 Copyright not renewed.[61]
Little Shop of HorrorsThe Little Shop of Horrors 1960 Roger Corman Filmgroup 1988 Copyright not renewed.[48][74]
Lonely Wives 1931 Russell Mack RKO Radio Pictures 1959 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Love Affair 1939 Leo McCarey RKO Radio Pictures 1967 Copyright not renewed.[14]
The Lucky Texan 1934 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
Made for Each Other 1939 John Cromwell United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][75]
Malice in the Palace 1949 Jules White Columbia Pictures 1960s[27] Copyright not renewed.[27]
The Man from Utah 1934 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
The Man with the Golden Arm 1955 Otto Preminger United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][76]
Maniac 1934 Dwain Esper Roadshow Attractions [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][77] Also known as Sex Maniac.
Manos: The Hands of Fate 1966 Harold P. Warren Emerson Film Enterprises 1968 Failure to display copyright notice.[78] Original script may have been copyrighted.[78]
March of the Wooden Soldiers 1950 Gus Meins Lippert Pictures 1950 Failure to display copyright notice.[31] This is a later abridgement of Babes in Toyland (1934), which is still in copyright. Public domain status unclear.[31]
McLintock! 1963 Andrew V. McLaglen United Artists 1991 Copyright not renewed.[79][80] Music score still under copyright.[79]
Meet John Doe 1941 Frank Capra Warner Bros. 1969 Copyright not renewed.[61]
Millie 1931 John Francis Dillon RKO Radio Pictures 1959 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Mr. Imperium 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Don Hartman MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
My Dear Secretary 1948 Charles Martin United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][81]
My Favorite Brunette 1947 Elliott Nugent Paramount Pictures 1975 Copyright not renewed.[16]
My Man Godfrey 1936 Gregory La Cava Universal Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][82] 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.[83]
Night of the Living Dead 1968 George A. Romero Walter Reade 1968 Missing copyright notice and errors from the distributor[84]
Nothing Sacred 1937 William A. Wellman Selznick,
United Artists
1965 Copyright not renewed.[48]
Of Human Bondage 1934 John Cromwell RKO Radio Pictures 1962 Copyright not renewed.[14]
Our Town 1940 Sam Wood United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][85]
The Outlaw 1943 Howard Hughes Howard Hughes Prod., United Artists 1971 Copyright not renewed.[21]
The Painted Hills 1951 Harold F. Kress MGM 1979 Copyright not renewed.[45]
The Pay-Off 1930 Lowell Sherman RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Penny Serenade 1941 George Stevens Columbia Pictures 1968 Copyright not renewed.[86]
The Phantom of the Opera 1925 Rupert Julian Universal Studios 1953 Copyright not renewed.[74]
Plan 9 from Outer Space 1959 Ed Wood Distributors Corporation of America 1987 [Data unknown/missing.][87]
Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves 1937 Dave Fleischer Paramount Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][88] Second of three Popeye Technicolor two-reel specials.
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor 1936 Dave Fleischer Paramount Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][88] First of three Popeye Technicolor two-reel specials.
Pot o' Gold 1941 George Marshall United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][89]
Quicksand 1950 Irving Pichel United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][90]
Rage at Dawn 1955 Tim Whelan RKO Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][91]
Rain 1932 Lewis Milestone United Artists 1960 Copyright not renewed.[16]
Randy Rides Alone 1934 Harry L. Fraser Lone Star Pictures 1934 Copyright notice lacks claimant.[23]
The Red House 1947 Delmer Daves United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][92]
Reefer Madness 1936 Louis J. Gasnier Motion Picture Ventures 1936 Improper copyright notice.[93][94] Also called The Burning Question, Dope Addict, and Tell Your Children.
Riders of Destiny 1933 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
Road to Bali 1952 Hal Walker Paramount Pictures 1980 Copyright not renewed on time.[95][96] Ancillary rights now owned by FremantleMedia.
Rock, Rock, Rock! 1956 Will Price Distributors Corporation of America 1984 Copyright not renewed.[74] The Chuck Berry soundtrack may not be in the public domain.
The Royal Bed 1931
(copyright notice: 1930)
Lowell Sherman RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Royal Wedding 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Stanley Donen MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
Sagebrush Trail 1933 Armand Schaefer Lone Star Pictures 1933 Copyright notice lacks claimant.[97] Remake of Partners of the Trail (Wallace Fox, 1931)
Salt of the Earth 1954 Herbert Biberman Independent Productions [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][98]
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians 1964 Nicholas Webster Embassy Pictures Corporation [Data unknown/missing.] Missing copyright notice[99] [100] Musical score owned by Famous Music.
Santa Fe Trail 1940 Michael Curtiz Warner Bros. 1968 Copyright not renewed.[101][102]
Scarlet Street 1945 Fritz Lang Universal Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][103][104]
The Screaming Skull 1958 Alex Nicol American International Pictures 1958 Not registered for copyright.[105][18]
Second Chorus 1940 H.C. Potter Paramount Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] Copyright not renewed.[106]
The Secret Hour 1928 Rowland V. Lee Paramount Pictures 1956 Copyright not renewed.[14] Based on the play They Knew What They Wanted.
The Silver Horde 1930 George Archainbaud RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Sin Takes a Holiday 1930 Paul L. Stein RKO Radio Pictures 1958 Copyright not renewed.[21]
Sing a Song of Six Pants 1947 Jules White Columbia Pictures 1960s[27] Copyright not renewed.[27]
Sinners in Paradise 1938 James Whale Universal Pictures 1966 Copyright not renewed.[72]
Smouldering Fires 1925 Clarence Brown Universal Pictures 1953 Copyright not renewed.[74]
The Snows of Kilimanjaro 1952 Henry King 20th Century Fox [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][107]
The Southerner 1945 Jean Renoir United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][108]
A Star Is Born 1937 William A. Wellman Selznick,
United Artists
1965 Copyright not renewed.[46][48]
The Star Packer 1934 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers 1946 Lewis Milestone Paramount Pictures 1974 Copyright not renewed.[16]
The Stranger 1946 Orson Welles International Pictures, RKO Radio Productions 1973 Copyright not renewed.[109]
Suddenly 1954 Lewis Allen United Artists 1983 Copyright not renewed.[110]
Superman (1940s cartoons) 1941-1943 Dave Fleischer, Various Paramount Pictures [Data unknown/missing.][111] [Data unknown/missing.][111] 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 Low 1937 Mitchell Leisen Paramount Pictures 1965 Copyright not renewed.[14]
Teenagers from Outer Space 1959 Tom Graeff Warner Bros. 1987 Copyright not renewed.[48]
The Terror 1963 Roger Corman American International Pictures, Filmgroup 1963 Missing copyright registration[112] 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.[113]
Three Guys Named Mike 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Charles Walters MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
Till the Clouds Roll By 1946 Richard Whorf MGM 1974 Copyright not renewed.[45]
Too Late for Tears 1949 Byron Haskin United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][114]
Topper Returns 1941 Roy Del Ruth United Artists 1969 Copyright not renewed.[74]
Vengeance Valley 1951
(copyright notice: 1950)
Richard Thorpe MGM 1978 Copyright not renewed.[45]
The Wasp Woman 1959 Roger Corman Filmgroup [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][115]
West of the Divide 1934 Robert N. Bradbury Lone Star Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.].[23]
White Zombie 1932 Victor Halperin United Artists [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][116] Source material for the film may not be in the public domain.[117]
Wives Under Suspicion 1938 James Whale Universal Pictures 1966 Copyright not renewed.[72]
Woman on the Run 1950 Norman Foster Universal Pictures [Data unknown/missing.] [Data unknown/missing.][118]

See alsoEdit



  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. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pierce (2007), pp. 131-134.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Monica (1998). VideoHound's independent film guide. Visible Ink Press. pp. 12–13.
  16. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 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.[page needed]
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Eyman, Scott (2014). John Wayne. The Life and Legend. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4391-9958-9.
  24. ^ a b Lennig, Arthur (2003). The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 465.
  25. ^ Jones, Errica (May 27, 2015). "SCATV Announces Cinema Somerville, a Free Outdoor Summer Movie Series". Patch Media. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Nathaniel Thompson, "Cult Movies, The Brain that Wouldn't Die", Turner Classic Movies
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Hogan, David (2011). Three Stooges FAQ: Everything Left to Know about the Eye-Poking, Face-Slapping Head-Thumping Geniuses. Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Edgerton, Gary R.; Rollins, Peter C. (2015). Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 274
  30. ^ Blake, Marc (2013). Writing the Horror Movie. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. p. 91.
  31. ^ a b c d Pierce (2007), p. 130.
  32. ^ Online search results for keywords "Henry Mancini Charade", from US Copyright Office.
  33. ^ 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).
  34. ^ a b Pierce (2007), p. 137.
  35. ^ Zuckerman, Faye (March 23, 1985). "Prism Into Public Domain: 24 Film Classics Set for Release". Billboard (magazine). Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  36. ^ Marianne Gray (1991). Depardieu. Sinclair-Stevenson, Limited. p. 160. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  37. ^ Hal Erickson, "New DVDs, Peckinpah's Deadly Companions and Major Dundee", New York Times
  38. ^ 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.").
  39. ^ Miller, Jeffrey (2002). Ardor in the Court!: Sex and the Law. ECW Press. p. 152. ISBN 1-55022-528-6.
  40. ^ Herzogenrath, Bernd (2009). The Films of Edgar G. Ulmer. Scarecrow Press. p. 151.
  41. ^ Researching the Copyright Status of a Work from Copyright Registration and Renewal Information Chart and Web Site
  42. ^ Baker, Chris (October 1, 2006). "The Best: Movies in the Public Domain". Wired (magazine). Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  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.[page needed]
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