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Copyright: Films in Public Domain from the National Registry (Library of Congress)

Public Domain Films from the National Registry

Rights and Access

"The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright in the motion pictures in this collection. Items not subject to copyright are free to use and reuse.

Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. The Library notes that the reproduction of some titles may be restricted by privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Additionally, some works may still be protected by copyright in some foreign countries. Users should consult the catalog information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding item and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses."

Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

Selections from the National Film Registry

Highlights from “Selections from the National Film Registry” include

  • Memphis Belle” (1944)—William Wyler’s remarkable World War II documentary about the crew of a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber
  • The Hitch-Hiker” (1953)—a gritty film noir directed by actress Ida Lupino
  • Trance and Dance in Bali” (1936–39)—Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson’s groundbreaking ethnographic documentary
  • Modesta” (1956)—a Spanish-language film produced by Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education
  • Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor” (1936)—a two-reel Technicolor cartoon
  • The House I Live In” (1945)— a plea for religious tolerance starring Frank Sinatra that won an honorary Academy Award
  • Master Hands” (1936)—a dazzling “mechanical ballet” shot on a General Motors automotive assembly line
  • Duck and Cover” (1951)— a Cold War curio that features Bert the Turtle explaining to schoolchildren how best to survive a nuclear attack

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